This quirky seedling dahlia bloom makes me smile, as does the thought of this ordeal of a summer being just about over. We’ve had a bit of rain in the last month—appreciated even though well short of what’s needed—and it’s getting finally getting a little cooler, adding a touch of fall to the air. It’s surprising to think that the growing season could well be over by this time next month! In the meantime, there are still many pretty things to enjoy.
Lots of annuals, biennials, and tender perennials are looking good right now, including…
‘Verrone’s Sophie’ dahlia: parent of the silly seedling shown above
One of my favorite colors of ‘Strawberry Banana Sundae Mix’ strawflowers ( Xerochrysum bracteatum)
‘Shiro-gane Nishiki’ kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate ( Persicaria orientalis) with white South African foxglove ( Ceratotheca triloba ‘Alba’): a terrific tall combo
Through much of the summer, ‘Sunrise Serenade’ morning glory ( Ipomoea) produces more foliage than flowers, but it’s now loaded with flower buds and starting to get really showy.
‘Sunrise Serenade’ morning glory ( Ipomoea)
Pink cypress vine ( Ipomoea quamoclit ‘Rosea’), flinging itself from its container trellis to start covering the greenhouse
Come on, ‘Sazanami’ morning glory ( Ipomoea nil): Your flowers and foliage are gorgeous, but how about you put more energy into setting seeds!
Lots of lovely blooms on the ‘Kikyo Snowflakes’ morning glory ( Ipomoea nil)
‘Golden Chain’ morning glory (Ipomoea) continuing to look spectacular
Hyacinth bean ( Lablab purpureus)
‘Hayefield Hot Pink’ globe amaranth ( Gomphrena globosa) in front of flowering tobacco ( Nicotiana mutabilis)
‘Double Purple’ devil’s trumpet ( Datura metel)
Chinese climbing bleeding heart ( Dactylicapnos torulosa)
Corydalis ochotensis just coming into bloom
Sunset hibiscus ( Abelmoschus manihot)
Swamp marigold ( Bidens aristosa): A tall yellow spectacle of an annual, not to be confused with the low, perennial, but also yellow-flowered marsh marigold ( Caltha palustris)
A friend uses a really rude name for this plant, but as this is a G-rated blog, I’ll just identify it as ‘Elephant Head’ amaranth ( Amaranthus)
Korean angelica ( Angelica gigas)
Horned poppy ( Glaucium flavum f. fulvum): Supposed to be a biennial or short-lived perennial, apparently, but about half of the seedlings I started this spring have already flowered this year.
‘Mega Punk’ spike celosia ( Celosia argentea var. spicata)
A young bloom on a self-sown seedling of variegated cockscomb ( Celosia argentea var. cristata ‘Variegata’)
‘Dragon’s Breath’ plumed celosia ( Celosia argentea var. plumosa) had fabulously red foliage all season and is starting to produce its show of bright red plumes just now.
This looks a lot like ‘Hot Chocolate’ flowering tobacco ( Nicotiana langsdorffii), but I don’t recall ever growing that strain here. Hmmm.
Winged bean ( Psophocarpus tetragonolobus). This seed strain was supposed to be “day-neutral,” producing flowers and pods regardless of day length, but it waited until about 10 days ago to start doing its thing.
Forked bluecurls ( Trichostema dichotomum): A cute little native annual that comes into bloom here in early to mid September
There are many perennials gracing the garden now too, including…
Maximilian sunflower ( Helianthus maximiliani)
A seedling of ‘Carine’ perennial sunflower ( Helianthus), which is itself a seedling of ‘Lemon Queen’
Mohr’s rosinweed ( Silphium mohrii): I adore this species for its months-long bloom period, soft yellow color, and manageable height (usually 4 to 5 feet here)
The cymes of white patrinia ( Patrinia villosa) make a nice contrast to the many daisy-form flowers blooming this time of year.
