Ignore the Flowers Day: September, 2016
For me, blooms make the garden. This attitude is considered unsophisticated by some, who say we must pay greater attention to more enduring plant features: foliage, texture, structure, yada yada.
Grudgingly, I admit that there is something to what these people say, which is why on the 22nd of most months I participate in Ignore the Flowers Day, hosted by Christine of My Hesperides Garden (she calls it Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day). This ensures that at least once each month this blog has a whole post devoted to something other than blooms.
Grasses have a big presence in the garden right now, like the Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) above.
A big challenge in writing about Switchgrass is coming up with synonyms for “airy”, as in airy seedheads, which to me are the most notable quality of this grass. The seedheads contrast with the overall bulk which is the second most notable quality. “Breezy seedheads”? “Well-ventilated seedheads”? Thesaurus.com is of limited help.
It’s almost too easy to take pictures of Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).
‘The Blues’ Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), newly planted in the Lamppost Bed, is not as upright as the ones in Lurie Garden, but I like the color.
But ‘Standing Ovation’ (also very recently planted) stays as vertical as its name implies.
Speaking of seedheads (we were, a few pictures back), these Yellow Coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata) look kind of interesting.
Also this Bee Balm (Monarda didyma).
Here’s what’s left of the ‘Purple Senation’ Alliums (A. aflatunense) that were blooming back in May. I’m glad I left them standing.
Most of the berries in our garden have already come and gone. There are a few on the Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum).
Still plenty of crabapples on ‘Donald Wyman’ however. I learned too late that for some reason birds are not too fond of this particular crabapple, though eventually most are eaten by Starlings if nobody else.
The bright red fruits of Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) seem to be hanging on longer than usual. Eventually the leaves will turn a deep maroon.
Were you able to spend any time ignoring the flowers today?
I will miss the flowers enough in the cold months, so I never ignore them! But I do like to also notice the texture, shade and feel of other plants.
More adj. for airy
chiffon, cobwebby, dainty, delicate, fine, floaty, gauzy, see-through, sheer, tiffany, transparent, wispy, translucent,
Nice, Nicole. I was going to make some suggestions, but you beat me to it.
I appreciate the thought, anyhow.
Huh. “Wispy” could work. Maybe “see-through”. The others – not so sure.
Lots of gorgeous foliage and photos–adjectives notwithstanding!
We can live without adjectives, but not without plants.
Yes foliage is important, especially now when there aren’t as many flowers around. Also important in shade where not many flowers are happy. Your grasses are beautiful and they add different texture and movement, everything comes together to make a very interesting garden!
Although it seems to me the best grasses like full sun. There aren’t a lot of great grasses for shade. Japanese Forest Grass is one exception.
I like your new title for the meme, I might even adopt it! I’m always envious of your grasses Jason and love seeing them. Even in your colourful, flowery garden the foliage does play its part. I appreciate you joining GBFD when it is almost against your principals!!!
You’re welcome. Principals should always be flexible.
I have to admit that I pay more attention to blooms than to foliage. Suppose it’s the “wow” factor. But your grasses are lovely and they do play an important part in the whole picture.
I have an emotional response to blooms that is never elicited by foliage. But as you say, foliage is an important part of the picture.
At this time of year it is easy to ignore flowers. I love foliage and at this time it really shines. I love sea oats. Those seed heads are cheerful hanging there like little bells swaying in the wind.
I love sea oats also, I just wish they weren’t so hard to pull out when they pop up in the wrong place.
Well, I for one love foliage….but I’m an equal opportunity appreciator so I give blooms their due as well 🙂
Sounds like a healthy attitude.
Well done. Now back to the flowers:^)
Exactly! What a relief!
Love that beebalm seedpod. Though I am a foliage gal at this point in the season, I couldn’t live without spring and early summer blooms.
Sure, but the late summer and autumn blooms can be pretty nice, also!
Love the colour of the bluestems. And yes, I’m happily ignoring the flowers which is easy to do since few are blooming in my garden at the moment.
Really? No goldenrods, no asters?
Ok, you’re right. Lots of goldenrod, lots of asters, ligularia, reblooming nepeta. But ignoring those exceptions …
“It’s almost too easy to take pictures of Northern Sea Oats”…I disagree! I can never get a good shot…yours is perfection!
Well … they’re Judy’s, but thanks anyway. I suppose I should have said: It’s almost too easy for Judy to take pictures of Northern Sea Oats.
I could never ignore the flowers, or all that come after they’re gone.
I couldn’t either, I’m just kidding.
I have recently became a grasses fan so it is good to learn some more about them. I like grasses for their textures and movement.
They can also add some good color, especially in autumn.
Love the starburst left after the allium fades
It’s really nice, isn’t it?
I pay quite a lot of attention to foliage but I like the flowers too.
It’s good to have a balanced approach.
I’m having trouble ignoring the flowers today as my white tulips have just come out! I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for that one!
Well, I could never ignore the flowers when tulips are blooming.
What fun to have found your garden blog! I’m well hooked~particularly by your grasses. I find native grasses so much more lovely and interesting than the boring and ubiquitous ones foisted upon us in the magazines.
Thank you so much – I’m so glad you enjoy our blog.
That northern sea oats is on my list of things to add to my garden –I really love that.
Gorgeous grass – but a bear to pull out when it volunteers in an inconvenient spot.
You got round the flowers thing by showing your marvellous grasses 🙂
With the start of the academic year and going back to my jobs, I’ve been ignoring the whole garden for the most part except on weekends. Great foliage!
Ah, the end of summer can be so melancholy.
Looks great, and very in-flowery. It does have a strong taste of autumn though and I guess it’s time to face that reality.
I might have to try a few of the newer bluestems. I’m kind of spoilt in that the wild ones grow both inside and out the garden without any help from me, but maybe a little boosting the gene pool wouldn’t be the worst thing 🙂
And the wild ones aren’t floppy?
Hello Jason, I’ve wanted to put grasses into the garden for some time now as we have none at the moment, but I’m worried that they will self-seed everywhere and run amok. We inherited this problem with a Carex that has ended up all over the garden (including the lawn). We’re gradually winning the battle but it’s two years and counting and it’s not all gone yet.
Panicums don’t self-seed much and the clumps grow pretty slowly.