Just one more week of summer. In the United States and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the autumn season, known as the Autumnal Equinox, occurs on September 22. Fall, however, seems to have arrived very early here! The lawn is covered with fallen leaves, the wind is keen, and the sun has gone into hiding. Amazingly, there are plenty of blooms to share with you on this chilly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, so let's take a stroll through my garden.
In the shade garden, Turtlehead Chelone 'Hot lips', bloomed late but profusely. The picture above is the view from my favorite chair in the garden room. This year, I am really enjoying this unique native plant.
|Turtle head Chelone glabra 'Hot lips'|
Turtle head does well in heavy wet soil, but mine is thriving even though I planted it in a rather dry spot. My shade garden is a raised lasagna garden (click to read how I made it) so it drains well and remains dry. Usually, I use the soaker hose frequently, but this wasn't necessary this year with our cool wet summer. Incidentally, turtle head will grow in sun or shade.
This perennial native gets its name from the shape of its unusual flowers, which resemble the heads of snapping turtles ...
Little else is blooming in the shade garden, except for some insignificant heuchera blooms, but there are some wonderful foliage combinations.
|Bottom left: Coral bells, heuchera 'Key Lime Pie' w/hostas and lamium|
Walking through the arbor into the cottage garden, there are two striking blooms -- the perennial sunflowers that I planted in containers on each side of the arbor, and the sweet autumn clematis climbing the trellis at the back of the rose bed.
|Perennial sunflower Helianthus microcephalus|
|Sweet Autumn Clematis Clematis terniflora,|
I featured both of these plants last year in my September 2012 GBBD posting, and it is fun to look back and see how different they are now. Comparing the garden from year to year is one of the reasons I like to participate in this wonderful meme. I am grateful to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting it on the 15th of every month -- please check it out if you aren't familiar with it.
Visitors to my garden want to know why I planted perennial sunflowers in planters and not in the ground. Two reasons -- first that particular area of the garden does not drain well and becomes like a wet sponge after rain. The arbor is secured with concrete, because we lost the last one during the hurricane, Sandy. I also lost two English boxwoods there last year when their roots rotted. The second reason is that perennial sunflowers are very aggressive, and planting them in pots curtails their spreading instincts. Just click on last years' post to see how much they grew!
|Perennial sunflowers with sweet autumn clematis nearby|
All my roses are enjoying their last flush, and the Lichfield Angel is at its best ...
|David Austin rose Rosa 'Lichfield Angel'|
|Blue mist shrub Caryopteris 'Dark Knight' blooming left front of picture|
The butterfly bushes are still blooming, although there are not too many butterflies to be seen in today's cool weather.
|Butterfly bush Buddleia (top), perennial geranium 'Roxanne' (middle) and lambs' ears (bottom right)|
Cleome is still gorgeous ...
|Spider plant Cleome|
|Bee on cleome|
Asters and sedum 'Autumn Joy' create a strong feeling of the season's change. Both these plants are new to my cottage garden. I had hoped the aster would be a truer blue, but it is still very pretty ...
I planted three of these asters along the picket fence border. I like their contrast with the white yarrow 'The pearl' ...
|Yarrow 'The pearl' and aster 'Woods light blue'|
On the other side of the fence, the kitchen garden is still ablaze with zinnias, but today I will feature my marigolds which have shades of autumn in their red, yellow and orange blooms ...
|Marigolds in the kitchen garden|
Behind the parsnips, in the kitchen garden, I planted a 'giant' sunflower. It didn't grow very tall, and after it's flower faded, it branched out and produced many more blooms. I'm sure there is a logical reason, but it amazes me, and makes me smile.
Finally, the corn in the lower field is more than 8 feet tall ...
... and one more look at the sweet autumn clematis on the far side of the pond.
"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."
- Elizabeth Lawrence
- Elizabeth Lawrence
Wishing you all a happy GBBD!
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