Posted on 29 Comments

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2014

Side Garden at

It’s hard to believe that today marks the seventh anniversary of my very first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post. GBBD itself, the glorious creation of Carol at May Dreams Gardens, started six months before that (Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day Inaugural Post). Over the years, many other garden memes have come and gone, but as far as I know, GBBD is the longest-running regular event in the garden-blogging world. It’s a great excuse to show off what looks best each month, but even more than that, it’s invaluable as a sort of journal to keep track of the weather conditions, plant performance, favorite combinations, project progress, and garden development from month to month and year to year. I tend to use it as a visual record of everything that looks good in the first two weeks of each month, but at this time of the year, there’s so much going on that for this post, I’ve tried to include only things that I haven’t shown before this year.

Petunia exserta at
Petunia exserta

Petunia exserta was a new annual for me last year. I planted it in the ground, where it was a delicate sort of weaver, with an even more open habit than its charming magenta-flowered cousin, P. integrifolia. Then I saw a picture of it online growing in a pot on the Annie’s Annuals site, where it was much more dense, so I decided to give that route a try this year. I planted five seedlings in this pot (12 inches wide and deep). They looked great for a few weeks, then they all flopped in different directions just as they were starting to flower, so I cut them back by about half and added a spiral topiary form to corral them. By early August, they’d filled about 2/3 of the cone and were covered in flowers. I sheared them again in late August, after collecting seeds, and now they’re filling the 3-foot-tall form and flowering again. That’s a lot of flower power from a little petunia.

Verbena rigida at
Stiff verbena (Verbena rigida)

Stiff verbena (Verbena rigida) is new for me this year (thanks for the seeds, Mel!). It’s rather like Brazilian vervain (V. bonariensis), but a richer purple and shorter (to just about 1 foot). Apparently it can be too enthusiastic in warmer zones, but it should be okay here in Zone 6; we’ll see.

Trachelium caeruleum and Black Knight at
Blue throatwort and ‘Black Knight’ blue throatwort (Trachelium caeruleum)

I’ve shown ‘Black Knight’ blue throatwort (Trachelium caeruleum) already this season, but I’m including it again because I thought this comparison was kind of interesting. I’ve been growing ‘Black Knight’ off and on for many years now, with varying success. I continue trying because I made a really good combination with it one year and keep hoping I’ll be able to repeat the effect. It’s very slow-growing as a seedling, so last winter, I brought a few clumps into the basement to overwinter them dormant, in the hopes of getting more-vigorous plants this year. They didn’t flower any more freely than the seed-grown ones, however. Among this year’s seedlings, most had the characteristic dark foliage and dark flowers, but there must be some variation in the strain, because there were some lighter ones, too. The lavender-purples aren’t bad, though I like the darker ones better. I think I’ll deadhead the lighter ones and let the purples mature this fall to see if any self-sow. It would be a much easier way to keep them going, because it’s very time-consuming to collect and clean the tiny seeds and then raise the seedlings every spring.

Centratherum intermedium at
Brazilian buttons (Centratherum intermedium)

Brazilian button (Centratherum intermedium) is another annual I’ve grown off and on for years now. It’s easy enough to germinate, but the 12- to 18-inch-tall plants don’t do much but get bushy through most of the summer, with just a flower or two on each plant at any time through most of the summer. Come late August, though, they start producing many more buds and blooms, creating an aster-like effect from a distance. The pineappley scent of the foliage is nice, if you kneel down and rub the leaves to release the scent.

Tagetes patula at
“Supposedly Cinnabar” marigold (Tagetes)

‘Cinnabar’ marigold (Tagetes) was a bit of a disappointment this year. The first few flowers were the gold-rimmed orangey red I expected from the minimal information and images available about ‘Cinnabar’ online, but since then, the plants have produced a mix of red, orange, yellow, and bicolor flowers: pretty much like what I’ve been growing as ‘Moldova’, but on looser, floppier plants, like a wild T. patula. It’s pretty, but I won’t bother saving seed of it: either it’s not the right strain (my guess) or it behaves very differently here than it does in England.

