With so much still going on in the garden, it’s a bit sad to think that this will be my last Bloom Day post until next spring. But, well, November 15th will be my seed post, and I’ll be busy filling those requests in December, so I’ll just have to make the most of this final celebration for the flowers. I’ll save the seasonal foliage shots for my contribution to The Fall Color Project 2013 at the end of this October.
For now, let’s start with some new bloomers over the past month.
Mid- to late September is peak time for the colchicums here. Above is ‘Rosy Dawn’ coming up through creeping bramble (Rubus pentalobus); below is ‘Violet Queen’ paired with ‘Minerva’ canna and Chocolate Chip ajuga (Aguja reptans ‘Valfredda’).
I don’t often have luck with the fall crocus species lasting more than a year or two, so it was a joy to spot the return appearance of this sweet little Crocus speciosus ‘Oxonian’ popping up through the ‘Angelina’ sedum (Sedum rupestre) along the path to the barn.
Of course, October is aster season, and I’ve been enjoying many of them here. Above is ‘Harrington’s Pink’ New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae); below is ‘Hella Lacy’ New England aster with ‘Moldova’ marigold (Tagetes patula).
And below are some of their seedlings out in the meadow, with some broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus) in back.
Just as some of the garden asters have seeded out into the meadow, some of the native meadow asters have blown into the garden. I pull out a lot of them as seedlings but inevitably (and luckily) always overlook a few until they flower. Many of the asters with little white flowers are hard to tell apart, especially from a picture, but I know that this one is a heath aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides), with Persicaria ‘Crimson Beauty’ and variegated boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’).
Above is aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) with ‘Heavy Metal’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum).
And one more: still-an-Aster Tatarian aster (Aster tataricus).
Fall is prime time for chrysanthemums, too. I have just two here at the moment: above is ‘Sheffield Pink’ and below is yellow ‘Harmony’, with fall-colored American ipecac (Porteranthus stipulatus), the seedheads of ‘Cassian’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), and exotic love (Mina lobata).
Most of the ironweeds (Vernonia) are setting seed now, but ‘Iron Butterfly’ narrow-leaved ironweed (V. lettermannii, above) didn’t even start blooming until late September. It’ll be in flower for another week or two yet.
‘Crimson Beauty’ knotweed (Persicaria) opens creamy white in mid-September, turning rosy pink by early October and holding that color through the month. It’s a big thing but nicely in proportion to the pollarded silver willow (Salix alba var. sericea).
Mid-September to mid-October is also peak time for white snakeroot (Ageratina aromatica, above).
Seven-sons tree (Heptacodium miconioides) has technically been done flowering for several weeks, but the rosy pink calyces linger to keep the interest going well into fall.
Azure monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii, above) colored up around the beginning of October and looks gorgeous now.
Golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia) is mostly into the seed stage by this time, but the plants that I cut back in late summer still have some fresh flowers.
Lots of late bloomers are plenty tall, but dunce’s cap (Orostachys iwarenge) is less than 6 inches in flower. Below it’s between ‘Elfin’ thyme (Thymus serpyllum) and variegated lemon thyme (T. x citriodorus ‘Aureus’).
Lots of annual vines are looking prime by now. Above and below is a lovely picotee Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil) from my friend Clark; some of the blooms are single and some have extra petals.
The first flower on moonflower (Ipomoea alba) finally opened a week ago, while the exotic love (Mina lobata)—also known as Spanish flag—has been spectacular for several weeks.
I’ve been waiting almost a decade to see a flower on cathedral bells (Cobaea scandens) here. I had great luck with it in my previous garden, and I keep planting it here even though it rarely even forms buds before frost. For whatever reason, it finally decided to cooperate this year – yay!
For the next 10 years, I’ll probably be hoping to have sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) in flower from July all the way into October, as I have this season, and I’ll probably be disappointed. But it will be fun trying.
Hey, Rick – as you may know by now, your “Cassia sp.” seeds turned out to be winter cassia (Senna [Cassia] bicapsularis). It’s been a really pretty foliage accent (particularly interesting when the leaves all fold together at night), and it finally started flowering this month. If it doesn’t set seed before frost, I may try to overwinter it in the basement, since it’s not hardy here in mid-Zone 6.
