Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Bloom Day

Happy (Belated) Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!
One of the greatest benefits of GBBD is that it makes me go out and take a close look in the garden even when I'm not feeling very inspired. Well, I really believe that, but...  I'll be honest, yesterday I was really not at all inspired.  My garden looks weedy and tired, I was really tired, etc. etc. and it seemed like one more chore I didn't feel like doing.  I did go out and take a few shots but even that didn't help.  But then this morning the weather seemed very fresh, it was a little overcast and cool, I was more rested and had a yummy vanilla mocha latte in hand... and suddenly I kept seeing pretty little details in the garden I hadn't seen before, starting with the above combination of cream-colored four o'clocks with the native Late-flowering thoroughwort (Eupatorium serotinum).  So, thanks once more to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for GBBD.  It worked again, even if a little bit late.
The four o'clock and Eupatorium are extras in this bed of Ginger lilies, also called Butterfly lilies (Hedychium coronarium).  Getting grass out of this bed was a major project this spring.  Now that the flowers are wafting their delicious fragrance all over the yard, I'm reminded that it was definitely worth it (unfortunately, I still have to do the other half of the bed, though!)  I had taken out most of the four o'clocks since the Ginger lilies had spread enough to fill the whole bed, but I guess I left a few.  I think they are a nice variation with a similar color and fragrance to the Ginger lilies and I'm glad to have them.  In fact, maybe I should bump the bed out into the lawn and put more four o'clocks in the front.  The late-flowered Thoroughwort is not just native but some might go so far as to call it a "weed", since I have never planted any on purpose.  However, it is a great butterfly and pollinator magnet and plays well with others so I just keep it in places where I like it and rip it out in places where I don't.

Another native Eupatorium that looks good in the early fall (and almost glows in the dark) is the mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum) above.  I didn't exactly mean for it to take over this whole area, but it's doing better than anything else I've planted in this boggy spot, so more power to it.  Now if I could only get some Joe Pye Weed to take, I'd have the hat trick of showy Eupatoriums.  Why do I have such bad luck with plants that everybody else seems to be able to grow easily?

The front yard is dominated right now by sulfur cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus).  Butterflies love it, particularly Buckeyes and American Ladies.

Not long ago I planted my first dahlia in a fit of acquisitiveness.  I was hoping to find a red-flowered one but I was itching so bad to get something new, I took this one home despite it's not being what I was looking for.  I have no regrets.  I love how the color clash of orange pollen-filled anthers and hot pink petals looks almost electric.

Who knew that orange and hot pink go so well together?  Oh yeah, anybody who has purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) knows that...
The American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is loaded with purple berries.  I keep saying I want to plant something near them that will draw attention to that part of the yard when the berries are on the bush.  I might have waited long enough that I don't need to worry about it.  The shrub is so big and with so many berries, that you really can't miss it.  Still, maybe I should put some purple coneflowers around it?  Or I had been thinking Sheffield Pink mums, but they are not blooming yet.  I'll have to keep an eye out to see if the berries are still on the bush when the mums bloom.
So that's September in my garden in a nutshell.  Enjoying some of the best of August, perhaps even more than in August itself, while getting a teasing taste of what autumn will offer.