Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Changing of the Season

Its time for the Autumn flower show. Matched only by the late spring show. Its dominated by blue-purple-pink- and yellows with a smattering of scarlet and fuschia.


I pruned my Russian Sage a bit late. So its now just starting to bloom. Bees love it. Beneath the sage is Sedum having its second flush of flowers. Behind the sage its Pink Phlox and Black-eyed Susan.


This is last year's Pineapple Sage, Salvia Elegans. Not only did it survive our cold winter, it's quite healthy, although growing much slower than in warm-winter areas. Its leaves are so wonderfully fragrant, I'm tempted to snip them and use them in tea. I won't though, the soil is not for such things. I'm looking forward to scarlet flowers in a few weeks.


Behind the salvia is Boltonia. It has survived this year's Aster blight (my name) and is flowering nicely. This one always needs support. It's grown through and tyed to a metal chair frame we found on the street.


Behind the Boltonia are Maximilian Sunflowers, grown behind the metal chair frame for support. These guys got the Aster blight early and they are now seeming to overcome it with new green growth. My hypothesis is that the Aster blight is somehow exacerbated by pruning back. I prune them back one or two times to keep their height in check. I do this for all the Asters, including the sunflowers, boltonia, and goldenrod.


This is Aster 'Monch' and it's having its worst year. Weak, blighted, and spindly, it seems like it just won't emerge again next year. Always a reliable show from late July through October, I want to do what I can to bring it back to health. I'm wondering about plants that host diseases and therefore make bad neighbors. I'm also wondering about plants that actively disrupt the growth of neighboring plants. My garden is notoriously crowded.


The solid day of rain we had has helped everything out. Remember, I do not water. Hardy, natives like the Eupatorium were even beginning to look poor. Even the Aconitum (not shown) was wilting. Not anymore -the Aconitum has popped up and the Eupatorium has begun to bloom its cool blue-purple haze.


I pruned out the dwarf spirea's spent June flowers a few weeks ago and it's now in a full re-bloom.


The Orange Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, I purchased a few weeks back is now parting with its last flowers.


However, as a milkweed, it's sporting these cool pods.


Grandma's rose is blooming once again, maybe its fifth this season.


The white Phlox, my God, blooming since last year I think!

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