Patrinia monandra flowered here mostly from mid/late July to mid/late August; now it is setting seed. I really like its layered look and the soft chartreusey color.
Costmary ( Tanacetum balsamita) in bloom
Purple Japanese burnet ( Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. purpurea)
Rosilla ( Helenium puberulum)
A late bloom on ‘Axminster Streaked’ balloon flower ( Platycodon grandiflorus)
I’m really keen on this deep blue form of great blue lobelia ( Lobelia siphilitica) that showed up here last year. I plan to save seed and grow it out next year to see if the color comes true.
White great blue lobelia ( Lobelia siphilitica ‘Alba’)
Marsh eryngo ( Eryngium aquaticum) is flowering here for the first time this year, and I’m definitely a fan. So are the bees!
Seashore mallow ( Kosteletzkya virginica) is technically a hardy perennial but doesn’t always overwinter here, for some reason. It does self-sow, though, so I get to enjoy it as a later-flowering annual even if I lose the parent plants.
Some late blooms on my seed-grown ground nuts ( Apios americana)
Japanese jacinth ( Barnardia scilloides): a cute little bulb for fresh flowers in early to mid September
American dittany ( Cunila origanoides) came into bloom in early August and is just now finishing
Korean feather reed grass ( Calamagrostis brachytricha) in bloom
The seedheads of northern sea oats ( Chasmanthium latifolium) mingling with the red-tinged leaf blades of ‘Shenandoah’ switch grass ( Panicum virgatum)
Ludwigia alternifolia may not be the showiest native perennial, but it’s a personal favorite for its distinctive seedpods and its perfect common name: seedbox.
‘Black Madras’ rice ( Oryza sativa) starting to do its thing
Developing seedheads on round-headed bush clover ( Lespedeza capitata) out in the meadow
A seedhead of ‘Double Purple’ devil’s trumpet ( Datura metel)
I’ve been working on renovating this old Rosa achburensis and it is responding well, with a terrific display of hips this year.
A new favorite pepper: ‘Aji Cachucha Purple Splotched’ ( Capsicum chinense). It looks hot but really isn’t: the flesh is sweet and crisp. The plants are strong and well branched, each bearing dozens of fruits and looking very ornamental with all of the different colors as the peppers mature. When they are orange, just before the final red, they look a lot like little pumpkins.
What a workhorse of a plant! I started a bunch of white-veined Dutchman’s pipe ( Aristolochia fimbriata) seeds last year and planted some of them in this trough. Brought it into the basement last winter and let it go almost completely dry, then set it out again in spring. It produced a generous flush of foliage and flowers and looked great until early August. I cut it back to about 2 inches above the soil and it responded with another batch of beautiful new leaves for fall.
A little space opened up in a nursery bed in mid-August, so I thought I’d do a second sowing with my last few variegated sunflower ( Helianthus annuus ‘Sunspots’) seeds, gambling on getting to harvest more seeds before frost. Not sure how that will work out yet, but boy, this developing main bud sure is a beauty.
Isn’t this ‘Albe Red Variegated’ cotton ( Gossypium herbaceum) spectacular? I’m still growing and loving the black-leaved form ( G. herbaceum ‘Nigrum’), but when I had the chance to get some seeds of this one, I couldn’t resist, even though I didn’t really believe they would come true. Six seeds produced six variegated seedlings! The three planted in the ground in the front garden are particularly showy—maybe due to drought stress, since I didn’t carry water out there often. The plants growing in a large container out back are taller but don’t express quite so much red, though they are still showy.
Well, here’s hoping for more rain soon. In the meantime, there are lots of Hayefield seeds that need to be collected, processed, and stored in the coming weeks. May you enjoy a beautiful and bountiful fall season in your own garden!
White patrinia ( Patrinia villosa) in front of ‘Lemon Queen’ perennial sunflower ( Helianthus) Posted on
September 15, 2022 September 14, 2022