Saturday, September 15, 2012

September Bloom Day

It's September Bloom Day, and what a glorious day it is!  The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect for spending time outdoors, and my garden is looking good.  That's not bragging--that's being thankful.  After a miserably hot summer and weeks without rain,  I didn't think I would have much left in the garden this month.  But after several much-needed rains, the garden has revived and looking better than it has in awhile.

You know it's almost fall by looking at the butterfly garden where the asters are in full bloom.

Taking good photographs in bright sunlight is hard enough, but a little breeze can make it even more difficult.  I call this "the windswept look."

Another sign of fall--the beautyberry's berries are turning purple!

Miscanthus 'Morning Light' is waving its plumes proudly.

After a month of regular rainfall, the Profusion Zinnias are finally filling in the front edging of the Arbor Bed.

Behind them, the 'October Skies' asters are sporting a few blooms here and there.  In a few weeks they will be a mass of light blue blooms.  In fact, the way these second-year plants have spread this year, there won't be any room for zinnias in front of them next year.

Speaking of no room, the cosmos have decided to compete for domination around the Arbor Bed bench with the hyacinth bean vine and the cardinal flower.

Many of these cosmos, 'Dancing Petticoats' grown from seed from Renee's Garden, have exceeded expectations, growing to six feet or taller.

On the other side of the arbor bench trellis, the climbing rose 'Don Juan' has also thrived, blooming once again during these cooler days.

Also re-blooming after I thought it had succumbed to the drought are the sky-blue blooms of a plant given to me by best friend Beckie.  I had seen this plant during a garden walk this summer, but no one could remember what it was,  though the flowers resembled a phlox.  The plant label said simply 'Blue Phlox,' but later another friend said it was Plumbago.  I know it's hard to tell from this photo, but it certainly does look like the Plumbago I've seen in photos on various websites.  Either way, it is not hardy here; we'll see if I remember to dig it up before the first frost and whether it can over-winter indoors.

Lavender is still going strong; I hope this one plant will multiply next year.

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' is also enjoying the fall weather and putting out a fresh flush of blooms.

Patience does pay off--the 'Homestead Verbena' is finally blooming. I've found verbena needs lots of water and doesn't particularly like the heat.  'Homestead' will bloom until frost, but it's not hardy here in zone 5b. However, if we have a winter as mild as last year, it might make it.

I've written very little about my vegetable garden this year, with good reason.  The green beans, onions, and beets did quite well, but my tomatoes are cracking and splitting and the squash bugs have gotten to the yellow squash.  The marigolds and zinnias are the only bright notes in this garden right now.

That is, besides the kale.  I don't remember the variety, because I planted this two years ago, and it's come back every year since.  At four feet tall, it helps to hide the weedy area behind it:)

By this time of year, many of my containers are usually looking pretty sad, and that's especially true this year, particularly with the lack of care I gave them.  One new annual I planted, though, is still looking perky.  I picked up this ornamental pepper when I couldn't find the Persian Shield I usually use as an accent plant. Like the Persian Shield, it starts drooping when it needs water, an easy reminder to me to get the hose out.  This plant will definitely be on my spring shopping list again next year.

In the shade garden, the 'Endless Summer' hydrangeas are full of summer blooms fading to a rosy pink.  I noticed this new bloom emerging this week, however.  The hydrangeas are definitely appreciating the more frequent rainfall.

The star of the September garden, though, has to be the Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight.'  This is the easiest hydrangea I've ever grown, and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite plants.

Although I've tried to limit photos today to plants that are new bloomers or those that have re-bloomed after taking off some time this summer, I can't resist one more photo of my new Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet.'  A great plant for late season color!

The zinnias have also been shown before; in fact, looking back through my photo files, I realized that they have been blooming for over two months.  I think that deserves some kind of plant award!

But the real purpose in including them here is to show off some other "bloomers" in my garden.  For the past several weeks, the garden has been swarming with all kinds of butterflies.

I've been thrilled to see so many different varieties this year, including this Pearl Crescent on the white salvia.

Nearby, a Buckeye also enjoys the salvia.

All kinds of flying critters are finding Sedum 'Autumn Joy' irresistible as it turns to its rosy hues of autumn, including this Painted Lady. I was especially excited to see several Painted Ladies lately, as they haven't been seen in my garden in several years.

With so much going on in the garden right now, I think September may be my new favorite month!

What is blooming in your garden today?  You can join in the celebration of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day by visiting Carol-who-gardens-with-the fairies at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Beautiful shots in the breeze--I know how difficult that can be! Incredible weather here, too, lately Rose. The people, the animals, and the plants are happy--enjoying the plenty while it lasts. Happy GBBD!

