Your monthly garden tip
AUGUST’S BALMY days beg for something exotic. Try the luxurious flowering maple (Abutilon megapotamicum). This tropical-looking but cold-hardy beauty starts flowering in early summer and, by August, explodes in a crescendo of lantern-shaped, bright yellow flowers and smoky red calyces (berry-like clusters), which send hummingbirds into a joyful frenzy. With rich soil, plenty of water, lots of sun, and a wall or trellis to lean on, the flowering maple can rise eight feet within a couple of seasons. Plant before September to give the tough shrub time to establish itself before Jack Frost comes nipping at its pretty little leaves.
Follow Kate Bryant’s gardening blog, Plantwise, at portlandmonthlymag.com/blogs/plantwise.