Another new-for-me thing this year is a little yellow-leaved flowering tobacco (Nicotiana) from reader Kim M. Last winter, he sent me a packet of seed he had collected back in 2002. Those 10-year-old seeds still germinated just fine, and I ended up with a half-dozen seedlings that all have chartreusey leaves. The plants grew 8 to 10 inches tall, with pink flowers.
I have to admit that this is not the most beautiful nicotiana I’ve grown—it has the unfortunate habit of holding on to its dead flowers—but I’m very pleased to have it for the foliage color and hope that it may eventually cross with some of my others. I’ll have seeds of this one (which I’m calling ‘Kim’s Gold’) available to share with any of you who like to experiment with chartreuse foliage.
Speaking of nicotianas crossing: I’ve been growing ‘Mutabilis’ in one spot for several years, and this year’s volunteer plants looked similar, but their flowers were not what I expected: instead of opening white and turning pink, they start pale pink and age to purple. It will be interesting to see how they turn out next year.
Bidens ‘Hawaiian Flare Orange Drop’ is another new thing for me this season. The plant has been kind of straggly-looking through the summer (probably because it was shaded by some taller plants), but it’s been filling out now that its getting more light, and the flowers are a great color. I’m definitely trying it again next year.
Sulphur cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) has also been spectacular over the last 6 weeks—once the deer stopped eating it. Below it’s with flame grass (Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’).
I couldn’t resist picking up this Oxalis ‘Plum Crazy’ when I saw it in leaf back in the spring. I think I’d like it better without the yellow flowers, though.
Two not-new annuals that are looking really nice now: above, ‘Cramers’ Amazon’ celosia, and below, widow’s tears (Tinantia erecta).
Just a few foliage shots, starting with ‘Royal Glissade’ coleus…
…and ‘Tokyo Sun’ sedum (Sedum japonicum), below with x Graptosedum ‘Bronze’.
Below is a leaf of ‘Australia’ canna that must have gotten chewed by something before it unfurled. It’s hard to think of something that interesting-looking as “damage,” though.
Moving on to the seasonal features of fruits and seedheads, starting with ‘Issai’ beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma)…
…and the winterberries (Ilex verticillata): ‘Winter Gold’ above and ‘Winter Red’ below.
The beans are looking great now too: above is ‘Red Noodle’ and below is ‘Pretzel Bean’ (both Vigna unguiculata).
And Dee, I’m delighted with the pinto beans you shared with me; thanks so much! I have nearly a whole bushel basket full of pods waiting to be shelled for winter eating.
Among the usual seasonal seedheads are Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) and giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) above and Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) below.
Above, Maryland senna (Cassia marilandica) in the meadow; below; false hemp (Datisca cannabina).
Mid-fall is a terrific time for grasses too, of course. ‘Cassian’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) is with purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’) above and southern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia), the seedheads of Joe-Pye weeds (shorter Eutrochium dubium ‘Little Joe’ and tall Eutrochium purpureum), ‘Morning Light’ maiden grass (Miscanthus), and ‘Dewey Blue’ bitter panic grass (Panicum amarum) below.
I’m not positive about the ID of the fountain grass above—I salvaged it from a garden that Mom was dismantling at her place—but it looks to me like ‘Moudry’. In the background above and close-up below is flame grass (Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’).
Above, prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) in front, Korean feather grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) in the middle, and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (C. x acutiflora) in the back.
Among the many switch grasses (Panicum) looking lovely now are P. virgatum ‘Huron Solstice’…
…P. virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’ (above), and ‘Dewey Blue’ bitter panic grass (P. amarum) with sulphur cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) below.
Above, northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) with ‘Shenandoah’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum); below, frost grass (Spodiopogon sibiricus) against Abyssinian banana (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’) and exotic love (Mina lobata).
And to finish, some comment-free garden shots. (If you want ID info, it should show up if you hover your cursor over each image.)
That’s it! Now, are you ready to see what’s worth talking about in other October gardens around the world?
Daniel suggests visiting Carol’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens for the complete list of participants. Thanks for visiting us today!