Abutilon megapotamicum (that name is just fun to pronouce) dies to the ground but returns reliably here, growing into a nice sub-shrub and blooming through late summer and autumn.
Yeah, everybody grows it, but the perennial Lantana 'Miss Huff'' can't be beat for shear flower production. It's appropriately located next to the "Wildlife Habitat" sign (a great way to justify a "messy" yard to an unimpressed community association!), since the lantana IS a wildlife habitat in and of itself. It's the first plant we see when we arrive home, and it's always buzzing, humming, and fluttering with life.
Here's an interesting anomaly: Sarracenia x 'Love Bug' blooming months after all of the other species and hybrids. It's not just one bloom, either - on closer inspection I found 3 other buds emerging from the crown.
The big bifoliate Cattleya 'Mrs. Mahler' is, of course, not hardy here, but my two huge plants always light up the fence where they hang out for the summer.
So many roses are in bloom now (and finally unmolested by the Japanese beetles that always ruin their second bloom cycle) that I'm choosing one representative - 'Excellenz von Schubert', which is classed, I think, as a polyantha, but it's a rangy one which never shows a hint of disease. BTW, fellow blogger Phillip has an article on roses for partial shade which is posted on his "A Southern Garden" website. As well as being interesting and informative, it corroborates a lot of my reasons for favoring the hybrid musks, teas, and other shrub roses.
Gesneriads are emerging as major players in my August-October garden, and this is one of the hardiest and best - Gloxinia nematanthodes 'Evita'. It spreads among other plants via scaly rhizomes, and has even overwintered outside in large pots here.
Acis (aka Leucojum) autumnalis, which grows well in dry soil. It's hardy, but because of its size I grow it in a large clay pot; it would be totally engulfed by thugs if I planted it out. This is one of many treasures I've gotten from Ellen Hornig at Seneca Hills perennials, a great source for unusual plants, beautifully grown, along with friendly, helpful information.
Yet another amaryllid, Lycoris longituba. This is one of the Lycoris which puts out leaves in spring, goes dormant in summer, and blooms on a "naked" stem in August. It's usually described as being white, but this is either a pale yellow variant, or mislabled. Either way, it's beautiful.I was disappointed when the bloom spikes of Eucomis pole-evansii got all twisted around (my fault, since I had to relocate it temporarily while the chimney was relined last month), but I think the complementary S-curve that resulted makes a pretty cool photograph.
Hymenocallis 'Sulfur Queen', the most dependable of the naturally deciduous members of that genus (they used to be in the genus 'Ismene') in my garden. To me, the blooms look like those of an Epiphyllum cactus when viewed from this angle.
Habranthus tubispathus var. texensis never stays where you plant it, popping up from seed all over the garden where it's least expected. A naturally occurring (but fertile) rain lily hybrid, Zephyranthes 'Labuffarosea' (with a self-sown Impatiens balsamina, which I love). It's very prolific and ranges from pink to white, fading through a range of colors as the flowers age. Z. lindleyanam, another beautiful species of rain lily (from Mexico, I think - I'm too lazy to get up and check the book.)
Z. 'Sunset', a very vigorous and prolific seed strain.
If I were to choose a favorite among the Zephyranthes, it would be 'Ajax', a primary hybrid involving z. candida (also blooming now) and Z. citrina. It's just about the latest bloomer of all, along with its hybrid (with Z. grandiflora), which is called 'Grandjax'.
I only grow a couple of true lilies, mainly because of predation by voles, but L. formosanum grows rapidly from seed, so there are usually enough to feed the rodents and produce some fragrant, shoulder-high trumpets in August.
Another shot of Proiphys amboinensis, now that the flowers are open. It's a little overexposed, but I think it shows the fused central "cup", which is indicative of its relationship to Hymenocallis and Narcissus. I'm hoping to get it to set seed so I can grow enough plants to try in a variety of locations.
The last few flowers on a stem of Galtonia princeps, another of Ellen Hornig's babies, which I almost missed. It had been engulfed by a giant miscanthus which flopped over in the rain. I like this greenish species, and it seems as hardy as G. candicans and viridiflora, which, despite the nomenclature, isn't quite as green.
PS- here's Hosta 'Royal Standard' - compare it to the above pic of Proiphys amboinensis, and then tell me there's no such thing as convergent evolution :o).