Sunday, September 14

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - September 2008

September is a chameleon. Sometimes it feels like the continuation of summer, and other years there is a decidedly autumnal feeling in the air throughout the month.

My front yard garden is a mix of late summer and early fall right now, with the fresh blue flowers of caryopteris and 'Black & Blue' salvia providing a counterpoint to the browned seedheads of oakleaf hydrangea, and the leaf colors of carex buchanii and various heuchera:

Tawny flower spikes of 'Hameln' pennisetum are just beginning:

None of my miscanthus look like they will be flowering any time soon, but the 'Sioux Blue' sorghum grass appears to be throwing up a few flower stalks. 'Rotstrahlbusch' switchgrass has been blooming for weeks now. 'Aureola' is not yet, but 'All Gold' hakonechloa is sporting some frothy inflourescence action:

I like that different cultivars of the same plant bloom later; it seems to extend the show. My unknown Japanese anemone cultivars are still resolutely staying in bud, but my first 'Party Dress' flower is starting to unfurl:

Behind it, you see 'Northern Halo' hosta and golden oregano. I usually cut back the golden oregano throughout the spring and summer when it gets too tall and flowers... so I never noticed the pretty cascading flower form before. It's nothing as showy as some of the ornamental types, but I enjoy it:

Also cascading, in a way, is the native honeysuckle vine, lonicera sempervirens. It does not have fragrance like many of the invasive Japanese honeysuckles, but the bloom time is outstanding. (And it's not invasive!) It has been in bloom off and on throughout most of the summer--and check out these beautiful warm trumpets of color against the glaucous foliage:

More fun foliage effects can be found in the backyard, where the 'Ichiban' eggplants continue to bloom, even as the plants are heavy with fruits that dangle over and into my lazy Little Bluestem grasses:

The allium senescens var. glaucum, whose common names are German garlic or curly onion, is almost done blooming. I need to do some mulching around this area, maybe with some rock to better show off the fun, twisty foliage:

Another allium, garlic chives, are still blooming in the backyard as well. This is my one garlic chive plant in a row of regular chives, so I'm thinking about relocating it to another space in order to remember which plant is which:

Nearby, the hardy blue plumbago continues to bloom. I'm hoping that this week's cooler temps will provide a tinge of red to the leaves finally--I love it when the blue flowers contrast with the red foliage:

The linaria aerugimea was cut back hard a month or so ago, and is rewarding me with lots of miniature, snapdragon-like flowers:

My 'Matrona' sedums are beginning to darken from their soft pink flowering color, and the "October daphne" (sedum sieboldii) is almost spent, too:

The sedum cauticola is still in bud, however. Here is 'Lidakense,' spilling out from a pocket I made in a retaining wall and sprawling all over the s. album below:

And here is the regular species, creating an illusion of water (I hope) below one of the industrial shelves that make up a pathway in my backyard:

Also cool in blue tones is my chocolate eupatorium, ready to burst into flower with a backdrop of blue sorghum grass:

Those are the main highlights from this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. You'll find the rest of the list below, and please make sure to visit May Dreams Gardens for links to what's in bloom around the world on this September 15th!

Shrubs, trees, vines and grasses: Caryopteris 'Petit Blue' and one other, 'All Gold' hakonechloa, 'The Blues' little bluestem, 'Hameln' pennisetum, 'Rotstrahlbusch' panicum virgatum, lonicera sempervirens. (In bud: 'Sioux Blue' sorghastrum nutens. Other showy color: pyracantha berries, 'Dortmund' rose hips, spent flowerheads of oakleaf hydrangea)

Perennials: 'Walker's Low' catmint, 'Party Dress' Japanese anemone, golden oregano, 'Othello' ligularia, mom's passalong lamium, echinops ritro, 'Matrona' sedum, linaria, 'Summerwine' achillea, alpine strawberries, artemisia, ice plant, 'Caradonna' salvia. (In bud: unknown cultivar of Japanese anemone, chocolate snakeroot, sedum cauticola and s. cauticola 'Lidakense')

Annuals, houseplants and vegetables: 'Ichiban' eggplant, 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, various snapdragons, 'Yubi Red' portulaca, self-sown 'Banana' portulaca, crown of thorns, abutilon megapotanicum, purple setcresea.


Anonymous said...

Creating an illusion of water with a sedum is way cool. You're so creative, Kim. Also, I like the idea of mulching the garlic with rock, especially a rounded river rock of some kind. That would be really pretty.

Gina said...