  2. Hi Rose,
    I enjoyed seeing your blooms and butterflies. I wouldn't go so far as to say I love September, but my flowers seem to be having a second wind, and are looking better than they did this summer, too. I'm seeing monarchs, painted ladies, and skippers, but not many others. Oh, and sulphurs, too.

  3. I can't tell if it is Plumbago or Phlox with the photo...oh well, it is pretty.
    Love your yellows and pinks together in the top few photos....great color combo.
    The 'Summer Sorbet' is gorgeous! I have a few Caryopteris now, mine are silver yours!!

  4. Enjoyed the buckeye and other butterfly pictures. This has not been a great year for butterflies in my garden. A couple of monarchs now and then, some painted ladies, question marks, swallowtails, all rather few and far between. I'll just hope for better luck next year!

    Your beautyberry pictures remind me that I must get one of those. I'm very fond of asters, I have several species but I don't have 'October Skies'.

  5. Beautiful photos, Rose. You have such a great eye for photography.

    I have a few scraggly asters blooming, and the zinnia are going strong. Maybe I'll get out there and take a few photos.

  6. I can understand why september is your favorite garden month. Your garden looks beautiful. So much to see. I love the butterfly's.
    Have a wonderful day Rose.

  7. What a lovely collection of flowers for Bloom Day!
    Great butterfly photos, too!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  8. Wow Rose - everything looks gorgeous.

    It hasn't been a banner year for veggies here, either, sorry to say.

    So glad you're enjoying so many butterflies. They've been MIA around here this year, except for the hordes of Red Admirals earlier this spring, and the ever-present cabbage butterflies. I've missed the others.

  9. After this torrid summer I am surprised to have so much blooming this month. Not as spectacular as all your blooms though. I love all the flowers around your arbor. You need to show an overview of the arbor garden. It must be fun to sit there in the cool of the morning or evening and admire your work and watch the butterflies and bees that join you. Happy GBBD.

  10. Such beautiful blooms. Rose, tell me more about the 'Limelight''s lovely. I usually stick to natives, but, a long blooming easy care shrub sounds perfect after this summer!

  11. Oops, sorry about the duplication.

  12. Pretty, pretty! Thank goodness for the return of the rain, yes? I do like that zinnia of your with the pink in the center and orange on the outside of the petals. You featured it earlier in the summer, and I meant to write down its name, but did not. We've had a lot of painted ladies this year, and not as many monarchs as usual. Last week I had a black swallowtail in the zinnias. I think your "windswept" photo captures the movement in the garden quite nicely!

  13. Wow! What a beautiful post. I love thos asters! My single clump of Alma Potschke is just starting to bloom.

  14. Love the aster and goldenrod combo! You have a lot going on and it's all so beautiful! Great photos too. You figured out the camera? I still love mine.

  15. Happy GBBD! I love how you captured the flowers with butterflies. I can see why they stopped for a sip.

  16. I love your picture of the Buckeye!!

  17. I think the only thing that we are sharing in our two gardens right now is Sedum *Autumn Joy*. Ours is really doing well.
    Love your butterfly pictures and those purple berries are beautiful.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  18. Don Juan is breathtaking. I love that color.
    So much still happening in your garden. I can see why September is perhaps your new favorite month.
    The colors seem to be even more saturated this time of year. I love the profusion of butterflies that you shared. Awesome!

  19. Your photos are particularly lovely in this post, Rose. Shooting in bright sun is hard, but they look so cheery and bright for all the sunshine. The butterflies are just beautiful. I never tire of seeing pictures of them. You have lots of plants in flower after the rains. It all looks terrific and you should be bragging! LOL

  20. You do deserve an award for sure with all this color so late in the season! We did not see as many butterflies this year as in past. Love those buckeyes! I think Plumbago as I have one. Has been blooming since I put it in the ground in June. I shall keep it in the ground and hope for the best this winter. The homestead verbena did great for me this year. I was sure to give it water when I have failed in past years. All is looking good Rose...

  21. Beautiful post, Rose. I love the Crescent photos the best.

  22. It's wonderful what a little fall rain can do isn't it? Nice to see some new blooms after a hard summer. and so lovely to see so many types of butterflies, great shots.

  23. The variety of colors is wonderful and the butterflies! I'm liking September more and more every year.

  24. Who knew fall could be so gorgeous in the garden?! Thanks for taking the time to share the beauty.

  25. lovely.

    We've picked and brought in some hydrangea heads for the first time this year and I love them. So dramatic and effective - and they last well.


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