Posted on 17 Comments

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2020

With so many sad things going on all over, it seems shallow, in a way, to spend time focusing on pretty flowers. Or maybe there’s no better time to appreciate the small joyful things that are happening daily. With that in mind, will you join me on a virtual stroll to celebrate the beauty and bounty of the garden in September?

Abelmoschus manihot

I rarely have good luck growing hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), due to fungal rust, but sunset hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot), above, makes a fine substitute. Below, another long-flowering favorite of mine: white-flowered South African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba ‘Alba’), mingling with the airy seedheads of a seedling switch grass (Panicum virgatum).

Ceratotheca triloba 'Alba'

Last winter, I noticed that some references have moved Ceratotheca triloba to Sesamum trilobum. Before then, I never realized that the plant is in the sesame family (Pedaliaceae). Just out of curiosity, I decided to try growing regular sesame (Sesamum indicum), below, this year and am looking forward to harvesting the seeds—and using them, too.

Sesamum indicum

Petunia integrifolia

Above, the small but brilliant blooms of wild petunia (Petunia integrifolia). Below, a closeup of the flower of the intriguing plant Proboscidea louisianica, known variously as unicorn plant, ram’s horn, or devil’s claw–all references to the large seedpods, which are still developing.

Proboscidea louisianica

Persicaria orientalis 'Shiro-gane Nishiki'

Above, ‘Shiro-gane Nishiki’ kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate (Persicaria orientalis), with cream- to white-variegated foliage and soft pink flowers. Below, variegated Asiatic dayflower (Commelia communis f. aureostriata), which is much smaller in stature but equally vigorous in its own way.

Commelina communis f. aureostriata

Pentapetes phoenicea

Above, the bright red blooms of noon flower (Pentapetes phoenicea) have just started to open, but the now 5-foot-plus stems are loaded with buds, so I’m looking forward to a glorious show over the next few weeks. It’s been too long since I last had this plant in my garden. Below is tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca), another lovely thing I haven’t thought to grow since my previous garden—why, I don’t know, as its blue foliage makes a great vertical accent and the yellow flowers are a charming bonus.

Nicotiana glauca

Daucus carota 'Purple Kisses'

I forgot that ‘Purple Kisses’ Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), above, can produce rosy pink seedheads along with the usually-dark flowers. It’s a nice bonus feature. Below, a bud of devil’s trumpet (Datura metel) just before it opens in the evening to reveal a white center and nice fragrance. This strain has near-black stems too. It was supposed to be D. metel var. fastuosa but produces only single flowers instead of the usual double. Still pretty, though.

Datura metel

Below, ‘Mega Punk’ spike celosia (Celosia argentea var. spicata), a 3- to 4-foot strain that developed here at Hayefield years ago.

Celosia argentea var. spicata 'Mega Punk'

Helianthus annuus 'Sunspots'

Above, an old favorite I’m happy to be growing again: ‘Sunspots’ annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus), a strain with yellow-splashed leaves. (It’s different from ‘Sunspot’, which is dwarf and not variegated.) And below, a gorgeously variegated hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) known as ‘Fish’.

Capsicum annuum 'Fish'

Late summer into fall is also a wonderful time for heat-loving climbers, which can take a good while to really get going here.

Ipomoea purpurea 'Rosa di Venezia'

Two strains of Ipomoea purpurea morning glories—which, to be fair, are usually the quickest to come into bloom: above, ‘Rosa di Venezia’ and below, ‘Sunrise Serenade’.

Ipomoea purpurea 'Sunrise Serenade'

Ipomoea 'Kikyo Snowflakes'

The Japanese morning glories (Ipomoea nil) can be painfully slow to get going here and often need encouragement to wind their way up a support through the summer. But once they start flowering…just wow. Above is starry ‘Kikyo Snowflakes’, which has handsome, rich green leaves.

Ipomoea nil 'Blue Speckled'

Above, a not-quite-open-yet bloom of ‘Blue Speckled’. This is one of several strains of Japanese morning glories I have that also produce variegated leaves, like those below.

