Friday, September 20, 2013

September Bloom Day Sorta Kinda

OK so Bloom Day is old news.  But I took the time to take the pictures and edit them so I might as well post them.  In the month since I bid farewell to the beach, time has elapsed at warp speed.  Shorter days mean less time to keep up with everything.  In an effort to get back to some of my former hobbies I recently joined Meetup, found what appears to be a great group and started hiking again.  So much for weekends!  If I decide to get back into biking too I might as well rip the garden out and move into a condo.

Fortunately I'm not a condo person and I'm not inclined to make the investment into a bike and all the associated gear if I can't see myself finding time to ride so for the time being the garden is safe.  Let's get to it, shall we?

The Lespedeza bloomed a bit later this year than last but is no less dramatic.  Companion plants are Aster frikartii 'Monch' mingling with Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' (one of my favorite annuals) and a white variegated Sunpatiens.

I didn't plan this Aster/Euphorbia combo but I smile every time I see it.

And still blooming in the shadow of the Lespedeza is this Daphne caucasica 'Summer Ice'.

Sedum 'Xenox' mingles with Agastache 'Summer Glow', and Canna 'Pink Sunburst'.  Agastaches are finicky around here so I hope this one comes back. 

Flowers on the Castor Bean!  Last week the white Brugmansia was covered in blooms but that wave has now finished up.  Time to feed it and see if I can coax another flush before frost.

Somewhere under this mass of plants is a container.

Here's a wide angle view of the garden I call the Screen Porch Garden although this time of year I should change the name to the Lespedeza Garden.

Heptacodium miconioides is covered with flowers this year.  So far I've yet to get the deep red calyxes that follow.  Probably because like most of the plants in my garden, this tree does not get full sun.

The container growing below the Heptacodium features a wintered over specimen of Breynia disticha 'Roseo picta' and continues to be one of my favorites.

Along the back border I have a mixture of Calamintha nepeta, Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' and Persicaria 'Golder Arrow'.  In the spring I did alot of tinkering in this garden but was disappointed in the end result.  Soon I will be redesigning and moving many of the plants yet again.  Better luck next year!

Aster 'Blue Autumn' has been slow to establish and would probably prefer more sun but it has been a real winner.

Variegated Sunpatiens=worth every penny.

Naturally I have to sneak in a few shots of the Colocasia 'Diamond Head' container.  I just wish I could find plants to skirt the base that don't collapse in morning shade and hot afternoon sun.  Maybe some Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea', the dreaded Creeping Jenny?  If anyone has any suggestions for plants that will do well in dry part sun when the sun is in the afternoon, I'm all ears.

Stump container in full glory. 

A wide view of the back border.  From this distance you can't see all the plants that are struggling and/or flopping.  But I can.

Another wide view of the backyard border.  Below the Albizia 'Summer Chocolate' is where things just fell apart.  Not enough mass and too much fine texture.  Afternoon sun only is tough.  Everything leans.  Shade plants get fried.  Tell it to someone who cares, right?

This little Begonia has been a blooming machine all summer on the northeast corner of my house.  Such a simple container but so carefree and perfect.

More variegated Sunpatiens and friends in a container just off the patio.  That Acalpha 'Jungle Dragon' is definitely coming in the winter.

Torenia can be hit or miss.  Usually I try to stay with the Proven Winners varieties over generic.  They still take a break in the heat of summer but start to come back when the weather cools.

Both Torenia plants in this container are just smothered with flowers right now.  Last night I fed all the containers one last time with Neptune's Harvest.  If we don't get frosted, and temperatures stay relatively warm, I should get about another three to four weeks out of many of my container combos..

Fuchsia 'Billy Green' with Coleus 'Smallwood Driveway'.  No tag on the yellow Coleus.

The orange flowers of Cuphea ignea contrast nicely with the orange accented foliage of Euphorbia heterophylla 'Variegata'.  Oh why oh why can't this stuff be hardy here?


Once again the rampantly reseeding Amaranthus takes center stage.  In the lower left corner the 'Cherry Dazzle' Crepe Myrtle seems reluctant to bloom.  I did cut it way back in the spring.


Schnauzer corner features Browillia this season.  When I planted it I had no idea it would be such a perfect match for the variegated Liriope.

Cuphea is an annual here but a whole bunch reseeded into a little garden I have on the back side of the patio.  Another serendipitous combo with the Wiegela and Oxalis foliage.

New Guinea impatiens may be common but for flowers from May til frost for a couple of bucks a piece they are a steal.

A long view of the little garden on the back side of the patio.  Why can't I be this pleased with all my gardens?

This red stemmed Colocasia is getting a spot in the basement for the winter.  i coughed up more than I usually do for a plant but it was well worth it-especially if I can get it to overwinter.

Miscanthus 'Gold Bar' is supposed to be a compact cultivar growing up to four feet.  In my garden it's been a midget.  I moved it in the spring to a spot it finally seems to enjoy.  Maybe it will get to two feet this season.  At it's feet is a new variegated sweet Alyssum 'Frosty Night'.  It took a while to get going but is a blooming machine now.  Sweet Alyssum sometimes reseeds here.  Fingers crossed that this one will reseed true.

When I finally got to the last item on my LIST, removing the Corylus 'Red Majestic', garden season was well into full swing.  You can't see from this picture but I replaced it with a new variegated Hydrangea paniculata cultivar called 'Yuki Gessho'.  I also planted this upright cultivar of Little Bluestem which has so far lived up to it's billing and has been completely upright.  Damned if I can find the tag to get the cultivar name though...