Coix lacryma-jobi in bloom at
Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) in flower

Job’s tears is a “something different” annual that I let self-sow from year to year. You usually see pictures of it when the hard, glossy seeds are maturing to shades of black, gray, and white, but I happened to notice it in bloom recently. It’s interesting to see how the female and male parts are separate. The female bits are the slender white stigmas emerging from the base of what will be the seed, while the yellow, pollen-bearing anthers are just starting to peek out of the spikelet that emerges from the same place. As the seeds mature, those parts drop off, leaving a hole in the center of each seed.

Commelina communis f. aureostriata at
Variegated dayflower (Commelina communis f. aureostriata)

Here’s another annual I’ve showed before, but my goodness, those flowers have such quaint little faces that I couldn’t resist. Its name is quirky too: Commelina communis f. aureostriata, which would make you think it had gold stripes rather than white ones (albostriata). Hmmm.

Amaranthus' Elephant Head' at
‘Elephant Head’ amaranth (Amaranthus)

Amaranths (Amaranthus) also have loads of personality–particularly ‘Elephant Head’, above, with its superbly silly-looking flower heads. ‘Hopi Red Dye’, below, tends to have more elegant plumes, but this one back in the vegetable garden is also looking a bit eccentric.

Amaranthus 'Hopi Red Dye' at
‘Hopi Red Dye’ amaranth (Amaranthus)
Celosia 'Mega Punk' at
‘Mega Punk’ spike celosia (Celosia argentea Spicata Group)

Sticking with the Amaranth Family…above is a particularly nice seedling of ‘Mega Punk’ celosia (Celosia argentea Spicata Group), a strain that popped up here a while back, with reddish leaves and fuchsia-red spikes. This year, I finally had luck growing one of the fuzzy-brain kinds, which I’ve been trying and failing at for years. This one is ‘Cramers’ Burgundy’ (C. argentea Cristata Group).

Celosia argentea Cristata Group 'Cramers' Burgundy' at
‘Cramers’ Burgundy’ crested celosia (Celosia argentea Cristata Group)

All of the flowers I’ve shown so far come from seed. Continuing with that theme, here are some cool foliage annuals. Well, technically, they’re tender perennials, but I don’t bother trying to overwinter them since they grow quickly enough to make a good show as annuals. Below is ‘Wellington Bronze’ erect seaberry or toatoa (Haloragis erecta), a New Zealand native that grows in loose clumps to about 12 inches tall and wide.

Haloragis erecta 'Wellington Bronze' at
‘Wellington Bronze’ erect seaberry (Haloragis erecta)
Hibiscus acetosella 'Mahogany Splendor' at
‘Mahogany Splendor’ hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella)

Above is ‘Mahogany Splendor’ hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella), grown for its lacy, burgundy leaves. I start the seeds indoors in March and set them outside after the last frost (around mid-May), and by now they’re 4 to 6 feet tall. They’ll probably put on another foot or so before frost.

Below is silver spurflower (Plectranthus argentatus). When you buy the seed, it’s usually sold with the name ‘Silver Shield’. The plants reach about 2 feet tall and wide, in loose, open clumps–kind of like a bushy form of lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina).

Plectranthus argentatus 'Silver Shield' at
‘Silver Shield’ silver spurflower (Plectranthus argentatus)

Moving on to some non-seed things…I’ve come to adore calibrachoas for containers. Some bloom in waves, looking really spectacular for a few weeks and then taking a break for a bit before filling with flowers again. This one–Calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Double Blue’–has been a more consistent performer: not spectacular at any particular moment, but always with a nice amount of these charming little purple-blue rosettes.

Calibrachoa 'MiniFamous Double Blue' at
‘MiniFamous Double Blue’ calibrachoa (Calibrachoa)

Below is Vertigo fountain grass (Pennisetum ‘Tift 8’). It’s about 6 inches tall when I buy it each spring; by now, it’s well over 6 feet tall.

Pennisetum Vertigo ('Tift 8') at
Vertigo fountain grass (Pennisetum ‘Tift 8’)

‘Sparks Will Fly’ begonia, below, was new for me last year. I didn’t expect to have it again this year, because I didn’t find it for sale locally, but it overwintered in the pot it was growing in last year. (I’d brought it into the basement last winter to keep something else that was in the same pot, and the begonia eventually made a surprise reappearance in late June.) I really like the combination of the dark foliage and bright orange flowers.

