While I will miss the explosion of color that was summer in my garden, there is still much to enjoy about the garden. A few coneflowers still bloom here and there, but most are now dried seedheads, a tasty treat for all the goldfinches.
Blackberry lilies are no longer blooming, but their seedheads are every bit as delightful to look at.
Walking around the garden, one can see that not everything has finished blooming, however. The 'Limelight' Hydrangea is in all its fall glory, reaching up to the rooftop once again, despite a pretty good pruning this spring.
I just love these big blooms!
Nearby, the Turtleheads are also blooming.
Also in the shade garden, the hardy begonia (name forgotten) is also blooming. I bought this plant for its foliage and was so happy it survived the winter here, so the tiny blooms are a bonus surprise.
It pays to looks closely or you will miss some other surprises as well. Apparently, this little gnome thought I needed some help weeding (and yes, I do). I have no idea where this little rake came from--garden fairies, perhaps??
In the sidewalk garden, 'Senorita Rosalita' Cleome is flourishing. I've planted this annual in pots the past two years, and it's never done well. Obviously, it likes being planted in the ground much better--and all the rain this summer no doubt helped as well.
Lavender is beginning to bloom again. This is the first year I've had success with lavender surviving the winter, and I hope it continues to do well.
In the Arbor Bed, the berries on the Beautyberry are beginning to turn.
Fall is the time for grasses to really shine, and 'Morning Light' Miscanthus is putting on quite a show.
In the little Butterfly Garden, the sneezeweed Helenium 'Autumnale' has been blooming
for several weeks.
And, of course, the Obedient Plant is making its annual appearance. A few asters are just beginning to bloom, and soon the butterfly garden will be full of asters and goldenrod as well.
So many of my container plantings are looking pretty sad these days. Coleus and begonias are still looking great, but the petunias are pretty pathetic--time to hit the local nursery for some new cool-weather annuals. However, there are other annuals planted in the garden that are doing very well, including one of my all-time favorites 'Victoria Blue' Salvia.
The Lantana are also doing well and finally spreading out. The only problem this year is that they are often hidden by some taller volunteers, like the Rudbeckia Triloba.
A few Cosmos are also finally blooming, though not nearly as many as I had hoped.
A new annual I planted this year is finally blooming as well--Tithonia, or Mexican Sunflower. I've admired these bright orange blooms on Jason's blog for several years, so I finally started some seeds this spring. The only problem is that I didn't realize how tall they would get! Next year I'll find a better spot for these 4-6' pollinator magnets.
Also in the Arbor Bed, Nicotania is still blooming here and there. These are all volunteers--from seeds planted over five years ago! I started to pull most of these out one day, until I noticed a hummingbird moth sipping nectar from them. Of course, I didn't have my camera handy, but I was mesmerized by this creature and its long proboscis. I haven't seen it in a couple of weeks, but I'm leaving the Nicotania for now, just in case it returns.
Of all the late annuals, though, the most colorful and most abundant in my garden are the zinnias. These old-fashioned favorites have to be one of the easiest annuals to grow. I direct sowed seeds from Renee's Garden and Botanical Interests (though which ones are which, I don't remember), and some of them have grown to 4 1/2 feet tall. Though only pink ones are shown here, there are blooms in orange, reds, and purples as well.
When it comes to attracting butterflies, you can't beat zinnias. And although they aren't particular, the pollinators do seem to love my 'Zowie Yellow Flame' zinnias in particular.
On a recent afternoon, the 'Zowie's' were covered with all kinds of butterflies.
The colors of the 'Zowie's' are almost a perfect match for Monarchs,
but Swallowtails make a nice contrast, too.
It's a good thing I planted lots of these zinnias this year, enough for a crowd!
Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly meeting of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and giving me the incentive to keep a monthly record of what is blooming in my garden.