Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September Bloom Day: The End of the Summer Garden

It's time for another Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, the brainchild of Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  This is a great way to record what is blooming each month, especially for those of us who are rather lax about keeping a garden journal. 

September is definitely a slow time in my garden, as I realize I haven't planned enough for fall color.  Add to that the heat and drought-like conditions we've had the past two and a half months, making for a less than pretty picture.  Still as I walked around on Sunday, I did find some new blooms for this month, including the mounding  NOID aster above  in the front garden.

Much showier, yet hard to photograph is the native aster in the butterfly garden. When it looked stressed earlier this summer,  I cut it back hard, and it seems to have appreciated the drastic haircut.

The butterfly garden is definitely a place where only the strong will survive, and the aster seems to be holding its own among the native goldenrod and obedient plants.

Speaking of a strong survivor, I know I've shown these 'Cosmic Orange' cosmos countless times before, but you've got to love a plant that keeps on going on summer long.  Have I mentioned these are 4 to 6 feet tall? And no worries about staking--these have been buffeted by strong winds and still stand tall.

One of the few annuals that survived the drought in the butterfly garden this year are these four o'clocks.  'Broken Colors,' seeds from Renee's Garden, were directly sown in the soil.

As you can see, the blooms come in a variety of hues, from pastel to hot colors. I'm going to try to collect some seeds from these, but I won't mind one bit if they reseed themselves as well.

One of my favorite plants in the fall is sedum, a favorite, too, of the butterflies and bees.  We all like to show our gardens in the best possible light, and this close-up does show off the pretty pink and white early florets of 'Autumn Joy.'

 But for once, I'm going to show you the whole not-so-pretty picture.  This sedum in the roadside garden looks as though an animal decided to take a nap right in the middle of it, but I suspect the plant simply flopped over.  As unattractive as this is, at least the plant looks healthy, which is more than I can say for the same sedum in gardens nearer the house.  All of those look as though they're ready to die, and I've yet to figure out why.

At the other end of the roadside garden, the area is dominated by the dried seedheads of coneflowers.  Thank goodness for the 'Victoria Blue' salvia which add some much-needed color to an otherwise brown and green landscape.

Also in the roadside garden is my one and only zinnia that germinated this year.  It's pretty lonely, so I hope next year's weather is not so extreme, and I can have the usual crowd of zinnias once again.

I do have some smaller zinnias in the lilybed, but these were bargain seedlings purchased at a garden center, so they don't count to me.  I like the tall ones that come in a range of colors and usually bloom in August, just when other blooms are beginning to wane.

My containers are looking pretty ratty, too.  The petunias and callibrachoas have pretty much bit the dust, the result of  less-than-diligent watering, no doubt.  In some cases, a tough plant has taken over to compensate in the pot, like this annual purple fountain grass.  Photographing grasses is a tricky task that I haven't mastered yet, so I hope these few plumes give you an idea of the beauty of this grass that even looks good covered in snow.

The basket of double impatiens is still looking good, however, probably because it has escaped the wrath of the sun all summer in a shady spot on the front porch.

And while the lovely 'Creme Brulee' petunias in this pot finally withered and gave up last week, this Ipomoea 'Sweet Georgia' has taken over and produced some blooms. Joy showed some blooms on one of her sweet potato vines one day, but this is the first time I've ever had blooms on any of mine.

That's it for new blooms in my garden, but a few re-bloomers are worth noting.  Now that the Japanese beetle onslaught has come to an end, the Knockout roses are blooming their heads off.  I can't say enough about these roses--they bloom from early spring until frost and are perfect for lazy gardeners  gardeners like me who don't want to fuss with hybrid teas.

The new 'Radsunny' Knockouts in the lilybed are also resurging.  I love yellow roses, although these, I've discovered, turn white as they fade.

The much-maligned Stella d'Oro daylilies are also putting out a few new blooms even though I forgot to fertilize them as I recommended earlier this summer.

And even though coneflower season is over, a few late volunteer seedlings have put out a few blooms.

And finally I can't end this GBBD post without including one more photo of my favorite end-of-summer blooms--the 'Limelight' hydrangea. 