Begonia Sparks Will Fly at
‘Sparks Will Fly’ begonia
Eucomis Leia at
‘Leia’ pineapple lily (Eucomis)

‘Leia’ pineapple lily (Eucomis), above, also spent the winter in the basement (as do all pineapple lilies here, because they’re not quite winter-hardy in my garden). Unlike the taller ones, which tend to sprawl in bloom, this little cutie–barely 1 foot tall in bloom–has stayed nicely upright.

Brugmansia suaveolens Variegata at
Variegated angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens ‘Variegata’)

I don’t often treat myself to an angel’s trumpet during my spring shopping, but this year, I couldn’t resist getting one for the containers book. This one–Brugmansia suaveolens ‘Variegata’–has had flowers off and on during the summer and is now budding and blooming in earnest. It was so lovely to sit next to it after dusk and absorb the fragrance while watching the moonrise last week.

Moving on to some hardy perennials…below is a frond of ‘Pewter Lace’ Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum) against the flower spikes of dwarf Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Pumila’).

Athyrium Pewter Lace at
‘Pewter Lace’ Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum) with dwarf Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Pumila’)
Vernonia lettermannii Iron Butterfly at
‘Iron Butterfly’ narrowleaf ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii)

Over the years, I’ve planted four or five different species of ironweed (Vernonia) in the garden. They’ve probably crossed and have self-sown freely, and now I have trouble telling most of them apart. This one is distinctive, through, with much shorter and with much narrower leaves. Above is what I started with: ‘Iron Butterfly’ narrowleaf ironweed (V. lettermannii). When it seeds around, it reverts to the species (below). The leaves are variably wider than those of ‘Iron Butterfly’ but are still narrower than those of other ironweeds.

Vernonia lettermannii at
Narrowleaf ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii)

Below is ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), with bright yellow foliage and golden button flowers. I’ve planted it at the front of various borders several times, because it’s a cute, low rosette of ferny foliage in spring, continually forgetting that it reaches about 4 feet tall in bloom. Moving it back from the edge a few feet and giving it a few bushy companions to lean on has pretty much solved the sprawling problem, so now I can admire it in its full glory instead of chopping it back in August.

Tanacetum vulgare Isla Gold at
‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' with Sanguisorba tenuifolia 'Purpurea' at
Purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’) with ‘Henry Eilers’ sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)

It’s peak season now for my favorite sanguisorbas: the tall Japanese burnets (Sanguisorba tenuifolia). Above is ‘Purpurea’ with ‘Henry Eilers’ sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa); below is ‘Alba’ with ‘Morning Light’ miscanthus (Miscanthus).

Sanguisorba tenuifolia 'Alba' at
White Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Alba’)

Below, one of my favorite sneezeweeds–Helenium ‘Ruby Tuesday’–with Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’), ‘AngelMist Deep Plum’ angelonia, ‘Profusion Orange’ zinnia, ‘Redbor’ kale, ‘Lucifer’ crocosmia foliage, and Tropicanna canna (Canna ‘Phasion’).

Helenium Ruby Tuesday at
‘Ruby Tuesday’ sneezeweed (Helenium)
Calamagrostis brachytricha at
Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) with “nola” Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)

Above, the flower plumes of Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) with a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) that I really wish I knew the name of.

Below, some developing seedheads of ‘River Mist’ sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).

Chasmanthium latifolium River Mist seedheads at
‘River Mist’ sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) seedheads

And below, my very first waterlily–Nymphaea ‘Chromatella’–growing in a galvanized metal tub outside my office window.

Nymphaea Chromatella at
‘Chromatella’ waterlily (Nymphaea)

Now, some general garden shots. Below is the path from the barn to the house. Highlights include Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’), ‘Tom Thumb’ cotoneaster, switch grass (Panicum virgatum)–very short because I cut it to the ground in late June to keep it from flopping now–white Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Alba’), ‘Saratoga’ ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), and ghost bramble (Rubus thibetanus).

Courtyard Path at
Courtyard Path
Front Path at
Front Path

Above the front path, with Canna indica ‘Purpurea’, ‘Profusion Knee-High Red’ zinnia, marigolds (Tagetes patula), and ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlia.

