Sunday, September 15, 2013

September Bloom Day and Some Overdue Thank-Yous

Can you hear it?  The unfamiliar pitter patter on the roof?  I'd show you a photo, but I don't want to get my camera wet.  Yes, it is raining!  We've had so little rain the past six weeks that every drop is a cause for celebration.  Thankfully, I took a few last photos for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day just before the rain began.

We are definitely heading into fall here despite the past week's hot temperatures. Summer flowers have faded, and asters are just starting to bloom.  One thing I have tried to add to the garden the last few years is more late summer/early fall color.  Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet' fits the bill perfectly, beginning to bloom in mid-August and continuing through the fall. Notice, too, the switchgrass--Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'--behind it, another fall favorite.

I enjoy the variegated foliage of this Caryopteris all summer; the blue blooms are just the icing on the cake.

I'm not the only one who enjoys this plant, obviously.

I knew the bees and butterflies love this plant, but I didn't realize hummingbirds did, too.

 This will probably be the last chance this year to show some annuals for Bloom Day, so a quick photo here of just a few in the arbor bed--Zahara Zinnia 'Starlite' on the left with Salvia 'Victoria Blue' and 'White' behind them and Zinnia 'Zowie Yellow Flame' in front.

I just realized I showed another close-up of 'Zowie' for last month's Bloom Day, but I can't say enough good things about this zinnia.  Easy to grow, still blooming its head off, and such a kaleidoscope of colors in every bloom!  My only regret about showing it again will be if I find out next spring all the seed is sold out, because everyone else ordered it, too:)

Many of summer's blooms are still going strong, but rather than repeat anything I've shown in previous posts, I want to focus on two blooms I haven't shown all year.  First is a new bloom for me--yes, this is an Azalea blooming in September!  At last year's Spring Fling in Asheville, many of us took advantage of the offer from Southern Living  for a free trial plant. Most people received their plants last fall, but I opted to wait until this spring for mine.  I was expecting one plant, but I received four!  Two Pieris Japonicas and two Encore Azaleas.  By the time I got the azaleas planted, we were in the middle of a June heat spell, and I worried whether they would survive.  But I've been diligent about watering them well, and I'm thrilled to see one full of small budding blooms.  I'm excited to have my first-ever azalea blooming next spring, but to have one that blooms again in late summer is a double bonus!  Thank you, Southern Living.

The second plant has been blooming all summer--'Wendy's Wish' Salvia hybrid, shown here in front of the Amsonia hubrichtii that is just starting to take on its fall golden glow.  I've been bad about deadheading 'Wendy,' so it's hard to get a good photo of the whole plant.

Instead, here's a close-up of one flowerstalk in gorgeous full bloom.  A few years ago I purchased a 'Wendy's Wish' at a local garden center, and I fell in love with it.  But it is an annual here, and after that year I could never find it again.  This spring dear sweet Cindy of My Corner of Katy contacted me and asked if I'd like one since they were readily available in her area.  I replied quickly with a definite "yes," and she soon sent me not one, but two!  According to garden superstition, you are not supposed to say "thank you" when another gardener gifts you with a plant, so I'll let someone else offer a note of thanks to Cindy . . .

Mr.Hummer says, "Thank you, thank you!"  This Salvia along with the 'Black and Blue' Salvia are the hummingbirds' favorite plants in my garden.  Both have similar blooms, but 'Wendy' grows quite a bit larger than 'Black and Blue,' growing to three feet tall or more and just as wide.  Because the hummingbirds have been so wild about this plant, I'm going to campaign the local nurseries to stock it next year.  Even though it's not hardy in my zone 5b/6 garden, it's definitely worth planting every year!

What's blooming in your garden this September?  To compare notes, check out other Bloom Day posts at May Dreams Gardens where Carol is celebrating fall blooms.


  1. I love the zinnia you highlighted twice. I think it deserves the attention. I was smitten with it when I saw it in your garden. I am going to invite Wendy into my garden next year too. She is a beauty. Happy GBBD. Send some of that rain down our way please. We need it too.

  2. Wendy's Wish is a beauty and I thank Cindy for you. I saw it at a local garden center and passed it up! Now I am sorry. Wowzer on the hummers visiting caryopteris! Great capture. gail

  3. We finally got some rain yesterday too --that wonderful all-day gentle rain that can soak in. I haven't walked around the garden yet to see how things have survived the dry spell, but you've inspired me to step outside :-

    Great hummer photos!

  4. Azaleas blooming in September--how nice! The hummingbirds sure like your garden--but I'm not surprised! Have you noticed more of them this summer? I sure have! And they're still here--even after the cold snap of the past couple of days. I'm going to miss them. Lovely blooms, Rose!

