Monday, September 30, 2019

This Month in the Garden: September 2019

Fall arrived in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment of the autumnal equinox on Monday, September 23. I was not ready to accept that summer was over, but my gardens have since convinced me with their tangled mess of some-living and many-dying plants. In addition, today the weather turned most definitely fall-like with much cooler temperatures. I donned a sweater and headed out with my camera to capture those flowers surviving amidst the end-of-season chaos. (I really must begin the fall clean-up soon.)

At last, the cosmos are blooming cheerfully in the cutting garden. I don't know what they are called; they were part of a packet of free wildflower seeds that I scattered randomly.

Cosmos blooms atop their tall feathery stalks
The Kitchen Garden with cosmos in the top left-hand corner against the fence -- competing with zinnias.

The calico asters have self-sown aggressively at the bottom of the Kitchen Garden. Many gardeners find this wild plant quite weedy but I like its tiny white flowers with their maroon and yellow centers.

Wild calico aster (Symphotrichum lateriflorum)

The New England asters in the Cottage Garden are gorgeous.

New England aster

An abundance of leaves have fallen already and those that remain are taking on their autumn hues.

Compare the top picture of Serenity Garden taken a couple of weeks ago with the bottom one taken today.
The corn in our fields is turning to gold. The trees are changing too.

I need to transplant the shrubs that I put in large pots when I purchased them in the spring. The pots gave them height but wont survive the winter. I thought the diervilla would have a brighter orange color but its just yellow. Maybe the color will change as autumn progresses. The sweet autumn clematis on the trellis had few blooms this year. I'm ready to pull it out and plant something else.

Shrubs in pots: Left hand side - Diervilla 'Kodiak orange'. Right had side - Ninebark 'Tiny wine'.
The leaves of dwarf cutleaf maple (Acer palmatum) have started to turn red

 Some bee-magnets that are blooming in the Cottage Garden today:

Cockwise from top left: Helianthus 'Brown eyed girl', Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna', Agastache foeniculum Anise hyssop, and Caryopteris 'Dark Knight'

 The blooms on Japanese anemone are very sparse this year:

Top:Rose (Rosa 'Peace'). Bottom: Japanese Anemone (Anemone 'Honorine Jobert')

Duane planted this white pine a couple of years ago

It's nearly time to empty out the hanging baskets; the petunias and calibrachoa are very leggy. But as long as there are a few blooms, I'm loath to give them up.

The sedum that Jonathan planted in the bathtub miniature garden is blooming. I think it's common name is October Daphne.

October Daphne (Sedum sieboldii)

In the bug hotel mason bees are nesting in some of the bamboo tubes and in the drilled holes of the log chips. There is a butterfly chrysalis attached to the bottom but I believe it is no longer viable -- it has been there too long.

 Charm, the miniature horse, has begun to acquire his winter coat -- another sign that summer is over.

Summer was over too soon for me. Perhaps I feel that way because because it was such a wonderful one for me this year.  Last week there was an article in the newspaper about my GardenComm media award. You can read it HERE. I hope you had a great summer, too.

I'm joining Sarah at Down by the Sea for a September view through her garden gate in Dorset, England.

Wishing you a happy seasonal change, wherever you garden.

Pamela x

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: September 2019

I wasn't sure what to expect when I returned from my trips to Utah and Arizona; I was pleasantly surprised to find so many blooms. Of course, the kitchen garden looks rather overgrown and messy. My first job must be canning the remaining beets. There are still lots of zinnias, marigolds, and the beautiful nasturtium 'Empress of India' that won Best of Show when I entered it in the West End Fair. I see the corn has grown high in the field behind the potting shed.

Top: Messy kitchen garden and field corn. Bottom: Beets and 'Empress of India',
The feathery cosmos plants haven't produced too many flowers yet in the cutting garden.

My biggest surprise in the Cottage Garden was the blooming foxglove 'Foxlight Plum Gold'. It usually blooms from early summer to fall. This year, foliage but no flowers all season -- until now.

Foxglove 'Foxlight Plum Gold'

Every month I photograph the hydrangeas to show how their colors change. Today, 'Pinky Winky' is a much deeper pink while 'Annabelle's' white petals are blushing prettily. Roses are making a last showing.

Top: Red rose 'Double Knockout,' Bottom right: Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky'. Bottom left: Hydrangea 'Annabelle'
The asters are late this year

I was amazed to see shasta daisies still blooming ...

Shasta daisies (needing deadheading)

Another surprise -- blooms on the clematis that I cut down to the ground in the spring when it had spots on its leaves from a virus. It looks healthy now.

Clematis spp.

My favorite fall-blooming shrub, Caryopteris 'Dark Knight' is making a statement in the Cottage Garden.

End of summer blues: Caryopteris 'Dark Knight'

The Proven Winners' 'Blue chip' buddleia that I planted this year (to replace the invasive butterfly bushes in my garden) kept its promise to bloom all season.

Miniature butterfly bush Buddleia Lo and Behold® 'Blue Chip'

In the Serenity Garden, sedum 'Autumn Joy' is making splashes of pink color as turtlehead blooms begin to fade. Leaves are falling. Many of them are from the old catalpa tree that we scheduled for removal next month. I'll tell you its story then.

The Serenity Garden today

One plant I didn't want to bloom is the Japanese stiltgrass that surrounds my gardens. This invasive annual grass spreads through a high production of seeds. Cutting it down before it goes to seed is the best control method. Unfortunately, some of it had gone to seed before Duane could remove it with the weedwacker. I'll be solarizing the areas closest to my flower beds with the hope that I can restrict its dreadful progress. For more information about Japanese stiltgrass read my article HERE.

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)

Today is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and I'm linking with the lovely Carol who hosts everyone's favorite meme at May Dreams Gardens. Her garden fairies have beautiful blooms to show us this month.

Happy GBBD, dear gardening friends. I look forward to checking out what is blooming in your gardens today.

Pamela x

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