Below, the same path from the other direction. Some highlights include Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’), ‘Profusion Knee-High Red’ zinnia, Amicia zygomeris, ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), ‘Red Magestic’ contorted hazel (Corylus avellana), Canna indica ‘Purpurea’, and ‘Redhead’ coleus.

Front Path at
Front Path
Front Garden Middle Path at
Front Garden Middle Path

Above, one side of the middle path in the front garden, including narrowleaf zinnia (Zinnia angustifolia),  Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’), ‘Ruby Tuesday’ sneezeweed (Helenium), ‘Profusion Orange’ zinnia, ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa), golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia), and ‘Red Majestic’ contorted hazel (Corylus avellana).

Below, the side garden in early September.

Side Garden at
Side Garden in early September

And to finish, a few detail shots…

Front Garden Detail at
Front Garden detail: highlights include Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), blue-leaved rose (Rosa glauca) hips, ‘Gerald Darby’ iris leaves, ‘Profusion Knee-High Red’ zinnia, Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’), dwarf fleeceflower (Persicaria affinis), and seersucker sedge (Carex plantaginea)
Front Garden Detail at
Front Garden detail: highlights include Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’), ‘Profusion Knee-High Red’ zinnia, Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), blue-leaved rose (Rosa glauca) hips, ‘Gerald Darby’ iris leaves, and ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Front Garden Detail at
Front Garden detail: highlights include yellow ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard, ‘Short ‘n’ Sassy’ sneezeweed (Helenium), ‘Taurus’ mountain fleeceflower (Persicaria amplexicaulis), orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida), ironweed (Vernonia), and ‘Moldova’ marigold (Tagetes patula)
Front Garden Detail at
Front Garden detail: highlights include ‘Royal Purple’ smokebush (Cotinus coggygria), ironweed (Vernonia), ‘Profusion Double Golden’ zinnia, ‘Purple Knight’ alternanthera (Alternanthera dentata), ‘Camouflage’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), and ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa)
Buxus latifolia Latifolia Maculata at
‘Latifolia Maculata’ boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) with ironweed (Vernonia) and Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

For more September splendor, visit Carol’s main Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens to see who else is sharing their fall garden today. Now we can start looking forward to October’s GBBD. The asters are just starting to do their thing, but we’re already dipping down to the lower 40s at night, so who knows what will happen over the next few weeks?

Oh, one more thing: my thanks to all who offered to take in my homeless seeds earlier this month. All the requests are now filled and on their way. I really appreciate the notes from those of you who have already received their seeds and apologize if I didn’t respond; I got a bit overwhelmed for a bit getting the orders out. If you’re relatively new to seed-starting, I encourage you to do some research on the seeds you got before you put them away for spring; some of them–including the Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’, Helleborus x hybridus Hayefield Hybrids, and Smyrnium perfoliatum, among others–need to be sown now and left outdoors for best results. I look forward to hearing how they work out for you next year!

Katydid at
Katydid. Or maybe Katydidn’t. Only Katy knows for sure.
Posted on 29 Comments

29 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2014

  1. Love it all! I have the burgundy sanguisorba, but have never seen the white version before, it’s stunning! Love all your hot colored beds this time of year, such a rich royal tapestry of colors.

    Good morning, Brenda. Yes, the white form of S. tenuifolia is even more striking than the purple, because it’s so much easier to see. Its droopy tails have a lot of personality. The bees certainly enjoy them too.

  2. Beautiful and inspiring. I so appreciate your posts and the many interesting plants you include. And I am delighted to be in the same hardiness zone as you, more or less, so feel like I could take a chance on anything you grow. Thank you for joining in for bloom day! My “want” list gets longer after every virtual visit to Hayefield.

    I don’t know how you find time to visit on Bloom Days, Carol, but I appreciate you stopping by. It looks like we’re both at about the same stage at this point in the season. Let’s hope we’re spared an early frost.

  3. Seven years! Wonderful!
    Lovely garden – I especially like the water lily
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    I’m very proud of that water lily, Lea; there were several promising buds before this one, but they sank before they opened. I was thrilled to finally get one flower. The plant is already going dormant for the season, but that one bloom was worth the wait. Thanks for visiting today!