Ipomoea nil 'Blue Speckled' foliage

Ipomoea nil 'Sazanami'

Two more with variegated foliage: above, ‘Sazanami’, with huge, watercolored-blue blooms that age to rosy pink, and below, ‘Fuji no Murasaki’, which ages to a magenta-y pink.

Ipomoea nil 'Fuji no Murasaki'

Basella rubra

Above, the oddly shaped pink flowers, glossy green leaves, and deep red stems of malabar spinach (Basella rubra). Below, the glorious ‘Golden Sunshine’ runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus). I had trouble getting this one going for a few years, for some reason, but I’ve finally found a spot where it is happy—in a container, actually—and it’s even starting to set seeds.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Golden Sunshine'

Trichosanthes cucumerifolia var. anguina

Another vine I was thrilled to have good luck with, finally: a snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina var. anguina). Above is one of the ripe fruits. As the insides mature, they develop into a red goop that slides down into the lower part of the hanging fruit. It’s an icky process, hand-separating the seeds from the blood-colored and tomato paste-scented slime, but not a difficult one. The seeds are particularly pretty when still wet, turning duller when dry.

Trichosanthes cucumerifolia var. anguina

Moving on to the perennials…yellow is a dominant color theme this time of year.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

‘Lemon Queen’ perennial sunflower (Helianthus) is so generous with its flowers, particularly if you move pieces into fresh soil. I’ve noticed some popping up in the meadow, too, even though some sources say it rarely sets seed. Below is sawtooth sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus), which is also perennial, though it’s flowering the first year from seeds I sowed last winter. Here it’s with annual ‘Torch’ Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia).

Helianthus grosseserratus

Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' and Sanguisorba tenuifolia 'Purpurea'

Above, elegant ‘Henry Eilers’ sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) paired with purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’). Below, golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia) with Deam’s orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii).

Patrinia scabiosifolia

Oligoneuron rigidum

And then there are the goldenrods, of course! Above is my favorite, I think: stiff goldenrod (Oligoneuron rigidum). The fuzzy, gray-green leaves are a nice complement to its clear yellow, blooms, and the stiff stems make them easy to place in fresh arrangements. Below is another good one: showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa).

Solidago speciosa

And below, grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia), which grows wild in the meadow.

Euthamia graminifolia

Silphium integrifolium

The silphiums are another sure-fire source of sunny yellows. Above is rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium), part of which got quite tall in the rich soil in one of my holding beds. Below is cutleaf prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum var. pinnatifidum), which dependably gets about 4 feet tall in the garden here.

Silphium terebinthinaceum var. pinnatifidum

And one more in the yellows: Corydalis ochotensis, below, just coming into bloom in the last week.

Corydalis ochotensis

Of course, it’s not all golden; there are plenty of other glorious autumn colors as well.

Vernonia noveboracensis

Above and below, New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis).

Vernonia noveboracensis

Vernonia gigantea

Above, the aptly named giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), easily reaching 8 feet tall if not cut back in early summer. Below, narrow-leaved ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii) is a more manageable 4 to 5 feet.

Vernonia lettermannii

Asclepias tuberosa

This glowing clump of butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a standout in the lower meadow. All of the other clumps are working on setting seed, but I accidentally mowed this clump earlier in the summer, so it got a late start. Below is royal catchyfly (Silene regia) in one of my holding beds, in full flower last month and still sending out a few new blooms now.

Silene regia

Below, another resident in the same holding bed: downy skullcap (Scutellaria incana).

Scutellaria incana

Delphinium exaltatum

There are still a few flowers on the first-year tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum) plants out front. One was blue, as is usual, but most of the seedlings were the unusual color below, appearing palest blue, soft pink, near-white, or even grayish, depending on the light.

Delphinium exaltatum Pale Form

Cunila oreganoides

Above, yet another native—American dittany (Cunila oreganoides), also known as stone mint—with abundant pink flowers over aromatic leaves. That flower and leaf description applies equally well to the plant below, which I’m pretty sure is lesser calamint (Clinopodium nepeta). It showed up on its own last year in a shrub border where I didn’t intend to have any perennials, but it was in a perfect spot so it got to stay.