  5. That last shot of the hummer is gorgeous, Rose! Salvia seems to do fairly well here. I will have to look for Wendy's Wish next year. Regarding the zinnia, can't you save some of the seed for planting next year?

  6. Hi Rose,
    You have some beauties blooming this month! Great shots of the hummingbirds! I have not seen ours yet, and am concerned, because the agastache and black and blue salvia have mostly spent blooms on them. I need to get out there and deadhead them, and hope they open more blooms for the hummers.

  7. I love the look of the purple and orange together in one of your photos. The two colours really compliment each other.

    We are getting rain too and there is a definite cold feel to the air.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  8. Hi Rose, I went and looked at Flamingo Feather celosia. It looks a lot like Cramers Amazon, but shorter. I might like it better. Thanks. I also love 'Wendy's Wish,' and it's impossible to get a good photo of the whole plant. It's not your fault. I can't do it either. It is so much more beautiful than we can make it look in photos. It's hard to find here too. I ordered some from an online nursery. I also like the burgundy VanHouttei salvia, but Steve isn't going to carry it anymore. :( I planted Caryopteris 'Dark Knight' this fall after seeing it in a lady's garden. What a wonderful plant!! That photo of the hummer is splendid. Happy Bloom Day. If you ever want to come visit, please come on down! I'd love to have you.~~Dee

  9. That is a beautiful salvia and one that I was not familiar with. I'll definitely be on the lookout for it.

  10. I love the muted and bright colors of early fall - both showcased well in your garden. Happy GBBD!

  11. Lisa, We may have to ask Cindy to ship a whole pallet of 'Wendy's Wish' this way next year:) I bragged too soon about the rain--it turned into a mist not long after and didn't do much but wet the ground.

    Gail, Wendy would fit right in in your garden! I love this caropyteris; isn't it the same--or a relative--of the blue mist shrub you have shown before?

    Cassi, I think you received much more rain than we did. Ours didn't amount to much after all. It seems it's always going south or north of us.

    Beth, I just hope I can keep these azaleas over the winter, though they're supposed to be hardy here. The hummingbird activity the last few weeks has been crazy! Wish I'd had my camera for a video today--it was like watching a ballet in the sky!

    W2W, WW would probably be a perennial for you--it makes me wonder how big it could get then. I have tried to save seed from the 'Zowie' before without much luck, but it's worth trying again. Thanks for the suggestion.

  12. Sue, There have been lots of hummers in our area the last month. I haven't been deadheading my salvias as I should either. Today I even noticed a hummer going to every blossom on a petunia.

    Maggie, The purple/orange combo wasn't planned, but thank you anyway:) Our weather has been up and down--back to sunny and warm today. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

    Dee, Thanks for the reassurance on Wendy--she just looks so much better in person, doesn't she? I'll have to check with you on your source for the celosia; last year I could find only one place offering seed for the 'Flamingo.' And thanks for the invitation--I've been known to take people up on their hospitality--just ask Frances and Gail:)

    Dorothy, Wendy doesn't seem very well-known, but I'm hoping to convince local garden centers to stock it next year. If you like hot pink, then it's every bit as attractive as 'Black and Blue.'

    Sarah, Thanks; we're still in the remains of summer going into fall stage. I'll be a little sad when the first frost hits.

  13. I planted Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue' this spring and it started blooming earlier in September. I'll look forward to hummingbirds feeding on this plant in my garden!

  14. Good catches on the hummingbirds! They must really like that caryopteris. It is a very pretty plant.

  15. Rose, your garden is still flowering looks like in summer. The photo of Salvia and hummingbird is wonderful!

  16. Ive always had black and blue salvia, but Wendy is going to have to join the group. Love your plant selections.

  17. I am so impressed with your hummingbird pictures! I can never seem to capture one in a photo. I love the caryopteris. Mine died this past spring after a late freeze, but now that I see how much hummingbirds like it, I'm going to have to replace it!

  18. Your garden blooms are wonderful as always. WE really need some autumn colour in our garden. We must learn some lessons from you.

  19. thanks for showing the plants the hummingbirds like, I'm always curious as to what they will prefer. and great shots of them too, such amazing little birds.

  20. Gosh you still have loads of colour in your garden, it looks beautiful, and what a brilliant photo of the humming bird! Wonderful! I am still amazed by them

    Lovely to see your garden again
    S x

  21. I love the Caryopteris and wish it was more hardy here. I have half a mind to try planting one in the raised bed that I transform into a cold frame each fall to see if that helps it make it through winter. The pink salvia is also really pretty. What a great shot of a hummer you chose to end the post Rose!

  22. So lovely to see beautiful garden, really magic :)


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