  4. Wow! You’ve always something new and interesting to share. I love the Haloragis erecta ‘Wellington Bronze’ and the seed heads of the Chasmanthium latifolium ‘River Mist’ are exquisite.

    I have yet to find a really good way to use the Haloragis in a combination, but it’s very cool in itself. And, it usually self-sows a bit here, which is handy. Thanks again for sharing the poppy seeds, Alice.

  5. Hi Nan – Lovely photos as always. I did not get seeds from you this year — enough here for a lifetime it seems. I have 13 of your South African foxgloves from the seeds you offered last year. 10 are light pink/purple and 3 are pure dazzling white. Thought you would like to know the ratio. Best of all, no one ( woodchuck, rabbit , deer or insect ) is remotely interested in nibbling it. Not even Japanese beetles!

    Thanks for sharing that info, Tiiu. I have both the species (the pink) and the white form (‘Alba’) here and try to keep them separate, but I’m not surprised that the species seed also produces whites. They’re both lovely, aren’t they? And yes, apparently pest-free!

  6. What a feast for the eye! Such a variety of shapes and colors! The Job’s Tears reminded me of a little packet of seeds a Native American friend gave me a few years ago with the story about the “Trail of Tears” of the Cherokees. I understand the seeds can be strung as beads on a necklace but I haven’t tried it.
    And the “sneezeweeds”–I’d love to see that photo on a note card so I could buy it. Enjoying them in the photo would protect me from the sneezes I frequently have in the morning. I’ll keep you posted on my luck with the seeds you sent.

    I’ve never tried using the Job’s tears as beads, either, because I usually end up giving all the seeds away. And yes, “sneezeweed” is another of those silly common names. Apparently it came from its historical use as snuff, so I suppose it’s more likely to cause sneezing than suppress it!

  7. Wow, wow, wow! Your garden is magnificent! So much color in both foliage and bloom. I’m especially fond of brugmansias for those huge flowers and intoxicating evening fragrance. Happy GBBD!

    Thank so you much for visiting, Peter! I’m thinking that I really need to do my best to overwinter this variegated brugmansia. If I manage that, I will reward myself with another: maybe one of the gorgeous peachy ones.

  8. Your gardens are looking spectacular…thank you for sharing these photos.

    Happy Bloom Day to you, Lorraine. Now, to look forward to next month: there are still a number of things left to flower, and I suspect that we’ll have really good fall color this year as well.

  9. Just beautiful, all of it! Yes, the perennial verbenas are really invasive in our area. Too bad as we love them so much. We do let a few of the thousands (!!!) of seedlings develop each year and try to nip off the heads as they go to seed. Ha! A vain exercise of course!…I was particularly interested to see how you incorporated your Japanese blood grass into your lush borders. It’s a stiffish sort of fellow and likes to show off but by combining it with the Profusion red zinnia and the Gerald Darby iris it really settles in nicely. Thanks for that great idea and congrats on your anniversary! Barbara. Victoria, BC

    Ah yes, I have loads of Verbena bonariensis here too. I welcome it in the borders but not so much in the paths. Having the blood grass as an edging has worked really well; I like the way it has formed a dramatic line there. The clumps in other borders are more open and not quite as striking. Isn’t that red zinnia great? It’s not as tall as I’d hoped from the name ‘Profusion Knee-High Red’–it’s hardly taller than any other the other dozen Profusion zinnia strains I’ve grown–but the color is really bright.

  10. Beautiful as usual and always inspiriing. Favorite pic is the deep red sanguisorba and the sweet coneflower. Love the deep red and gold combination.

    Good morning, Joshua! I like that combination too. It’s a bit sparse this year, because I divided ‘Henry Eilers’ so I could have some pieces of him for other places, but I look forward to having a good show again next year.

  11. What a wonderful garden you have Nancy. It’s always such a delight to find one of your emails in my inbox. I love the way you combine plants; your sense of colour and appreciation of texture and form make your plant choices so inspiring!

    Thank you, Jennifer. I have to admit that I can only take partial credit for many of the combinations; some are just good luck!

  12. Gorgeous…What a wonderful gift to start a Monday morning and a new week.

    What a nice thing to say, Charlie. I hope the rest of your day and week goes well!