Clinopodium nepeta

Barnardia japonica

Above, one more late-season pink, but this time from a bulb: Japanese jacinth (Barnardia japonica). And below, a lovely soft yellow: Patrinia punctiflora.

Patrinia punctiflora

Calamagrostis brachytricha

Above, just one of many grasses coming into peak now: Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha). Below, round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata).

Lespedeza capitata

Sanguisorba tenuifolia 'Alba'

Above, the nodding tails of white Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Alba’). Below, a white form of great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). It first appeared in my meadow last year, and the seeds I collected from it came about 70% true (the remaining few being the usual blue).

Lobelia siphilitica 'Alba'

Below, one more bright white: Leucanthemella serotina.

Leucanthemella serotina

And now, some wider combination and garden shots, just because things look so lovely right now.

Hayefield Front Garden

Above, Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’) with dwarf knotweed (Persicaria affinis) and ‘Fire Island’ hosta (Hosta).

Below, Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha), Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’), purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’), New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), ‘Solar Cascade’ Short’s goldenrod (Solidago shortii), ‘Sun Power’ hosta (Hosta), and Deam’s orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii).

Hayefield Front Garden

Below, yet again, is Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha), this time with some seedlings of summer phlox (Phlox paniculata), Deam’s orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii), and golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia).

Hayefield Side Garden

Hayefield Upper Meadow

Above and below, wild things in the upper and lower meadows.

Hayefield Lower Meadow

Hayefield Arc Borders

Above, the Arc Borders; below, a path on the north-ish side of the house.

Hayefield Courtyard Path

Hayefield Front Garden

Above, a path through the borders in the front garden, and below, a path leading down to the Seed Garden (yes, there’s actually a path there).

Hayefield Cottage Path Arbors

Ok, well, I feel a bit more peaceful after all that. I hope you enjoyed it too!

One last thing: a reminder that I will be doing my January seed giveaway through my seed newsletter, rather than posting it here on the blog. If you’re interested in getting the list, you can easily subscribe for free to the newsletter at the bottom of this page. This year, I’m considering adding an extra feature: seeds from other Hayefield readers along with those from my own garden. I don’t have all the details ironed out yet, but if you enjoy collecting seeds and would like to share a few of your favorites with other seed-appreciating gardeners, please feel free to get in touch with me (

Coix lacryma-jobi
The beautiful beads of Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)


Posted on 17 Comments

17 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2020

  1. All so lovely, Nan! I think we need flowers and our gardens, now more than ever, to soothe our weary souls. Thanks for sharing yours. Happy seed collecting!

    Thank you, Ginny, for reading and commenting. I completely agree!

  2. P.S. – do you have a source for the Japanese jacinth?

    I originally grew it from seed. Like most bulbs, it takes a bit of patience that way, but it’s not difficult, and once you get it established, it can self-sow a bit. I will collect seed from mine next month and will have it in the shop here.

  3. It’s always such a pleasure to visit your spectacular garden, Nan. Thank you.

    Thank *you* for joining me in the garden this morning, Sandy. Be well.

  4. That was a wonderful tour. Lots of new to me flowers! I have the blue lobelia but have never seen it in white, wonderful discovery. Also loving that nicotiana glauca! Upfacing blooms! And that noon flower, great red, hard to get reds in the garden. Unicorn flower is cool too, have you ever grown asarinas, they are fun, tried 3 different ones this year. And the sesame seed plant, how smart are you! Cool flower too. That Corydalis ochotensis is nice as well, I grew capnoides sempervirens this year and it bloomed, hoping it over winters. Will be looking for Abelmoschus manihot, I can’t grow hollyhocks either. I thought the rust would affect the annual silvercup mallow but I had no rust on it, happy girl! Maybe cause I have never grown mallows in that garden, we shall see next year, Love the persicaria with the Red Baron grass, great idea. I really like the Korean grass with Diablo, must try moving a piece of mine and also with the phlox. Love the last picture of your garden, I have one of those paths too! I am careful when I walk there, don’t want to get stung! It was a hard summer with hot dry days and not much rain but it was still better in my garden than the real world! Have no problem hibernating here. Thanks for making me smile this morning! Hope you have a great day! TTFN…Sue

