I don’t like to use the word “disappointed” in relation to the garden, particularly at this time of year. I’d hoped to be immersed in aster season by now, though, and while the plants are filled with buds, it’ll take a few more days of sunshine to really move them along.
That means the garden doesn’t look much different than last month. It’s colorful, but not spectacular. The side garden is still showing the most action, as evident in the overview shot at the top and the two images below.
The middle path in the front garden is usually my favorite spot this time of year, but this year, the outer path is the winner.
Rather than show more repetitive garden shots, I decided to focus this Bloom Day mostly on plants I haven’t shown yet this year, just to keep things interesting. I also have some news to announce at the end that some of you will probably be happy to hear. For now, the key players this September, starting with the annuals…
Some of the annual vines are looking good too.
Some of the colchicums started to emerge and open this week.
The burnets (Sanguisorba) have been looking good for a few weeks now.
The New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), which looked so good last month, is mostly past, but a few clumps started later and are colorful now: rich purple on top with a warm, rust tinge to the foliage (the latter not necessarily being a good thing).
‘Iron Butterfly’ narrowleaf ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii) hasn’t opened yet, but the numerous seedlings it has produced over the years have been going for almost two weeks now. This patch in the front garden is particularly interesting…
…because of the color variation: one the usual purple and one more on the pink side.
Like the asters, the goldenrods (Solidago) are a bit behind, but a few in the meadow are finally coloring up.
There are plenty of other pretty things making the garden a nice place to be.
Speaking of edibles–there are some good things going on back in the veg garden and adjacent areas. I’m particularly excited about some of this year’s beans, many shared with me by a friend in Italy (thanks, Clark!) and not readily available here.
I made a couple of new acquaintances over the past month. One is this pretty little guy (or girl):
By the way, if you too find yourself trying to put names to butterflies you see, this site has worked well for me for basic butterfly IDs by shape and color: Gardens with Wings. Once you have a basic idea of what your butterfly might be, you may need to look at tiny details to confirm the name. The Massachusetts Butterfly Club has a terrific setup for side-by-side comparisons of butterflies, which is very helpful for folks in the northeast and mid-Atlantic area.
I’ve known this next thing by sight for ages, but it has been so abundant this year that I finally decided to key it out and put a name to the face: American burnweed (Erechtites hieraciifolius). In the woods, it looks like a not-particularly showy wildflower, and sure enough, it’s native to much of the U.S..
In the garden, though, this annual can get really big (easily 5 to 6 feet tall) and sows all over. American burnweed is not hard to pull out if the soil is loose, but when there’s a lot of it, it makes for a good bit of work. And at that point, I’m much more inclined to think of it as a weed than a wildflower.
I’m sure plenty of you have seen the American burnweed in your own garden, but here’s a face I hope most of you don’t ever see.
Native to China, Vietnam, and India, the spotted lanternfly was first identified in the U.S. in 2014, just 30 miles or so from here. Despite quarantine efforts, the adults made it here by last fall. I saw only a few, but that was enough, I guess; this fall, there are many more. If I want to find one, it’s simply a matter of poking around in the silver willow or the grape vines. Spotted lanternflies like to feed on tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and it would be great if they stayed there, but they also damage a range of other woody plants.
With those distinctive markings, the adults are easy to identify when they’re at rest.
They also have bright red hind wings, which are eye-catching when the insects are flying. If you live in southeastern Pennsylvania and want to know more about the quarantine area and suggested control measures, check out this information page: Spotted Lanternfly Control.
Now, on a happier note…
I remembered to get up to the woods to check on the ramps patch a few days ago, and sure enough, the seeds were ready for collecting. I didn’t take many, but I do have enough to list a few packets in my Etsy shop for folks who want to start with some very fresh seeds. If any are left over, they’ll appear on my seed-giveaway list this fall. Yes, I’m going to do it again this year! I really regretted not having the time last year, so I’m going to make it work somehow this time. I plan to make my seed list available on November 15, 2017, and the offer will likely be open for only a week. So, if you’re interested in some cool seeds, consider marking your calendar to visit here then, especially if you’re not subscribed to receive notices of new posts.
In the meantime, be sure to check out what’s going on in other fall gardens today. You can find the list of participants in this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at Carol’s main post at May Dreams Gardens. Thanks for stopping by!
I am passionate about collecting and growing seeds. In the links below, you can find out more about why I started my own one-person seed company and how it works. The library page is a collection of articles I've written on seed-related topics.