Hi Kim! The blue plumbago is so cool looking. Yet another plant I've never heard of. Nice bloom day post!

Anonymous said...

I don't always appreciate anenomes that are really late (esp. the ones that are in bloom when we're tearing apart gardens) but this year ours were months early. weird. I've never seen 'Party Dress' before - want it! And I'd love to see a long shot of your watery walkway. Too cool!

Carol Michel said...

I need to check out that Caryoperis 'Petit Blue'. I had some of the "regular size" and it was quite a chore in the spring to cut them back because here they die back completely to the ground every year.

As always, I am impressed by the variety in your garden. I always find something I "must have" in your bloom day posts! Thanks for joining in!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

growingagardenindavis said...

I love the way the sedum looks under your did such a great job with that! And the German garlic is interesting...I like alliums and haven't seen that one..need to check it out!

Anonymous said...

I'm with the others, Kim - I think that shot of the sedum under the blue grate is way cool. Love your other colors, too!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm surprised my Hakonecloa is also not flowering yet. I wonder if 'All Gold' just blooms earlier than 'Aureola.' I gave in & staked 'Party Dress' this year. It seems to appreciate the support, but 8 inches of rain have made it rather droopy anyway. I like your "fun foliage effects." The Little Bluestem's red looks great against the dark stems of the eggplant. I have a phobia of Eupatorium rugosum, because I used to grow the straight species & it seeded all over. I'm almost tempted to plant 'Chocolate,' but I still have that nagging memory of cutting off the flowers before they bloomed.

healingmagichands said...

YOur garden is lovely. I think I may need to get some of those german garlic chives. Your illusion of water is very successful, I think.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, so many lovely things. Party dress is so fancy! And the chocolate eupatorium looks great, mine is a little floppy and I was wondering what to plant around it to show it off better and hold it up somewhat. I like your blue grass with it. I posted a photo of Lidakense today and Chrisotpher C. identifed it, but if I had come here first I would have seen yours and known too. I do love your grates. I have to watch out for those garlic chives, they have seeded out of control here and must be deadheaded right after flowering. I love Hameln, but it is a rambunctious self seeder also, it has to live in the driveway bed where it can be mowed yearly with the liriope. I have tried plumbago, it just dried up. Yours is gorgeous. As is the whole garden.
Frances at Fairegarden
new url

Kerri said...

I've just spent a very pleasant 45 mins catching up on your activities/moods/projects and garden. Love those 2 posts about the Madagasca Desert garden. What a fabulous place to work as a volunteer! Laughed about your crabbiness, and chuckled at the picture of your sweet 'helper', looking innocent :)
You have such an interesting garden, Kim! I planted a seedling 'Blue Beard' caryopteris in the new rock garden, along with the plants you sent. I love the way the bees flock to it. The 'Party Dress' is so pretty with its frills. My anemones are blooming in pink and white..planted just last fall. I love them! Your sedums are lovely, especially the one planted under the walkway. Very creative! Love the plumbago. I'd like to try that. Happy Bloom Day!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

I have really enjoyed looking at your garden plants .. what a wide variety you have ! .. I love to incorporate grasses, vines, shrubs,trees all around the garden with perennials .. rocks and mulch can add a distinctiveness to each area as well.
Gorgeous garden !

Gail said...


The garden looks spectacular. I had forgotten the grates, thank you for posting the photo with them and the sedum! The colors look wonderful together. I don't think I have ever left your garden empty handed. Today I have a few ideas on combining plants for color and texture! Thank you, Gail

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kim your garden always looks splendid. You have such a profusion of blooms and textures, simply wonderful.

Sarah Laurence said...

I love all the different textures in your garden.

Anonymous said...

Your garden is stunning. I think what I enjoyed most is seeing things I have never seen before or that maybe I'd like to have in my garden. I also really like the grasses - I've added a few over the last few years and am wondering why I waited so long. Thank you so much for sharing.

joey said...

Always a joy to visit, Kim. You have a gift, warmly welcoming us into your garden and life ... we all love the caring moments. Your blue plumbago is a must that I have wished for yet never included. Perhaps next year! Waning summer hugs ;)

Unknown said...

Pam, lol... I have twisted logic. They store water in those fleshy leaves, right, so it counts?! :) I have some dark rounded river rock, but I also have enough flat rocks that I've dug out from the surrounding garden that I think that might be interesting, too...

Gina, I bet you could grow the plumbago there! Its blue is so intense that I adore it--not many true blue hues in garden like this one. Thanks for the compliment.

kris at Blithewold, I really do like 'Party Dress,' even though it's really bad about facing downward... I keep thinking maybe as a cut flower it would be better. But I can't bring myself to do that somehow!