    Great to hear from you, Sue! Thanks for reminding me about asarinas; if I’ve had them here, it was ages ago. In my last garden, I planted Asarina scandens at the base of a Nicotiana glauca, and the vine happily clambered up the tree tobacco stem. The Capnoides sempervirens is a biennial, I think? So the blooming plant may not return, but it should self-sow. I have been trying to get that one going here but it is hard to find fresh seeds. I wish you a glorious fall to tide you through the long coming winter.

  5. Hi Nan,

    With all of the sadness and trouble in our world, we are blessed to spend a few minutes in your beautiful garden. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you, Carol, for joining me today. May your own garden bring you daily peace.

  6. Just what we all need to make our day!

    Thank so much, Judy. Have a delightful Bloom Day!

  7. Nan,
    Your gardens are lovely. You grow the coolest stuff. I have some cool plants growing in my garden from your seed giveaways.Gardening has been a great mood lifter this summer.
    stay safe,

    Hi Mel! It’s always great to hear that the seeds have behaved well in their new homes. I’m still enjoying the offspring of the Aristolochia fimbriata seeds you shared with me a while back. Maybe you can find something new you’ll enjoy in this year’s giveaway. I have some really cool things coming along!

  8. Looks like I’m going to have to grow that tree tobacco. I am a sucker for green flowers, and those blue leaves are lovely. I do have a question for you. I love morning glories but I haven’t grown them for years because of their tendency to reseed and take over. Are any of the ones you grow less thuggish? There are several spots in my garden that I think would be charming with morning glories, but I’m hesitant.

    I’m hoping that frost holds off long enough for me to get seeds from the tree tobacco; it can be hard to find. As far as the morning glories…in my garden, the I. purpurea strains do tend to self sow freely, but the I. nil types are much less likely to. But, that could well be because I paw through the plants quite often, trying to collect as much seed as possible.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your garden, with its usual array of interesting plants and lovely combinations. I have to say that right now, gardening and thoughts of future gardening are basically what’s keeping me going! (Though at present we’re sequestered indoors here on the west coast, due to smoky air.) I so appreciate each and every post you make! Patty

    I’m so sorry for all that you folks in the west are going through with those fires, Patty, and the smoke even in places far away, on top of everything else. I appreciate *you* taking the time to check in, and I’m glad I could provide a little distraction for you. Please be well and safe.

  10. I too have plants from your seeds, Nan, and now friends & neighbors have plants from those plants. Three years ago I grew two Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’ from seed. One of them got too large for the space, I offered it in my FB garden group, and the neighbor who took it divided it into five plants! She’s going to have a gorgeous display. This year I grew a blackberry lily, which didn’t look like it would flower this year but did, just a few days ago. I’m having fun watching the flowers turn into corkscrews, and I can’t wait for the black seeds to appear. The world does melt away when you have a garden.

    You made my day, Vicki–thank you for that news, and for generously sharing the bounty of your own garden in turn. Yes, isn’t it fascinating how those blackberry lily flowers curl up? It seems to be taking my pods ages to open so I can collect more seeds. Some kind of pest manages to get into the closed pods and eat a good number of the seeds, so I don’t want to miss collecting what I can!

  11. Fabulous fall garden shots and ideas! Inspiration for next years beds!!! Appreciate your candid descriptions of how best to grow or not some of these new to me plants!
    So glad I found your site and looking forward to ordering seeds for next year!!!

    Great to hear from you today, Phyllis! I really appreciate you taking the time to visit. It’s an honor to have you as a customer. Enjoy a beautiful Bloom Day in your own garden!

  12. Nan,

    Thank you for another inspiring and lovely post. It is always good to be in your garden. Can you please tell us the name of the compact green hydrangea along the wall in the photo “a path on the north-ish side of the house?” I have Incrediball but even with cutting back in spring it sends out long branches that sprawl to the ground in my bright, semi-sun site.