It's been a challenging summer for gardeners, and I, for one, am glad to have the cooler temperatures and see signs of fall on its way. Although the garden is coming to an end, the abundant crabapples on this white flowering crab tell me that by next GBBD at least there will be lots of berries and colorful leaves to share.

I'm spending a few days with some special visitors here this week, so I probably won't have time to get around and visit everyone until later this week.  But I will catch up on reading all your posts then!  In the meantime, be sure to visit our hostess Carol and see what is blooming all over the rest of the world.


  1. I love all the color in your garden, especially the oranges! I need some of that cosmos especially!

  2. I love that yellow rose. Stunning!
    I think you have some nice late summer/fall blooms in your garden. Enjoy your time away!
    ta ta

  3. A rich and diverse selection of blooms, Rose. Like you, I find photographing my grasses somewhat of a challenge, but you did a fine job with your pennisetum! Nice to see you have plenty of colour happening. Enjoy your visitors and your time away from blogging. We'll be here when you're thru hostessing. :-)

  4. Lovely September blooms Rose! Nice job photographing the grass plumes. Those four-o-clocks are quite striking.

    We'd like to add more grasses here. There are a couple non-blooming shade grasses, but I lust after the taller, sun-loving grasses.

    I like to think of so-called lazy gardening as enlightened gardening. Spending more time being in the garden than doing in it is good for the soul.

  5. What a beautiful post! I just realized I forgot to mention my hydrangeas. They are important this time of year. I guess I do have to admit to the end of summer. We are starting to have fires in the woodstove.

  6. Your garden looks wonderful Rose, in spite of this year's challenging weather.

    Have a wonderful time with your visitors!

  7. Hey Rose, Say hello to everyone from me! Hugs, too! I agree with your other commenters~Your garden looks wonderful~Lots of blooms and plenty of seedheads for the critters and the future! Have a delightful visit! xxgail

  8. Your garden is looking great! I can't believe how far ahead your asters are compared to mine. I just love asters. You have great visits with company. Don't even worry about catching up with my blog:) No need to go back in time...:)

  9. Hi, Rose!
    I think your September garden looks just delightful! Now what do you do with the crabby apples? My trees are heavy with fruit - I planted them for the pretty spring flowers and haven't a clue what to do with the harvest...

    Happy Bloom Day!

  10. aloha,

    what a beautiful garden you have presented to us this september, so many flowers but i really love that variegated four oclock - its special!

  11. My Sedum 'Matrona' by the downspout did the same thing. I'm thinking it's too much water and it needed to be divided. (It was bigger than the dwarf oakleaf hydrangea before it flopped.)
    I'm comforted that you had only one Zinnia germinate. I sowed lots of them, but only 2 of mine germinated. I thought it was me.
    Enjoy your company!

  12. Your four-o-clocks from Renees Garden Seeds are gorgeous. Have to add it to my wish list.

  13. Your garden is lovely in September!
    Lots of colour.
    I have to search for things in mine.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  14. Your September garden is just gorgeous. I'm sure it is full of butterflies - so many plants here that are butterfly favorites.

  15. Beautiful garden you have there.

    Your coneflowers look awesome!They kind of remind me of the wind chimes I saw in my aunt's garden. They were designed like coneflowers.

  16. Your garden is looking very good, considering our rough conditions! I like the fountain grass in the container, and your butterfly garden is great! I should have pinched back by smooth blue asters this year; now they're flopping!

  17. Your colorful garden is September lovely, Rose. Enjoy the remains of this beautiful month.

  18. Wow, so much color for this time of year lady! Yes, it was a hot one and still hot here in GA. I envy your potato vine. The grasshoppers got to mine to the point it was so ratty, that I took most of it out recently. I could not spray them as bloomers were in the area and I feared harming the bees, butterflies and hummers. Whats a gardener to do? Sigh… Your Roses are sure knock outs with their beauty as well. Darn beetles can go elsewhere. We have control over the J. Beetles but not the grasshoppers. I have never seen so many as this year. Yikes, I must get to them before next year… Looking Good Rose….

    Enjoy your visit :-)

  19. You have lots of colour! Very pretty. I like your hydrangea especially too.

    Hope you have a great time with your visitors!