I will definitely post a long shot of the watery walkway next year. By that time, the blue plants will have filled out a bit more, and I'll have time to plant the edge the way I want. :)

Carol, thank you for the compliments. :) Thatt 'Petit Blue' is really nice, but I did lose one of the two this spring. I think it might have been my own fault, though--I cut it back a little too much, too early.

Leslie,thanks! That little allium is cute--and if you can find one, you can certainly divide it. I sometimes see it listed with the name 'Twister' in catalogs, too.

Nan Ondra, thank you. I'm working on becoming a master of great color and texture combinations... so if you have any hints on how to achieve that, I'm all ears. :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I thought about staking 'Party Dress' but I completely forgot--and the fact that I'm not good about remembering to water over in that area means that the drought usually stunts them anyway.

I think that Digital Flower Pictures (or maybe it's Karen from 1-2-3 Go Garden?) shares your fear of the eupatorium because she had issues with the 'Chocolate' reseeding. I am lazy about cutting back the flowers after they bloom, but still had zero reseeders this year. (Knock on wood.)

Thank you, healingmagichands! I think that it will look more like a successful illusion when I get some dark green around the perimeter of the water... I'm hoping that will make the blue really pop.

Frances, REALLY?! I'm shocked about 'Hameln,' because I have never had a reseeder from those. And I'm lazy about deadheading them. Now, I did cut back that chocolate eupatorium at least once, at the end of June... it really helped it to stay upright and full, even if it is a bit shorter than it would otherwise have been. Thank you for the compliments. :)

Kerri, oh... my moods are pretty legendary! lol. You're so right about those caryopteris... the bees absolutely adore it. I see dozens on mine, too! That's turning out to be a regular "blue garden" for you, between the Russian sage, caryopteris, baptisia... I bet it looks gorgeous when you're done.

GardenJoy4Me,thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! (And compliment.) I'll have to stop by and how you have incorporated all of those things into your garden, too...

Gail, aww... I'm blushing! Thank you for the wonderful compliments... I don't even know what to say in response. :)

Greenbow Lisa, thank you! Now I kind of feel like I should show you some of the areas that don't look so "splendid"... maybe I'll do that this coming weekend. lol.

Thanks, Sarah Laurence!

Kim (are you the other Kim who comments at Ellis Hollow, by the way?)... thank you for stopping by. I'm like you, I'm wondering why I waited so long to incorporate some grasses in my garden. I keep looking for opportunities to use even more.

Joey, you always make me smile--and feel like I've gotten a hug from you!--when I see your comments come through. :) Thank you.

Cosmo said...

Kim--Your garden is so impressive--how big is your lot? (Sorry if I should know this--I'm new to blogging and I'm suffering just a bit from info overload). I love that chocolate eupatorium--mine hasn't reseeded, but I wish it would! These Bloom Day posts are so helpful--you have a wonderful garden.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, Party Dress is really pretty! And I love the name...

Unknown said...

Cosmo, no need to ever be sorry about asking questions here. :) My little urban lot is approximately .11 acres, which includes the space taken up by the house, garage and a looong driveway. I probably could figure out exactly how much "garden room" I have, now that you mention that. Hmm...

Fern, it is definitely an appropriate name, isn't it, for something so frilly? :)

HappyMouffetard said...

Lovely photos - you get a real feel for autumn in the first few.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Like always, you're plants are beautiful and so are the pictures. Glad to be back and reading your blog again.

I've never seen allium senescens var. glaucum before. Interesting.

Shirley said...

Hi again Kim :-D

Oh… great plant list and photos!! I love your grasses and the sedums especially. I too would love to see a whole walkway pic - pretty please :-D

Although on the late side, once again, my post is up now too if you want to hear about it :-D

Anonymous said...

New here, your garden looks amazing. I'm jealous of your beautiful honeysuckle, the aphids kill mine back to horrid-looking twigs every year! I'm about to give up, nothing I've tried (organically) to keep them off has worked. Do you not have problems with them, or do you know a secret you'd be willing to share? :)

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Over here September is feeling decidedly autumnal with temperatures around 16 C during the day. Brrrr And we haven't had any summer to speak of either, boohoo. snif.

My Japanese anemones are almost gone now, very different from yours that are just coming into flower. That Party Dress is gorgeous. And it's a good thing that you didn't cut down the oregano this year, its flowers and leaves are lovely!