  13. Happy Bloom Day, Nan! Thanks so much for the seeds this year, and for taking the trouble to send them out in a timely way. I grew some Haloragis this past winter from your seeds that I got last year, but they were rather stunted, I don’t know why. Since you said they’re actually tender perennials, I may try bringing them into the greenhouse for the winter and see if maybe they’ll take off next year.

    That’s a good idea, Alison. I’ve had them almost squeak through the winter here in Zone 6, so you’d probably do all right even in an unheated greenhouse. I’d be interested to hear back about how they do for you next year.

  14. So inspiring Nan – love all your combinations. I always study your photos as everything is so full but not crowded. I find my spacing is a constant question. Lots of moving of things!

    Ah yes, lots of moving, if circumstances allow. Or, lots of pruning and grooming, which I depend on even more than moving, because it’s easier to predict the outcome.

  15. Nan, Happy GBBD!
    Just came in from harvesting Callicarpa/American Beautyberry (it’s jelly time again!) and am devouring your photos. So many plants and combinations that are new to me. The research will keep me busy for days. Love the Wellington Bronze. Keep up the good work; we mere mortals need the inspiration.
    Mary T

    Whoa, Mary – I had no idea that one could make jelly out of beautyberry! I had to poke around Google a bit to read more about it. Good for you for making the effort! Have a great time with your own research.

  16. Your garden looks spectacular, Nan. As usual, many of your plants had me salivating. After knocking out the selections that are too much of a zonal stretch and those that require too much water, I still have a couple I can try. Thanks for sharing your photos and your garden.

    Glad I could show you something new of interest, Kris! I hope you have a beautiful fall season.

  17. Lovely Nan! Always a feast in your garden :)

    I appreciate the visit. Happy Bloom Day to you!

  18. Your September garden is absolutely gorgeous! You take the most beautiful photos, what kind of camera do you have? I got the seeds you sent and I’m so anxious to plant them, thank you so very much for your generosity. Your garden inspires me and I know how much effort and hard work goes into creating all the beautiful garden rooms.. thank you for sharing the beauty with all of us.

    Good to hear that the seeds arrived, Margie; may they live long and prosper in your garden. The camera I’m using now is a Sony SLT-A65V. Even more importantly, I think I may have finally found the ideal way to resize and prepare them for uploading so they’re clear without taking up a huge amount of storage space.

  19. Thank you so much for the seeds, Nan ! I will try a few this Autumn , then the rest in spring. You have a beautiful garden and the best plant combinations , Happy Bloom Day !

    That’s a great idea, Linda; you can learn a lot by experimenting with different timing. May you end up with lots of seedlings to play with!

  20. Just discovered this site today….what a feast for the eyes and so much lovely info-i am a new Gardner we just bought our home last year in ne
    Philly so I am really just getting into gardning,will be ordering some of the same seeds soon.thanks for the inspiration!

    Welcome to Hayefield, Yelena, and congratulations on starting a lifetime of joyful gardening. You have a lot of fun and a lot of learning ahead of you: what an exciting adventure. Best of luck to you! I highly recommend joining the Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group (, to get access to their inspiring and educational programs and garden tours as well as their plant sales and seed exchange.

  21. Just a note to say thank you for including both the closeup shots and pullbacks (both of which are gorgeous). So many times when I’m looking at a closeup photo of a plant I wish I could see it in full; then when I see a panorama of plants I wish I could get in close to see detail. You provide both! I always thoroughly enjoy your posts. Thank you so much!

    That’s very helpful to know. I’ll make sure I keep up with the variety of views!

  22. Nan,
    Another lovely post….so much color for this time of year. I could use more color at the end of summer so I think I’m going to try some Heleniums next year. Are they easy?
    Received your seeds. Thank you so much. I’ve been busy collecting tassel flower and Moldova marigold seeds to share with others. They’re my favorites this year.
    What’s your verdict on the Verbena rigida? Will you grow it again? I really like the color, it seems to glow.
    Can’t wait for your next post,

    Yes, the heleniums are easy; they’re happy here, anyway. I cut the taller ones back by half when I do my usual perennial pruning in late May or early June. ‘Ruby Tuesday’ (my favorite) and ‘Short ‘n’ Sassy’ haven’t needed any attention at all. I do plan to let the Verbena rigida self-sow and will scatter it around too. Thanks for that!