  20. what a beautiful september garden :) maybe it was a cat in the sedums, i have caught mine laying in my patch of bachelor buttons before ;)

  21. Your blooms all look wonderful, Rose. I can't believe how well they look considering the drought you had/have.

    I stopped growing sedums for the very reason you mention but am tempted to try again as the insects do love them. I seem to remember Marnie telling us they should be pinched back to prevent the problem.

    The roses are all beautiful and I love the coneflower photo!

    I do hope you have fun with your visitors and I hope the one from England remembered to pack her shoes in the end :) she was so excited to be visiting!

  22. Rose, having seen your garden in person, I think you have done very well in the 'fall color' department. Considering the difficulties we have had with the weather, your gardens are delightful.

    It's kind of sad to the the gardens blooms are coming to an end for the year, but at the same time I am ready for a rest! :)

  23. Dear Rose,
    You have so many flowers in your September gardens. I also am glad for the cooler temps and the rain. Finally I have been able to do some gardening. Hope you had lots of fun with company...I bet they enjoyed all your blooms. I hope I have some pretty bugs to share when they come this way.

  24. Hi Rose, Looking beautiful over there. Some of your photos look familiar... as in your floppy sedum. I usually place "grow rings" around them in the Spring, so they don't fall over. But I agree, some of my sedum looks as though they're dying. I guess I'll be watching next Spring.

  25. Hi Rose, It was great fun getting to see your garden. I missed that petunia. It looks great. Your double impatients look a lot better than the one I had this year. I guess all we can do is pray for rain. I think you should show the apples that you use to make that yummy apple bread. They are so pretty. My sedum flops too. I thought it was because it doesn't get fullll sun.

  26. The zinnias are beautiful.

    Thank you for putting the name of them up, it's embarrassing, but I almost thought they were dahlias, till you said something.

    I also, like the flowers that have that hint of yellow and red.

    Thank you.

  27. Wow...I've never seen a bloom on an ornamental sweet potato! You can really tell they are related to morning glories!

  28. Wow! Everything in your garden looks so fresh and lovely. I particularly liked seeing your four o'clocks. I should have planted some this year -- thanks for reminding me!

  29. I really like that lavender & white Four o'clock, Broken Colors? I have the yellow & pink one in my garden. You still have alot going on this month. :)

  30. Rose girl where do I begin ?!
    I am so tardy getting to blogs it is embarrassing (red faced !)
    Thank you so much for the link with the sweet potato vine flowers .. I am still in shock with seeing them!
    I love your cosmos (mine are still seeds in the package .. another red faced moment ) .. I have to have zinnias next year .. seeing yours throughout the season has convinced me I am missing that !
    I wish we would get Knockout roses here too .. but then again they don't have a scent do they ? I have to have smelly roses !! LOL
    You have some gorgeous blooms still and as we travel into Autumn i know you will have beautiful trees in your posts soon !
    Joy : )

  31. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I like to reply to everyone individually, but I'm still catching up on reading everyone's posts, so this generic reply will have to do. I had a wonderful time this past week with two special visitors and their husbands; as soon as I can find the time I'll post about it. Gardening pals are the best!

    Kate, My crabapples are so tiny, they're left as food for the birds. You can make crabapple jelly if yours are bigger and you have the time to peel those little things:)

  32. Rose, I fell in love with your space. Seeing the dragonflies hunting through the long grass, watching the swallows and hearing the tree frogs delighted the senses. I am honoured to have seen your garden and will always hold it in my heart. I do hope the rain comes your way my friend. Will be in touch when I return to UK.
    Hugs and tku so very much for everything.

  33. I enjoyed seeing your blooms. I had more than usual on my sweet potato vines this summer, too, but haven't gotten any photos of them lately. They always fade by the afternoon.

  34. Love all the blooms! Esp. the four o'clock broken blooms which I winter-sowed but which got frosted out. :( It's fun traveling back in time and seeing all the blooms; we have a lot of the same stuff as we must both have exquisite taste! ;-)

  35. Your Sedum Flops because it's too happy. The comment closest to correct was that it got too much water. Give it less, it'll stay upright.

    -Horticulture Major


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