As summer begins her slow bend into fall, her riotous colors fade to more subdued tones. Tree frogs begin their nightly chorus, while crickets accompany them on their strings and I look to one of the garden’s later season blooms for some visual distraction before Autumn’s splendor.
The August Lily really isn’t a lily at all. It is a member of the hosta family; Hosta plantaginea. It is a late season show stopper, both for its exotic beauty and its seductive scent.
The ideal location for an August Lily is near a window or door, or along a well-worn path, for there is such a sweet fragrance as one’s clothes brush against this plant and its scent drifts past an open window or ousidet a door.
This August Lily sits quietly in a corner of the front border, hugging a coveted place of honor, waiting for me to open the front door and enjoy its sweet scent on a late summer’s night. Other August lilies sit along the arbor, where they wait for brief interludes after I’ve been working in the prairie garden or the arbor’s adjacent shade garden.
Like many white flowers, the August Lily’s scent grows strongest at night, which also makes it an attractive night pollinator. Some plants work harder at night, attracting moths and small insects who are nocturnal and spread pollen when the rest of the garden’s cast of characters is at rest . . .
. . . and if one of the August lily’s stalks should happen to bend under the weight of its blooms, what finer spot could there be but in a vase placed in a prominent spot, such as the kitchen counter?