Tag Archives: echinacea

A Garden Review of 2014: Late Summer and Autumn

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Busy with family events this week I missed making a Monday vase and am behind reading favorite garden blogs. But I prepared this entry ahead so I could stay in touch and complete the last exercise in this 3-part review.

As the days grow short and we head toward winter, I have been finding cheer and smiles through a 2014 garden review project suggested by Cathy at Words and Herbs. In the past two weeks I revisited my Spring and Summer gardens. For the last installment of this project, I have selected some things to share from Late Summer and Autumn.

September

It is amazing to watch certain plants awake each year to achieve great size and presence in the landscape.  At mid-June, a full two weeks before the first flowers opened, Lantana camara (Common lantana) was merely a round clump of greenery, but once blooming it began attracting insects and hummingbirds. By Early September lantana fully dominated its corner of the southern border in color and mass.

Showing plenty of leaves, Lantana camara (Common lantana) June 12, 2014

Showing plenty of leaves, Lantana camara (Common lantana) June 12, 2014

Facing west: Lantana camara (Common lantana)  in the Southern Border and Zinnia in Island Border September 3, 2014

Facing west: Lantana camara (Common lantana) in the Southern Border and Zinnia in Island Border September 3, 2014

Tucked nearby blue Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) looked stronger than usual this year.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) september 3, 2014

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) September 3, 2014

A yellow passalong iris began flowering again in early September and continued through October.

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

By mid-month a few more Chuck Hayes gardenias flowered. Unfortunately the shrubs never regained their vigor this year so they are on a long list of things that need attention.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

September temperatures were still hot. Autumn officially arrived on September 22 and the day before had been almost 90°F/32°C. The garden was still very green and Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) was full of those funky-colored purple berries.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

In September the search to fill a vase each Monday kept me more in tune with the garden than normal and I began during this time to gravitate back to the garden, appreciating its varied offerings.

Meanwhile Everlasting Sweet Pea rebloomed better than it had in spring and Obedient Plant was in its prime.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) seems cheerfully content.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) seems cheerfully content.

In A Vase On Monday September 1, 2014

In A Vase On Monday September 1, 2014

Occasionally I found a few fresh blooms of Echinacea around the garden to include in a vase, but most of them looked rather tired. Despite the flowers’ ragged appearance American goldfinches were to them attracted anyway, as was this American Lady. This was the first time I had noticed this type of butterfly in the garden. It was not a strong year for seeing butterflies.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Preparing For Take-off

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) September 27, 2014

Native Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) reached over 10 feet tall before finally revealing its sunny color. The bright yellow blooms attracted many pollinators and made the western border positively glow.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) in Western Border

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) in Western Border September 27, 2014

October

A heavy fog moved in the first morning of October and the lawn was covered with dozens of spiderwebs (Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)).  Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage), Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) and Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy) added rich red hues to the garden.

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

My favorite red this year was the Blue Bell Dahlia. I planted it in the Northern Border back against the fence, expecting it to be much taller than it actually was. It grew to about 3 feet tall.

Dahlia 'Blue Bell' October 16, 2014

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ October 16, 2014

The dahlia’s dark red flower featured prominently in most of my In A Vase On Monday arrangements during October, including one that is my favorite from the whole year.

In A Vase On Monday-2 In A Vase On Monday-3

Monarchs appeared in the garden during the second week of October and kept me chasing after them with my camera for days. Lantana and Zinnias were their favorite nectaring plants as they loaded up to continue their fall migration.

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

Lantana and Monarch (detail) October 10, 2014

Monarch Nectaring On Zinnia

Monarch Nectaring On Zinnia October 17, 2014

After many years of wanting to grow Spider Lilies as my grandmother had done, I finally ordered some bulbs and planted them this fall. When the foliage emerged I realized it will be next year before I see them bloom.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily) October 22, 1014

At mid-October I was pleased to see the Jackmanii Clematis flowering again in the narrow Southern Side Path along the side of the house.

