Monday, September 14, 2009

GBBD: September's Changing Colors

Tomorrow is that ever-important day of the month for garden bloggers--Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by the indefatigable Carol of May Dreams Gardens. I'm posting a little early because I had planned to combine my Bloom Day post with my ABC Wednesday post, since they're closely related, until I realized how long this post would be. Instead, I've turned them into two different posts; I hope you'll come back on Wednesday for some "Bugs and Blooms."

I'm sure the question that has been on everyone's mind for the past month is, "Where are Rose's zinnas???"

Well, here they are! The zinnias got a late start; though a few were just beginning to bloom for the August GBBD, only now are the flowers really making a show. However, I don't have nearly as many as last year, so their "statement" is not quite as dramatic. In looking at the roadside garden, I realized that when I transplanted some lilies in the spring, I took up some valuable zinnia territory. Something to think about for next year . . . I must have more zinnias than this!

Besides the zinnias, there aren't a lot of new blooms. Another point to consider over the winter--adding more fall color to the garden. Yes, there are a few asters providing a fresh focal point . . .

. . . and some fresh nectar for the butterflies. It's hard to see the yellow sulphur in this photo, but I've saved a better one for my next post.

And the sedum has begun to put on its fall fashion show. The "Autumn Joy" here in the roadside garden is doing well, much fuller than last year. But the "Autumn Joy" in my main garden is not as healthy. I've lost at least one plant--the leaves dried up and the stems just broke off in my hand. Tina suggested that I might have voles, and indeed the soil underneath the dead plant feels suspiciously light. Hmmm, perhaps I should let Sophie loose in this garden and see what she digs up.

Another plant that has been blooming for the past month is the goldenrod. This is not your polite and refined hybrid---this is the real thing! In other words, Mr. Procrastinator hasn't been able to keep up with all the weeds around the farm this summer:) While some of the goldenrod has already turned to a burnished brown, other plants are still in full bloom. Of all the "weeds" that grow around the outbuildings, this has to be one of my favorites.

I know I included the Black-eyed Susans on my last post, but they have really come into their own the last two weeks. I couldn't tell you from these photos which are which, but I have a couple of Rudbeckia "Goldsturm" and a couple of Rudbeckia hirta.

Can you believe these are the first Black-eyed Susans here at the "Prairie"? I don't know how I lived without them before. One look at these, coupled with the "Bachelor's Buttons," is sure to make you smile:)

Add some orange and red nasturtiums with some orange--and pink--cosmos hiding behind, and I think you have what Gail refers to as "clown pants." I've mentioned before that, unlike other beds, the Butterfly and Friends garden has no planned color scheme, which is pretty obvious. This is a garden of diversity, where everyone is welcome, regardless of color, size, or aggressive tendencies!

While it was intended to attract creatures with wings, four-legged creatures are welcome, too, as long as they don't dig too much:) This, by the way, is Marmalade, the only cat at our home who has never gotten her photo on this blog; she's very shy. In case you're wondering, those ratty-looking leaves belong to some volunteer hollyhocks which need to be removed to make more room for the nasturtiums. This was the first year for planting both cosmos and nasturtiums--they will definitely be planted again next year.

Four-legged creatures aside, there are some other surprises in the Butterfly garden. The pineapple sage, which has grown fuller and fuller, has finally put out one stalk of blooms. I'm hoping for more before the cold sets in.

But my biggest surprise on Sunday was finding all of these blooms not far from the sage! This must be an aster, but I don't even remember planting one. I did find the tag still in the ground after some digging around, but unfortunately the elements obliterated all the writing. Judging by the type of plant tag, it must be one I purchased from the local Prairie Plant Society last spring. Note to self: write down your purchases as well as tagging the plants.

