Thank goodness for Bloom Day, because otherwise, I doubt I’d have taken the time to really look at the garden this month. I’ve been so focused on collecting seeds that I barely notice the flowers. But I’m glad I had this chance, because I suspect that we’re going to be in for a very early frost this year, so these beauties may not be around for much longer. First, some close-ups.
A couple of new annuals for me this year, thanks to reader Rick R.: above, scarlet pentapetes (Pentapetes phoenicea); below, red mallow (Pavonia missionum). These just started flowering, but I really hope I can get some seeds from them.
Two more plants that just started flowering this month: above, ‘Patio Deep Blue’ gentian sage (Salvia patens); below, lion’s tail (Leonotis nepetifolia). Both of these are annuals here.
Most of the sanguisorbas I have are later bloomers, but this one—Sanguisorba menziesii ‘Dali Marble’—is the latest, opening just a few days ago. I really need to start cutting this one back hard in June, as I do all the others, to keep it shorter and bushier. The ‘Flying’ Dragon’ hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata) does a fair job holding most of it upright, but the 8-foot stems are very likely to keel over if they get loose.
These two smaller-scale perennials have been in bloom since July: above, ‘White Cloud’ calamint (Calamintha nepeta); below, ‘Golden Arrow’ mountain fleeceflower (Persicaria amplexicaulis).
It’s been many years since I’ve grown ‘Nirvana’ (or ‘Minerva’ or ‘Striped Beauty’ or whatever-other-name-you-prefer) canna, so I’d forgotten that the flowers are as pretty as the yellow-striped leaves.
The black-leaved cotton (Gossypium herbaceum ‘Nigra’) flowered beautifully this summer and has set lots of pods, but they’re maturing very slowly, and I have a bad feeling that they’re not going to ripen before it gets too cold.
I have mixed luck with morning glories, but I’m really impressed with this one: Ipomoea nil ‘Cornell’. The white-edged pink flowers are abundant and stay open during the day. The vines are vigorous but not so densely leafy that you can’t pair it with another climber.
On one trellis, I have ‘Cornell’ with this rich red sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus), which has been in bloom since July. It’s not a great color combo, but I’m delighted just to have sweet pea flowers to sniff at this time of year.
The annual black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia alata) tend to be late bloomers here, especially when they self-sow. Above is ‘Blushing Susie’; below is ‘Susie Clear-Eyed Orange’ (a.k.a. ‘Susie Orange Clear’) scrambling up Tropicanna canna (Canna ‘Phasion’).
A couple new favorites: above, tender perennial ‘Orange Marmalade’ firecracker (Crossandra infundibuliformis); below, flower-of-an-hour (Hibiscus trionum; thanks for the sharing the seeds, Kerry).
And a goodbye to an old favorite: after a spectacular first bloom in June, dear ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ produced a huge flush of the bright red shoots that signal rose rosette disease. She’s growing just a few feet from infected multiflora roses in the meadow, so I’m amazed she lasted this long. I’m enjoying her last few blooms and will remove her remains this winter. Bye, Zeffy.
On a happier note, the succulents seem to be quite happy since it’s gotten cooler. Below is pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli).
Above, Orostachys malacophylla var. aggregata with Sedum hispanicum var. minus, Talinum paniculatum ‘Kingwood Gold’, and Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’. Below, Orostachys malacophylla var. iwarenge with ‘Elfin’ thyme (Thymus serpyllum).
Some more lovely leaves, including ‘Pesto Perpetuo’ basil (Ocimum x citriodorum)…
…’Golden Edge’ golden dewdrop (Duranta erecta)…
…and variegated pokeweed (Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’).
This is a great time of year for the edibles, too.
Above is ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard. Below is stem lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. asparagina), also known as celtuce, with edible leaves and stems.
It was a spectacular year for the ‘Concord’ grapes. Even with all the rain (and no spraying), the vines were gorgeous and absolutely loaded with fruit. I’ve gotten to enjoy lots of fresh grapes every day for several weeks and harvested several bushels to share with a friend, too.
Haven’t yet gotten up the nerve to try the ‘Purple de Milpa’ tomatillos, though. Come to think of it, I’ve never had any tomatillo, so I guess I’m in for a new experience. I hope I like them, because there are lots. They’re very pretty, anyway.
I haven’t eaten any of the cute little ‘White Egg’ eggplants, either, because I’d much rather look at them. (Thanks for the seeds, Clark.)
And Dee, thanks for the ‘Hill Country Red’ okra!
The pretzel beans (Vigna unguiculata ‘Pretzel Bean’, above and below) are really happy this year…
…and so are the ‘Red Noodle’ beans (V. unguiculata ‘Red Noodle’).
But one of the things I’m most excited about this year is the ‘Glass Gem’ corn. Granted, not all of the husks were this pretty.
The real thrill was seeing what was inside each one. I’ll be posting more about ‘Glass Gem’ later this month but had to share a few shots now. Yes, it really does look like this: no lighting tricks or Photoshopping required.
Moving on to some combinations…
Above, variegated kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate (Persicaria orientalis ‘Shiro-gane Nishiki’) with ‘Hella Lacy’ New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) in front of cut-leaved chaste tree (Vitex negundo var. heterophylla).
Below, ‘Star of Yelta’ morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) climbing on a volunteer sunflower (Helianthus annuus).
Above, almost-finished ‘Ruby Tuesday’ sneezeweed (Helenium) against Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’). Below, Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) with New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) in the meadow.
Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia): above against ‘Swift Creek’ privet (Ligustrum sinense) and below with golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia).
Below, malevolence (Solanum atropurpureum) with Brazilian vervain (Verbena bonariensis).
Above, a seedling summer phlox (Phlox paniculata) with ‘Jocius’ Variegate’ white snakeroot (Ageratina aromatica) and New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis).
Below, ‘Henry Eilers’ sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) with tall ironweed (Vernonia gigantea).
Above, ‘Cherry Sparkler’ fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) with ‘Pink Ruffles’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) and ‘Titan Rose’ rose periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).
Below, ‘Fireworks’ fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) with ‘Autumnale’ fuchsia and ‘My Love’ Chinese plumbago (Ceratostigma x willmottianum).
Another grass that’s terrific at this time of year is Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’). Above it’s in front of ‘Gerald Darby’ iris; below it’s with ‘Coppelia’ sneezeweed (Helenium) and ‘Pineapple Splash’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides).
Above, a final combo, of ‘Alaska’ nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) with ‘Goshiki’ false holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus).
And now, a comment-free canter around the garden in general. You can find ID info for each photo if you place your cursor over the image.
Before you go, a reminder to all alpacas everywhere: keep your fluffy little head inside the fence, where it belongs. Otherwise, you may have an unfortunate encounter with a patch of burs and end up with a stunningly bad haircut, and it’ll all be your own fault, so don’t give me attitude, because I did the best I could to fix you – got it, Daniel?
Now, for everyone else who is smart enough to keep their head where it’s supposed to be: enjoy the best of what other September gardens have to offer by checking out the list of participants in Carol’s main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens. Thanks so much for visiting today!