Yes, Cleomes can be rampant re seeders and I yank out hand fulls of seedlings every spring but I would never be without them.

Same with Verbena bonariensis which seems to be enjoying a particularly good year.

Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue', Sedum 'Autumn Charm', and some Angelica gigas blending into the background.  I finally tracked down the ID on that golden vine.  It's Jasmine officinale 'Fiona Sunrise'.  Sold as a zone 7-8, it's been totally hardy in my zone 6 garden for years.

Double Purple Datura

Caryopteris, Dahlia mingling with Pennisetum 'Rubrum'.

A few spring pansies hanging on in a shady spot in one of the containers.

An Anemone of unknown cultivar.  Maybe 'Queen Charlotte'.  Years ago I attempted to eradicate it because it was floppy.  Apparently I missed a piece and now have a grove.

Hibiscus syriacus 'Lil Kim' has not been a star in my garden.  It doesn't seem to bloom as heavily as other Rose of Sharon shrubs I see around.  I bought it for it's compact habit but have been unimpressed by the floral display.

Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion' and Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'.  The Hydrangea gets a tad too much sun here but it's otherwise happy so I've been afraid to jinx myself by moving it.

Dragon Wing Begonias are another annual well worth the money.  This one shares a container with Coleus 'El Brighto' and a yellow sweet potato vine.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' seems to be blooming late this year but when I look back at Bloom Day last September it appears to be at about the same stage.

Even though Hydrangea serrata 'Preziosa' has techically been done blooming for a while, the faded flowers are still showy.  Hydrangeas do well in my part sun everywhere garden.  If I decide to spring for the bike maybe I should rip out all the high maintenance stuff and plant Hydrangeas.

Time to put a wrap on September Bloom Day.  I'm not linking to Carol but you know the drill-to see what's blooming in gardens around the globe, check out May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month.

Happy Gardening and Happy Fall!



  1. Oh my god. I though it was good in June. This is fabulous. Just fabulous.

    1. I left out the numerous not so fabulous parts.

  2. Your garden is quite spectacular this time of year. My lespedeza is so tiny compared to yours but it is still a baby. Love the pictures.

    1. Give it room! Mine has gotten so large I may have to do a mid season cut back next year to keep it from dwarfing the rest of that bed.

  3. Wowzer it is all absolutely splendid Sue. I must get a Lespedeza!

    1. I'm shocked that you don't have one already.

  4. Super Wonderful, Sue! Glad you took the time to post! So much to like here: Fiona Sunrise with Angelica gigas, asters with Diamond Frost, your huge Heptacodium, (mine does get the calyxes).... Jungle Dragon is amazing too! But that lespedeza is sensational... even though it takes up real estate!

    1. I get the calyxes but they don't turn as red as some I've seen.

  5. I really enjoy looking at photos of your plant combinations. You have so many of my favorite plants! I planted 'Silver Fog" Euphorbia this year, and I'm enjoying how it adds a light touch to the border. Your Colocasias are stunning! I have a red stemmed one, 'Diamond Head', that looks like yours. I just leave it in its large pot all year but heavily mulch it. So far its been surviving the frosts and freezes, which aren't too many.

    1. I often wonder whether I'm happy or sad that the tropicals are not hardy here. Even though I enjoy gardening I'm not sure I'd want to tend the garden 12 months of the year.

  6. Once again I'm speechless at how gorgeous your garden is. Not only does everything look healthy, but you put it all together so well. That is a talent I truly envy. Those red stemmed colocasias - are they 'Rhubarb,' by any chance? Stunning!

    1. According to Landcraft, this is the Colocasia

      Apparently no one got too creative when naming it :).

  7. You have so many beautiful plants still blooming in your garden. In the 9th photo, what is the purple plant in the front? It is beautiful. Is it a Coleus? I wasn't sure if that was the 'Breynia disticha 'Roseo picta' you spoke of, but when I googled it, the plant didn't look anything like the one in your picture.

    1. That is Alternanthera 'Little Ruby'. Naturally not hardy here. Tender plant offerings can sometimes vary widely around here from year to year and I never know what I'll be able to get so I should try to take some cuttings.

  8. Wow! There's so much blooming, it's overwhelming. The pictures of the Lespedeza had me running to my desk-side reference book and then to on-line references - sadly, it doesn't appear to be suited to zone 10b.

    1. Soon it will al come to a screeching halt. I've been trying to keep the garden in reasonably good shape but this time of year I start to lose momentum. It's now dark and chilly in the morning and the sun is setting so early that there is no time to enjoy it at night during the week. Time to start letting go.

  9. I can't believe all of the color - you have such a gift for foliage and stem color (besides the usual flowers). I will be returning to this post often when I'm trying to plan my 2014 garden during the winter.

  10. I've always had better luck designing foliage gardens. My traditional sun/part sun perennial gardens make me crazy.

  11. What a tour! That lespedeza is s doozy, and I love the long shot of it with the curving walk toward your gate. My lespedeza is a smaller one, with tiny, hard to see flowers. This year it stayed tidy and neat, unlike every other year when it got to look like a haystack. No idea why.

    Everything in your garden is so lush and full and beautifully layered. I know you see the floppers and the mess in some places, but your viewers sure don't -- it looks wonderful.

  12. The Aster/Euphorbia combo is great, I'm going to have to try that. And that Lespedeza - wow!

  13. I am always amazed and delighted at the range, vivacity and beautiful companionship of your plantings, Sue. Always.