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.

Brown Eyed Susan
Brown Eyed Susan

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).

DSC_0507 tithonia

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.

DSC_0478 Joe Pye weed

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.

DSC_0504 yellow coneflower

The birds are eating up the cones of Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), but there are still some in bloom.

DSC_0520 blue adonis butterfly bush

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).

DSC_0490 sedum and orange coneflower

Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida) and ‘Matrona’ Sedum spectabilis are blooming nicely together in the East Parkway Bed. DSC_0495 plumbago

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.

DSC_0510 helenium and aromatic aster

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.

DSC_0563 lamppost bed, zinnias

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.

Short's Aster
Short’s Aster

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.

DSC_0523 crooked stem aster

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.

DSC_0533 big leaf aster

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
Anise Scented Goldenrod

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.

NOID Goldenrod
NOID Goldenrod

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.

'Disco Red' Marigolds
‘Disco Red’ Marigolds

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.

DSC_0467 salvia

And the annual Salvias (Salvia farinacea ‘Evolution Violet’ and S. ‘Mystic Spires Blue’).

The Sidewalk Border viewed from behind.
The Sidewalk Border viewed from behind.

So that’s about it for September Bloom Day. Which blooms are making you happy right now?

52 Comments on “The Garden in Mid-September”

  1. Wow, I’m envious, you have a chock load of blooms to enjoy this late in the season. Love those Mexican sunflowers, are they easy to grow? We’ve downsized and moved to the city too, I think I may have mentioned that before, not a blade of grass, but quite a few flower beds in the back and front. You have an urban setting too it seems, but gosh you’ve got a ton of space?

    • Mexican Sunflowers are easy to grow as long as they get sun and you don’t put them out to early. As to space, we have what is a little larger than a standard suburban lot. It’s just that the entire front has been turned into beds and borders so there is a lot going on.

  2. Pingback: The Garden in Mid-September | Old School Garden

  3. Pingback: What’s in Bloom Here Now – Sept 2015 | A Moveable Garden

  4. I enjoyed seeing all of your blooms. I have quite a few of the same ones in our yard. I planted a clump of big leaf aster a couple years ago, and it has not bloomed yet. The clump has expanded a bit, though. I hope it blooms next year. I hope winter goes by as quickly as the summer has.

  5. There is so much going on in your garden right now–lovely! It’s interesting to see how different the blooms times are for your plants compared to mine–my yellow coneflowers, for example finished a long time ago. But another plant we share–the Brown-eyed Susans–are still going strong here, too. They do self-seed, but it’s hard to get upset with them when they bloom so prolifically in fall, isn’t it? Glad to see the Mexican Sunflowers still blooming–they’re definitely on my wish list for next year, and I’m happy to know they have such a long bloom time.

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