    My best to you and many thanks,


    Happy Bloom Day, Nancy! That’s good old Hydrangea arborescens ‘Anabelle’. I cut it back to about 6 inches each spring. I think it stays sturdy because it gets so much sun through the summer, from about 2 or 3 pm until dark. I admire its ability to tolerate this tough site.

  13. So happy to receive your email in my inbox. I always love seeing what is in flower at various times in your wonderful garden, Nan. Here in NW England July and August have been washouts, so much rain, fortunately now we are experiencing an ‘Indian Summer’. My garden is like a jungle, needing lots of work on it to tame it. Due to Covid, my gardener has not been able to work on it. Oh well, the wildlife seems to be getting the benefit, so I’m not too bothered.

    Wonderful to hear from you, Allan. I am sure you’re enjoying every minute of lovely weather after that long dreary spell. And yes, the wild creatures are probably reaping the benefits of the abundant growth; good of you to look at it that way. Stay well, and may your fine weather last a good while.

  14. My virtual strolls through your garden are always a joy (punctuated with a healthy dose of envy), Nan. I’m in love with those Japanese morning glories and will be on the lookout for seeds during your sale.

    Aw, thank you, Kris. And an extra thank you for recommending Hayefield seeds to your friend Kay! We’re flirting with the low 40s at night right now, so I’m a little worried about the seeds that haven’t matured yet. But with luck, and the return of slightly warmer weather, I should have a nice supply of the morning glories, and I will make sure you get a packet.

  15. Hi Nan! Your garden tour was a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the toils and sorrows of the present time. I love your fall garden and have striven to add more autumnal blooms to my own garden. I am interested in the sanguisorbia you are growing and think I need to add some to my own space. The solidago looks particularly good this year too and I love the ironweed. I really enjoy September as the weather begins to cool off and the insects are singing in the borders… BTW, I have some wonderfully scented ginger blooming right now (white blooms, I have no clue which one it is) and wondered if you would like some. I treat it like I do my cannas and just chop and drop the foliage on top of the rhizomes once the frost blackens it. I garden in Zone 7, middle Tennessee so I think it would do ok at your place. I would probable have to dig it in the spring though… let me know.
    Kate Patrick

    Hi there, Kate! Yes, it’s prime time for the sanguisorbas here. I am itching to start collecting seeds of the purple, because so many people have been asking for them. The ginger sounds lovely–does it ever produce seeds? Maybe we can arrange a trade!

  16. Hello Nan,
    Was a lovely treat to view all of your plants in bloom! Here in NC we have had so much rain some things just floundered a bit and some loved it. To give my spirit a boost, I’ve been totally redoing my garden. It has been a tremendous mental lift in my spirits. One of my seeds from you just started blooming- MG Jamie Lynn. It didn’t sow the mix, but beautiful non the less😊. I’m only just starting by see collecting as rain almost every day has kept things so wet. Have to get to your seed store soon as I’m craving trying the purple queen Ann lace and many others.
    Thanks for the lovely trip through your garden.
    All the best to you

    I am happy to hear from you, Jean. I had the same results with those morning glory seeds: I sowed maybe eight in one spot, and all of the blooms have been ‘Jamie Lynn’ since July…until this morning, when one ‘Blueberry Twist’ blossom appeared. Go figure. I’ll make sure I set aside some of the ‘Purple Kisses’ Queen Anne’s lace seed for you, so if you go to order and it appears to be sold out, don’t worry!

  17. Ah, flowers are still pretty, regardless of all that is going on in the rest of the World. My garden is mostly dry and ashy right now. Many neighbors have only ash. Not much color.
    Nicotiana glauca is something unexpected. It is a naturalized weed in Southern California, and is sometimes seen here too.

    Hey there, Tony. I’m so sorry about what you are going through out there; I can’t even imagine what it must be like. I hope conditions improve for you very soon. Very interesting to hear about the Nicotiana glauca being a weed in your area. I’m sure it looks very different than it does here, where it tends to be slow for a few months and then has to race to flower before frost.

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