My mid-September gardens look best when viewed from a distance where you can't see the plants' decline. The flowers that are still bravely blooming in spite of the unprecedented heat and lack of rain of the last several weeks, definitely show deterioration. While the lawns need mowing less often, they are littered with leaves that fall before changing color, adding to the general sense of untidiness. The 'sadness' of autumn has arrived early before the trees have donned their fabulous, dramatic colors. 'Sad' because I hate to see summer go. One end-of-August-early-September joy, however, was the unexpected arrival of monarchs. While I delight in numerous butterflies, especially fritillaries, in my summer garden, the monarchs unfortunately were absent until recently. I examined the milkweed daily for eggs and caterpillars and was finally rewarded. Let's take a look -- bearing in mind that while all these plants bloom today, not all photos were taken this week (as I've not been well.) The garden, therefore, is less vibrant than it appears in this posting.
|Still have lots of zinnias. They are a butterfly magnet.|
|Milkweed at the bottom of the kitchen garden.|
|Monarchs at last ... and caterpillars on the milkweed.|
|Declining cottage garden|
The goldfinches twitter through the stands of purple coneflower enjoying the seeds. I will not cut these perennials back but leave them through the winter for the goldfinches to enjoy.
|Goldfinch on Echinacea Purple cone flower|
|This goldfinch is enjoying the sunflower seeds.|
I have just a few fall-blooming flowers. My favorite has to be 'Blue Mist Shrub.' It is a favorite of the bees too.
|Caryopteris Blue Mist Shrub 'Dark Knight'|
I am happy to report the roses are not giving up. I'm loving their final bloom of the season, especially with no Japanese beetles around.
|Rosa 'Peace' (yesterday)|
|Beyond 'Peace'- threadleaf coreopsis and pink phlox.|
The zebra grass by the pond is probably eight or nine feet tall to the top of its pretty plumes. It works hard shielding the water from the scorching summer sun thus hampering the growth of algae. We've experienced a lot of winds lately, and I love the way this tall ornamental grass sways in the breeze.
|Zebra Grass Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinius'|
Another late blooming plant is the sweet autumn clematis. This vine you either love or hate. It is despised for its invasive habit, but I have not experienced a problem, maybe because I cut it down almost to the ground when it finishes blooming. The gardener who gave it to me told me it was the native variety and less aggressive. I have since learned from the shape of the leaves that it is not native. However, it has not sown itself around and it makes a dramatic impact in my fall garden.
|Sweet Autumn Clematis Clematis terniflora|
|Daylily Hermerocallis 'Happy Returns' is a rebloomer having its last fling.|
|Brown-eyed Susan Rudbechia triloba|
Finally, in the herb garden between the basil and the parsley ...
|Nasturtium (forgotten the name)|
I am linking with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for everyone's favorite meme 'Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.' I'm going over there now to see what is blooming in gardens around the world. Won't you join me?
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