Drought? Heat? Bean beetles? Chipmunks? Oh, never mind all that. Everything is forgiven and I am back in love with my garden right now. It’s all just lovely and I have spent way too much time wandering around with my camera recently. Trying to whittle a ridiculous number of images down to a Bloom Day post has been a real challenge, but I think I’ve managed it. Join me for a tour of this month’s highlights, starting with some of the remaining beautiful blooms.
Tatarian aster ( Aster tataricus): not native, but tall and terrific for late color
Cheery, self-sown New England asters ( Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Bluebeard ( Tripora divaricata [ Caryopteris] divaricata): not especially interesting through most of the growing season, but it has loads of personality in October!
West Texas grass sage ( Salvia reptans): Another late bloomer that’s worth waiting for
Autumn crocus ( Colchicum autumnale)
Crocus ochroleucus has really made itself at home here
‘Verrone’s Sophie’ dahlia : each bloom is a little different
‘Orange Flash’ pot marigold ( Calendula officinalis)
Black mint ( Tagetes minuta): The flowers are indeed minute atop the super-tall stems
Climbing Chinese bleeding heart ( Dactylicapnos [ Dicentra] torulosa): This one could have been in the flower section instead, but its seedpods really put it over the top.
Marsh eryngo ( Eryngium aquaticum): another one that could have been the flower section, because it’s still producing a few silvery blue new blooms
From a bit of distance, though, marsh eryngo ( Eryngium aquaticum) makes a splendid show for seedhead interest
This clump of white patrinia ( Patrinia villosa) is still producing a few new flowers, but it’s mostly developing seedheads
As the seedheads of white patrinia ( Patrinia villosa) mature, they producethis pretty pink cast
I’m calling this colorful castor bean ( Ricinus communis) “Blue Pod”, for lack of an official name
Hyacinth bean ( Lablab purpureus)
New York ironweed ( Vernonia noveboracensis)
Carolina lupine ( Thermopsis villosa)
‘Lemon Queen’ perennial sunflower ( Helianthus)
Joe-Pye weed ( Eutrochium maculatum)
Seedbox ( Ludwigia alternifolia): Isn’t that a cool seedpod?
Korean feather reed grass (C alamagrostis brachytricha): It’s not quite in fall color yet, but oh, those plumes!
A closeup of the developing seedheads of Korean feather reed grass (C alamagrostis brachytricha)
Northern sea oats ( Chasmanthium latifolium): Put it in a site where it’s backlit in the morning or evening and watch it glow!
‘Skyracer’ purple moor grass ( Molinia caerulea var. arundinacea): another one that really catches the light
Little bluestem ( Schizachyrium scoparium)
Big bluestem ( Andropogon gerardii)
Flame grass ( Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’)
‘Northwind’ switch grass ( Panicum virgatum)
A closeup of ‘Dallas Blues’ switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum)
The fall color of ‘Dallas Blues’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum) is a pretty complement to the purplish plumes, particularly when backlit
One more grass that’s excellent for both seedheads and fall color: Indian grass ( Sorghastrum nutans)
Now on to other seeds and fruits, starting with bur oak ( Quercus macrocarpa)
‘Flying Dragon’ hardy orange ( Poncirus trifoliata)
It has been a banner year for persimmons ( Diospyros virginiana)!
‘Winter Red’ winterberry ( Ilex verticillata)
‘Winter Gold’ winterberry ( Ilex verticillata)
One of several wild crabapples ( Malus)
It’s also the time of year for showy fall foliage. The poison ivy ( Toxicodendron radicans) is particularly colorful this year.
Shining sumac ( Rhus copallina)
‘Saratoga’ ginkgo ( Ginkgo biloba)
‘Bailey Compact’ American cranberrybush ( Viburnum trilobum)
‘Issai’ purple beautyberry ( Iris dichotoma)
‘Henry’s Garnet’ Virginia sweetspire ( Itea virginica)
Porcupine tomato ( Solanum pyracanthos): not for its colorful leaves, but for its spectacular orange spines
Seedbox ( Ludwigia alternifolia): I showed this before, for its seedheads, but the fall color is really good too.
White Japanese burnet ( Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. alba)
Beardtongue ( Penstemon ex dark-leaved form): deep purple in spring, purple-green to green in summer, and rich red in fall
Stiff bluestar ( Amsonia rigida)
Arkansas bluestar ( Amsonia hubrichtii)
Deertongue panicum ( Dichanthelium [ Panicum] clandestinum)
Next up, some combination shots, starting with Japanese blood grass ( Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’) in fall color and the green foliage of golden foam spurge ( Euphorbia stricta ‘Golden Foam’)
‘Issai’ purple beautyberry ( Callicarpa dichotoma) with Korean feather reed grass ( Calamagrostis brachytricha)
Rugosa rose ( Rosa rugosa) hips with ‘Bluebird’ smooth aster ( Symphyotrichum laeve)
Flame grass ( Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’) with ‘Anabelle’ wild hydrangea ( Hydrangea arborescens)
Coastal panic grass ( Panicum amarum) seedheads with coral bark willow ( Salix alba subsp. vitellina ‘Britzensis’) stems
Variegated Solomon’s seal ( Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’) and shredded umbrella plant ( Syneilesis aconitifolia) in fall color with hybrid Lenten rose ( Helleborus x hybridus)
Northern sea oats ( Chasmanthium latifolium) with Arkansas bluestar ( Amsonia hubrichtii) and aromatic aster ( Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)
A wonderful wild combination of New England aster ( Symphyotricum novae-angliae) with Canada goldenrod ( Solidago canadensis)—this one is for you, Mrs. C!
Little bluestem ( Schizachyrium scoparium) with Canada goldenrod ( Solidago canadensis) in the lower meadow
And to finish, some wider shots, starting with the meadows…
Now that my alpacas are gone, their pastures are turning back to meadow. It’s taken a couple years, but the frost asters ( Symphyotrichum pilosum) and a number of other natives are happily moving in.
Formerly the upper pasture
Another former pasture reverting to meadow
Indian grass ( Sorghastrum nutans) in the lower meadow
A view of The Shrubbery (love that golden light in late afternoon!), with coastal panic grass ( Panicum amarum)
A colorful vignette in The Shrubbery, with Culver’s root ( Veronicastrum virginicum), Arkansas bluestar ( Amsonia hubrichtii), and ‘Henry’s Garnet’ Virginia sweetspire ( Itea virginica)
Another bed in The Shrubbery, with prairie dropseed ( Sporobolus heterolepis) and Arkansas bluestar ( Amsonia hubrichtii)
Front borders at Hayefield
Border planting outside of the courtyard garden
Path through the courtyard garden
Foundation planting in the side garden
Looks like we’ll be getting a real frost next week, but there will be a few more good days for seed-collecting, at least. This will be my last Bloom Day post for a bit, so I can devote more time to cleaning seeds and getting a couple dozen new listings written and added to my online shop here. I’d like to thank all of you who have visited my virtual garden this year, and I look forward to meeting up with you again next spring!
October 15, 2022 October 15, 2022