Plumbago is a wonderful little plant, isn't it? I had it in my old garden and must buy it for this one too.

Your garden is looking great this September, happy GBBD, Kim!

Kylee Baumle said...

This is what I love about there being many "seasons within seasons" in our gardens. Each plant has their time to shine.

I just planted some plumbago this fall and I hope it does well. A friend's garden had a large section of it and it was stunning. I purchased 'Party Dress' at Pettiti's last month and mine is just beginning to show color.

Do you have trouble with powdery mildew on your honeysuckle? It doesn't look like it. Mine is covered in it right now and I hate that. I don't remember it doing that last year.

I've been looking everywhere for Little Bluestem (even along the roadsides !) and no one here has it. I first learned about it from your garden and as a lover of grasses, I want some for my garden. I'll continue to search!

By the way, I was successful at rooting a variegated Abutilon for you! I can send it if you'd like. Or if you'll be visiting your family soon, I could see that you get it that way. Let me know!

EAL said...

Thanks for sharing, BSG,

I will be making notes on some of these so I can add some oomph to my late season garden.

Anonymous said...

I just love coming here to look around - thank you for sharing your garden in all its manifestations. And Coco, too!

Anonymous said...


Every time I come here you've got something blooming! I guess I should diversify my plants if I ever want to have a garden with as much flowering interests as yours has.

Unknown said...

Hi, Happy, and thanks for stopping by! Yes, I'm afraid that autumn is right around the corner here...

Ottawa Gardener, as I mentioned on your blog, I'm SO GLAD to see you back to blogging!!! :)

Shirl, thank you for the compliments. I'll definitely have to go check out your bloom day post... but give me a while to get the shelf path straightened up before I post a pic. (And it will take a while, I warn you, since I hurt my back this week.)

Karen, thanks for stopping by! I have never noticed any aphids on my honeysuckle, although I do have them on a few other plants (like my butterfly weeds) and I either leave them go if they aren't too bad, or spray them off with a good stream of water. Do you have the same kind of honeysuckle, I wonder, or a different one that might be more susceptible?

Yolanda Elizabet, that's why I love the GBBD--funny that your anemones are almost done, and mine are just satarting! I did cut back the oregano in the front part of the garden, but that in the back I let grow a little taller--I didn't give it the second haircut that I usually do when it flowers. Maybe I should let them all go next year, it's so pretty!

Kylee, my 'Party Dress' just started to stand up straight again--last year it drooped that big flowerhead all throughout its bloom time. Maybe the combination of good rain and cooler temps helps? In any case, I don't have powdery mildew on my honeysuckle, but if it's susceptible then I probably will at some point... it's against a fairly solid fence. I'll have to watch out for that.

The Little Bluestem I actually mail ordered from Bluestone Perennials a few years ago. I have never seen bluestem offered in local garden centers otherwise, which is a shame because it has such nice color.

YAY for the variegated abutilon! I'm so excited... but no need to send it. I should be coming home for a partial weekend, at least, soon. And I have a few things to give you, too. :)

EAL, thank you. Since I get so many ideas (particularly regarding lilies!) from your garden, it makes me feel good that you take something away from mine, too. :)

westcobich, Coco is SUCH a good girl. Not without her challenges (being a fairly opinionated Malamute mix) but I wouldn't trade her for the world. :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

MrBrownThumb, aww.... I'm blushing! But from your pictures, I think that you have plenty of diversity in your urban garden, too. (And better stories... no "ladies of the night" have wandered into my garden to offer advice lately!)

Katarina said...

I've really enjoyed reading your post and looking at all those fabulous plants - how I wish I could grow that Plumbago!I like japanese anemones a lot - party Dress looks so very nice...and what a pretty name it has...!

Robin Ripley said...

Wow, Kim, everything looks fabulous! I love that honeysuckle and have considered a similar one for here. The only thing that put me off was it had no fragrance. I adore the smell of honeysuckle. Why can't I have it all?

BTW, I'm sure you'll deadhead those garlic chives before they go to seed. I didn't last year and, oh boy, what a mess I've been dealing with since. Garlic chives everywhere!

Robin Wedewer
National Gardening Examiner
(and chicken lover)

Annie in Austin said...

Those blue lines representing water have come a long way since you originally had that lightbulb moment, Kim - way, way cool.

And with all the new hardscape your garden is going to look very different this fall when plants go dormant.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

Great show! Looks like it's not even close to being done...very cool. Our fall has been fairly warm so far, I'm hoping for a nice October Bloom Day, too! I think that sedum definately looks like water, BTW! Very creative idea!

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