The Garden in Mid-September
Happy Bloom Day! On the 15th of every month Carol from May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, enabling gardeners to share and compare what’s in flower in their little patch of earth.
In our garden the most bountiful blooms at the moment are provided by Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba). This Rudbeckia makes me happy with its clouds of little golden yellow flowers with cute little cones in the center. They call them “eyes” but they look to me more like noses. This Susan self-sows freely, as they say, but I consider that a virtue.
Though I’ve got to confess that keeping this Susan upright has been an ongoing battle, especially after she’s had plenty to drink (not that kind of drink – I’m talking about rain).
The Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia) keep pumping out flowers like champs, though in a couple of weeks they will literally start to fall apart as stems start to break.
A big clump of ‘Gateway’ Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum) stands between two Mexican Sunflowers. E. maculatum flowers last much longer into the season than Sweet Joe Pye Weed (E. purpureum). They also have nice purple stems.
The birds are eating up the cones of Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), but there are still some in bloom.
At the sidewalk end of the Driveway Border, the compact ‘Blue Adonis’ Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is still perfuming the air with racemes of blue flowers. I placed it here so people could smell the honey scent as they walk by. I’m very pleased with this plant so far, it blooms pretty well, is very fragrant, and doesn’t overwhelm the border with its size (only about 3′ this year).
In the same bed there’s a sizable and growing patch of Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides). This picture really doesn’t do justice to the deep blue flowers. This is a really nice late-blooming groundcover for sunny areas.
On the other side of the driveway, in the Lamppost Bed, Helenium autumnale ‘Short’n’Sassy’ has been blooming since June. I’m beginning to worry it’s going to be so exhausted soon it won’t survive the winter. Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) is cozying up to the Helenium, but just a handful of buds have actually opened. Soon, though, it will be covered in flowers.
Most plants in this new bed were planted just this spring, however ‘Orange Profusion’ Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) have done an admirable job of filling in empty spaces and providing lots of zippy color.
In September, of course, a gardener’s fancy turns to Asters and Goldenrods. While Aromatic Aster is just dipping its toe in the seasonal waters, Short’s Aster (S. shortii) has gotten about knee deep.
On the other hand, in the back garden the Crooked Stem Asters (S. prenanthoides) have already peaked. Or to continue the metaphor, they’re done swimming laps and are starting to think it might be time to get out of the water. The flowers of this aster open light blue and fade to almost white.
The Big Leaf Asters (S. macrophyllum) have also peaked. Their flowers have a kind of gap-toothed look, but they make up for this by growing contentedly in dry shade and also by being a pretty decent groundcover.
Anise Scented Goldenrod (Solidago odora), which grows in the Left Bank Bed, has peaked. This is a nice little Goldenrod that tops out at 2-3′ and takes some shade. Some people make tea from the leaves.
There’s also a NOID wild Goldenrod growing in the back garden. On the other hand, Blue Stemmed and Zigzag Goldenrod (S. caesia and flexicaulis) only have a few sporadic blooms as of yet.
In terms of container plants, the Nicotiana and Nasturtiums have pretty much thrown in the towel blooming-wise. On the other hand, other container plants have found renewed vigor in September. The ‘Disco Red’ Marigolds (Tagetes patula), for example.
Also the Pentas (Pentas lanceolata). Great hummingbird plants, by the way.
And the annual Salvias (Salvia farinacea ‘Evolution Violet’ and S. ‘Mystic Spires Blue’).
So that’s about it for September Bloom Day. Which blooms are making you happy right now?