Saturday, March 19, 2016

My Flower Garden in September 2015

After months of living in a Philadelphia Flower Show bubble, I am finally coming up for air. I will post my reflections on my first year working as a PHS employee at the show, but in the meantime, I will try to catch up a bit on reflections of my garden from last year. September in the flower garden, for instance...

My flower garden is at it’s best in spring and summer, but not so much as fall approaches. However, here are some of the highlights.

I love anemone. Given that, you would think I would have tons of it in my garden, yet I don’t. I never seem to be able to find the room for more. This one is Anemone tomentosa Robustissima. I love the dark, almost black, stems with the pink flowers and fluffy-looking, yellow centers. Unfortunately, this anemone is fairly hidden in a corner of what I call my “secret garden,” so it is not often seen.  

Purple Morning Glory vines cover the arbor in late summer. The hummingbirds enjoy the flowers before they migrate away.

The pink roses in the flower garden were still hanging in there off and on until winter came. Same with the bright red Cardinal Climber vine, another hummingbird favorite.

A new addition to the late summer / early fall garden in 2015 was Ironweed. I wish I could remember if this was Vernonia noveboracensis or Vernonia gigantea, though. I can't seem to find the tag. Nevertheless, Ironweed is a native plant and a favorite of our valuable pollinators. I planted it specifically for all of my bumble bee and butterfly friends who visit my garden on a regular basis spring through fall.

Blooming in September near the Ironweed was Phlox paniculata 'David's Lavender' (which actually looks more pink here), and light pink Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana).

The white Phlox paniculata David was still blooming, as well, in September.

I don’t buy a lot of annuals for the flower garden, but when I do, they have to be long-lasting, solid performers. These two fit the bill – Melampodium Million Gold with its yellow flowers and Colorblaze Lime Time Coleus. I plant Melampodium every year. It starts out slow, but by late summer it looks full and fantastic. The key is to make sure it gets enough water. This is my first year planting the Lime Time Coleus and it flourished in this hot, sunny spot. I love the combination of these two plants together. Don’t be surprised if you see this combination pop up again in my garden.

Next to this planting was lavender and another small annual with lavender, aster-like flowers called 'Toucan Tango' Brachyscome. Toucan Tango flowered all season, however it never got very full-looking. I had temporarily moved my strainer of succulents to this pot in the garden and ended up liking it there.

Sedums are a staple of the fall garden. I have a few varieties that I planted years ago and can’t recall all of the names.

Sedums are a favorite of the bumble bees in September.

Blue Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is a reliable ground cover that gets pretty blue flowers in the late summer and fall.


Winding down in September is this white hydrangea that borders the kitchen garden. It has arching branches. I inherited this from the previous owner, but it seems to be some sort of Hydrangea paniculata. The flowers turn pinkish before they brown up for the winter.

Another highlight of the late summer garden is...hey, wait a minute, that's not a plant, it’s a cat. Yes, another one of my neighbor’s cats. This one is Puss. Puss loves to find different areas of the garden to nap.

Mr. Thaddeous Gnome was still tending to his sheep under the Christmas Ferns in the flower garden in September. I took some of the rotting wood with moss from my cedar trash bin and put it on Thaddeous’ roof. Never met a gnome named Thaddeous? Well there’s a first time for everything.

Not actually IN the flower garden, but near it, were my bog pots. The carnivorous Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia leucophylla) always seem happiest in September. They are still thriving when the air gets crisp and I have to bring in the pots to protect the Venus Flytraps that also call these pots home.

Many, many birds inhabit my garden. These doves decided perching on the bird feeder was a good idea during a rain shower. I personally can’t see how that was a good idea.

In order to watch the birds of the garden more closely, I moved some of the feeders to be next to the screened-in back porch. Hummingbirds and goldfinches came to visit, but only after they realized that me and my two kitties were no threat to them in our screened room. I look forward to seeing these feathery friends again this year.

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