There are other plants still blooming--the nepeta, the coreopsis, the salvia and Stellas putting out a second flush of blooms, just to name a few. And there are the annuals, most of which are still in full bloom, although some of my containers are looking a bit tired and run-down, due to neglect from the gardener. But there is definitely a change in the air, as other perennials are turning brown and giving up for the season. Nowhere is the change more obvious than in the hollyhocks pictured above--most have long since dried up and formed seed pods ready for collecting, while a few stalks show promise of sticking around a little longer.

Some of the lantana is putting more energy into producing berries than blooms.

And other plants have gone into end-of-season mode completely. Aren't these seed pods cool? They're nigella, or "love-in-the-mist," seeds given to me by Cheryl. I'm hoping to collect some seeds from these for next year. Yes, fall is definitely in the air and the garden is winding down, except . . .

. . . my crabapple trees are blooming! The trees have lost almost all their leaves, but they've been full of these blooms since the middle of August. Monica and Beckie can attest to the fact that this is not a staged photo, since they both saw them on their visit in late August. If anyone can explain this strange phenomenon, I'd love to find out why this has happened. If not, I think I might be in line for an award for one of the strangest September blooms ever.

Happy Bloom Day to all! And do take the time to check out all the other wonderful Bloom Day posts from around the world, listed on May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Hi Prairie Rose! This is a very floral bloom day post. My asters are barely showing their purple color but I expect in a week or so they'll be in full bloom, too.

    On the crabapple tree, I noticed last year that certain crabapples, those that seemed to be under some kind of stress, had some rebloom in the fall. You mention yours have lost all their leaves... happening this early means they probably are under stress due to disease or maybe the weather we had this year. Regardless, it is odd to see!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Any chance you pruned your crabapple tree, and that prompted the blooms? That's what seemed to happen to my crazy apple tree this year. See post here.

  3. What a lovely collection of blooms. I wish I had some Love in a Mist. Tried throwing some seeds out late, didn't work. Oh well, there's always next year. Great fall color.

  4. So colourful as ever. I came along here, just before work, because your garden always cheers me up and it has worked once again! So bright and beautiful.Thank you


    Would also love to stroke Marmalade :) !!

  5. Hi Rose, you have done a fabulous job showing us the variety and diversity of your lovely garden. You have come a long way in a short time, my friend! Including spend flower heads shows that you can appreciate the beauty of flowers in all their stages, kudos! :-)

  6. Lovely blooms Rose. That's pretty wild about the crabapple. It's been quite an unusual summer!

  7. You are right, I do smile at that combination of the brown eyes and bachelor buttons-and the clown pants one too! Gail might not like my garden if she sees it since this is the way I garden-tons of color:) Your combinations are great. I am finding some plants reblooming and suspect maybe it is because the summer has been kind of cool in comparison to most? And we've had lots of rain? Never seen a crabapple bloom so late though. Lovely picture!

  8. Lovely garden, as usual. I also have sedum Autumn Joy. I find it attracts the last of the butterflies & bees. Looks good too.

  9. Your garden looks good. I've been looking at the rudbecika hirta locally and decided to try it next year. It blooms just about the time Goldstrum is ending. I planted a few zinnias but some green bugs ate the blooms. They ate my late sunflower blooms and tithonia blooms too.

  10. Hi Rose,

    Carol's right about your crabapple being under stress. Most of the crabapples in Chicagoland are showing early leaf drop. This is because of our unusually rainy wet Spring . Diseases ( mostly fungal) are rampant as well. When a tree is under stress it blooms to produce seed and preserve the species. Trees are amazing aren't they?

    Lovely September blooms in your garden.

  11. Hi, Rose! My forsythia, which did not bloom this past spring (I assume because the cold winter nipped it), has now got a few blossoms on it! How odd! My crabapple never did bloom this year, and has now dropped most of it's leaves. Let's hope they aren't all confused next spring.

  12. I love seeing the changes and the gardens winding down. You have such a variety of flowers nice for us to see, but lots of work for you.
    I think we are going to have to start our leaf peepers reports soon.
    Jim Long had photos of a dogwood in full bloom this month.