  23. Nan, wonderful garden tour again. I always look forward to the late summer in your garden as I think this is when it is at it’s best. (IMHO) Love the deep, rich purples and the stiff line of blood grass along the walkway. Had to look twice at petunia exserta to make sure it was not a cardinal vine. Really nice the way you have trained it in that framework. I wish I could find the pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ around here… it’s magnificent. I am always looking for ways to add purple to the border. Thanks for the visual treat!

    Hey there, Kate. You could consider getting Vertigo directly from the Proven Winners site. It’s pricey that way, but it might be worth the cost if you really want it. I suspect that you’d have a much easier time overwintering the plant than I do, so it could be a reasonable investment if you get several years out of it.

  24. I just love visiting your garden. I also love to see the closeup photos along with photos that show more of the plant. Especially with my camera this is a good practice. I also appreciate how many plants are named. Wish I did as well.

    Thanks for stopping in, Pat. Tagging all of my images and then labeling and captioning them after uploading has been very helpful in beating the names into my brain. And, if I forget, I can always search my posts to find them again.

  25. Your blog is inspiring, because your garden is incredible. Love that narrow-leaved ironweed! You have many plants like that I could grow here in eastern Canada… if I could find them. Thanks for the grand photos and super text.

    Welcome, Jeff! Isn’t that ironweed nice? It’s tough to tell ‘Iron Butterfly’ apart from Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii) in leaf, and it’s really nice to have those bright purple flowers on a plant that’s a fraction of the height of the usual kinds.

  26. Beautiful, I think I’ve been back to this post at least three times and each time something new has stood out. What a treat :)
    The brugmansia looks great. I think you’ll find it easy to overwinter and find them easy to collect! I used to throw mine in a back room and water once or twice during the winter. It loses all it’s leaves and looks terrible but sprouts right back once it goes outside. I bet your basement would be a great spot…. assuming you still have any room!

    I appreciate the vote of confidence, Frank. We’ll see if I can wrangle it down there and back up again in spring!

  27. Thanks so much for another lovely tour through your garden. It’s especially nice at this time of year when so many of my plants are looking ratty and there is less and less blooming. You are so good at combining plants in marvelous ways and in keeping the beauty going throughout the season. Brava!

    Just wondering about how you (accidentally) overwintered the Begonia ‘Sparks will Fly’ in your basement. In the dark? How cold? And any watering? I had one for the first time last year and it was so stunning that I tried starting cuttings (in pots and in peat moss) and planned to keep them under lights. But I just couldn’t get them to root although they looked nice in a vase for awhile. Have another one this year and would love to be able to save it somehow. Maybe your happy accident will provide the key.

    Also wondering how challenging it is to start the Hibiscus ‘Mahogany Splendor’ from seed. I love the foliage! Thanks again!

    Thank *you* for visiting, Marge. The basement got down to around 35F for a couple weeks last winter. The part where I keep my overwintering stuff does get an hour or two of early afternoon sun if the weather is clear, but the begonia didn’t get any light because it was covered up by the foliage of a Carex ‘Amazon Mist’ growing in the same pot, along with Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’. I tossed some water on the carex three or four times through the winter, when I thought of it, but mostly the pot stayed dry. It may have been pure luck that the begonia made it through too. I’m planning to try again, but watch it not work this time.

    I’ll probably be addressing your second question in my next post, but for now, the quick answer is that I start them when and how I do my tomato seeds.

  28. Magnificent, Nan !

    Thanks, Rita! I hope you’re getting to enjoy this beautiful fall day.

  29. Just beautiful!
    Your gardens and their photos are awesome.
    Do you maintain them all on your own or do you have help?
    The hibiscus mahogany splendor is very easy to root in a glass of water – I left mine in the same glass along with some coleus all winter and then transferred to soil in the spring after frost and they were all fine.

    Thanks for sharing that tip, Niren; that sounds super-easy. Yes, it’s mostly just me for the garden maintenance, though Mom does help a bit with weeding on occasion, and she does much of the mowing.

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