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So many things can happen to steal the color from a garden.
Drifting herbicide, tippy barbecue grills, utility dig-ups, you name it, it can happen. The gaps created seem even larger when they appear in late summer, transforming height of the season color into black holes.
When such calamity strikes, people often say, "Oh well, just let it go. Summer's over anyway."
We say, "No way!" There's still at least a month of garden color left, and even more given the cold tolerant fall perennials and annuals such as asters and petunias.
It's never too late to plant. Growers still have flowering baskets for sale that can be dropped into the ground for instant show. Garden centers are stocked with perennials that bloom at summer's end. A bare spot in early August might come in handy for the second sowing of broccoli or peas. If you work with care you can even transplant some color into that bare spot.
Right: We said it in spring, "These tall sedums really should be divided this year," but we didn't get around to doing it. So there are at least two plants to spare here, bellying out over the lawn. Once they're gone there is room to sow some colorful lettuce there. It will be a great combination in front of the peony now hidden by the sedum, as that perennial turns maroon in fall.
We put an elastic tarp strap around the sedum's stems before we dig, cinching them in so they support each other and guard against breakage.
Add one $20 basket of petunias and what was an unfortunate empty spot is colorful continuity in the border.
You probably have many stand-up plants that can fill gaps, such as this dwarf garden phlox 'Orange Perfection.' One of our favorites for its powdery mildew resistance, it's amenable to a move and also very willing to bloom on and on if deadheaded regularly.