  13. Actually, the question on my mind has been "Where are My Zinnias?" Mine haven't even started to bud yet. Yes, they are blogalong plants that I had to have after seeing shots of your Zinnias last year. Knowing yours are late too makes me feel a little better. Your Zinnia color combo really zings!
    Your Goldenrod is beautiful, even if it is a weed. Some of the wildings are fairly well behaved, so maybe you could let this one stay. Your mystery "Aster" looks like Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, the New England Aster. I love the purple with the yellow of the Rudbeckia.

  14. Dear Rose~~I love your prairie plantings! The Susans look wonderful and the asters are delicious. But it's Rose's Zinnias that i am thoroughly enjoying! Mine didn't germinate! So next's less Susans and more Zinnias! Clown pants is not cottage color~~No, it's my plunking a plant here and then another one over there and then three more across here~~with no design in mind! Yours and Tina's are not Clay and Limestone Clown Pants! Thanks for the sweet link. Have a delicious day! gail

  15. It must be nice having a crabapple in bloom now! Love the shots of the Rudbeckia with the Batchelor's Buttons, and the purple asters.

  16. Thanks for visiting my virtual garden. I mostly cook on my blog, but Ides of every month you'll find me blooming! I had found your Bloom Day posts earlier; your pictures were all so lovely I was left speechless!

  17. Hi Rose,
    Your garden looks lovely! I am envious of your vibrant asters, and the clown pants combo is delightful! I also really enjoyed the Susans and bachelor buttons combo. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's post!

  18. Rose, MMD is right about the aster. We both bought one at the native plant sale this spring. Mine is enormous and is blooming with a vengence.

    Like you, I didn't have as many zinnias this year, but mine have been blooming for a long time. We should have a bed just for them.

    Your Butterfly and Friends garden is a riot of colors. How beatiful to see them all together. I love the Susans.

    I had one small love in a mist that bloomed much earlier then died out, but didn't get any seed from it. I hope yours has lots so you can share. :)

  19. Good morning Rose and thank you for your visit and kind comment. I'm impressed with your photos too. I'm glad to see that you grow zinnias they are one of my favourite though this your I killed of most of them as seedling :-( I forgot to water them. Wonderful garden you have Rose and it was lovely to walk though it with you this September morning.


  20. Gosh Rose, you have so much blooming now and all looks so healthy. Happy GBBD.

  21. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. Since I posted two days in a row--unusual for me--I am trying to visit everyone in turn rather than reply to individual comments this time.

    Carol and Carolyn Gail, Thanks for the info on my crabapple. I had already suspected they had a fungal disease, so your explanation of the late blooms makes sense.

    MMD, Hope those zinnias still bloom for you!

    Gail, I think my gardening style does fit the "clown pants" definition:)

  22. I see you were told that was an aster you didn't remember planting. I have some things I don't remember planting, too, and I forgot to mention on your insect post that I don't always notice them until I see the photo, either. The other day, I noticed some iris about to bloom that I hadn't seen when I was out taking the photo.

    Your blooms are awesome! I love the combinations. I can't believe you have bachelor buttons blooming! Did you just plant the seeds this spring? Mine always come up from last year's seeds, and die back mid summer. When I first saw your goldenrod, I thought it was Fireworks. I can't grow your kind here, because it would take over my flower beds. I actually planted some once, then pulled it out when it started to spread too far. It took several years of pulling to get rid of it. I'm sad, because I do like it, but am glad to be able to grow several other kinds of them.

  23. My Oriental poppies are reblooming. Very weird year.
    You have a great mix of plants. It's OK to have late bloomers because we can use all the color we can in the fall!

  24. My zinnias are very disappointing! I will have to try some asters and I was admiring goldenrod in someone's garden recently. That particular garden also has a lovely yellow daisy-type flower that blooms profusely. I am much more observant of others' gardens now that i've been interested by yours.

  25. The seed pod on the nigella looks like something out of a sci-fi movie -- very, very cool!


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