Clematis 'Jackmanii' In Southern Side Garden

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ In Southern Side Garden October 17, 2014

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

The fragrant Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)  opened around this time, also located along the Southern Side Path. This year only a few flowers had time to fully develop before getting nipped by cold.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) October 17, 2014

As the end of October arrived Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower) rallied to produce a fresh display of pristine blossoms and a few blooms of Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ appeared. Like the Hedychium, this highly scented camellia was a casualty of an early cold snap, but for a few days it looked nice outdoors and paired well with White Swan for an indoor arrangement.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

November

In the first days of November the autumnal colors of Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) were remarkable.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

A passalong Chrysanthemum starting showing color mid-October and had come iinto full bloom the first week of November, just as the temperature fell slightly below freezing overnight for the first time this fall.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

A bargain purchase of red Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) gave the meditation circle some much needed color.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) In Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) In Meditation Circle

A few days later seed pods of asclepias tubersosa were fluffy and inviting.  The pair of crape myrtles at the end of the front walkway were shifting from green to rich orange and golden hues.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)-9

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Using Crape Myrtle leaves as a beginning point, somehow I was able to find plants representing each season of the year to include in the “Four Seasons” vase on November 10.  “Four Seasons” referred to the annual cycle in the garden and was my way of helping mark the first year anniversary for Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday - Four Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – Four Seasons

By the end of November the garden had settled in for a rest, while I began looking ahead to spring with dreams of hyacinths and Anemone coronaria.

Rainy Meditation Circle

Rainy Meditation Circle

Fall 2014 Bulbs - Hyacinths and Anemones

Fall 2014 Bulbs – Hyacinths and Anemones

A big thanks to Cathy for hosting this 2014 garden retrospective. Visit Words and Herbs to see her own reviews along with links to those of other participating garden bloggers.

Color In The June Borders

During a brief stroll through the garden this afternoon I was struck by the strong colors, including greens, dominating each of the borders.

Fragrance is important too and as I approached the western border to inspect the new blooms on the butterfly bush the delectable scent of nearby gardenia was quite magnificent, powerful enough in fact to overcome the Buddleia’s rather peculiar smell. The color of this Buddleia is actually a bit less blue and more purple than it appears in this image.

Buddleia davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Butterfly Bush)

Buddleia davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Butterfly Bush)

Echinacea is filling out many of the borders currently. The colors range from the pale pink to a deep almost raspberry. My would-be favorite-colored echinacea, the orange Big Sky Sundown, never lasts a season in my garden, so I am resigned to enjoying them in the pink ranges for now.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Hummingbirds and butterflies are enjoying the drifts of bright scarlet Monarda and indoors these flowers last for many days.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) Creative Commons License
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) by Patricia Moffat, pbmGarden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

A large grouping of Shasta Daisy near the back steps is bright and cheerful. These flowers seems to require a lot of water, which I very seldom dole out to any plants in the garden after the first few weeks. After a mostly cloudy day it is raining here this evening, so everything is getting a nice drink.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Late Afternoon In The Mid-October Garden

There were delightful sights, sounds and scents in today’s garden. A large bee buzzed and hovered near my face long enough to fan my cheek, making me smile. Late afternoon sunlight danced atop Angelonia in the meditation path.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)

Throughout the garden Echinacea is in various stages of its life cycle. Many of the plants are fading even as new flowers emerge on others.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

More Camellia sasanqua flowers appear daily. The variety of this Camellia is unknown, but it is a highly fragrant one.

Camellia sasanqua

I noticed the first Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ blossom is open. It seems early but actually last year this shrub was blooming on October 25.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Another fragrant shrub, Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne), bloomed from late January to March last year. Today a dainty Daphne blossom made an early appearance.

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

Mid-July Musings

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

‘Chuck Hayes’ Gardenias began blooming at the end of May this year and since then a few occasional blossoms have continued to appear. This particular bush lost several limbs last week when the top of a neighbor’s Loblolly Pine came crashing down during a severe wind and rain storm. The jolt seems to have encouraged a few more flowers.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Temperatures are heading toward 100 today. A few individual heat-loving plants are going strong, but for the most part the garden is shutting down. There are no lush drifts of color or interesting plant pairings to note.

There are still plenty of bees around enjoying such delicacies as Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue), Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) and Salvia ‘Blue Sky.’

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) began flowering on the last day of May and though it looks stressed from the heat, blooms continue to appear. For the past three weeks hummingbirds have been regular visitors.

Goldfinches dart among the tired and ragged seed heads of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower). For a while longer I can justify leaving the drying coneflowers for the birds, although their sprawling stalks (and most of the garden in general) have become very unsightly. This garden is definitely at its best in Spring.

Summer Orange

The temperature in late afternoon is 90°F. Even early this morning the garden was hot and bright. Orange hues prevailed. The deer have returned recently, but somehow missed this daylily, aptly named ‘Tangerine.’

Tangerine

Hemerocallis ‘Tangerine’ (Daylily)

Hemerocallis ‘Tangerine’ (Daylily)

Hemerocallis ‘Tangerine’ (Daylily)

Flame, Pumpkin, Rust

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Tomato, Vermillion, Orange-red, Coral

Lantana camara (Common lantana)