Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Beginning - September Bloom Day

After a long hot summer, September offers a new beginning – a turning point of the season. This is the time of year where summer begins to release its tight grip and the cooler nights and less humid days begin to appear. It’s a sign of what’s to come, and a much welcome relief. Many see this time of year as a winding-down point for the garden, while others view it as a second spring. I must admit after a very hot and dry summer, my garden is looking a little ragged and very tired. However, there are a few bright spots still left, and a few more just beginning to appear.

…like the bluebeard (Caryopteris). The wispy bunches of flowers develop along the stems in late summer to early fall. The silvery foliage also adds a little extra contrast to the landscape.

Pollinators also appreciate these late summer blooms.

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is another late bloomer. It’s well liked by hummingbirds and offers them some late season nectar prior to their migration – when they need it the most.

The combo of the bluebeard and sage planted together adds a big splash in the garden…

A tough little annual that fits in almost any garden is the ‘Diamond Frost’ Euphorbia. It’s very popular in containers, but don’t limit it to just pots. It does great in the landscape as well, offering continuous blooming clouds of airy white flowers. It looks delicate but don’t let that fool you. ‘Diamond Frost’ requires no dead heading and can tolerate heat and drought. Its mounded habit makes for a great border or fill-in plant.

And let’s not forget about the summer vines. A new one in the landscape for me this year is the moon vine or moonflower (Ipomoea alba). It’s a species of night-blooming morning-glory, native to tropical and subtropical regions of South and Central America. The name Moonflower comes from their blooming in the evening and their large, round shape like a full moon. The blooms begin appearing at dusk and are very fragrant. The blooms are also magnets for sphinx moths. A great plant for the evening garden.

Another fun, easy to grow vine is the cypress vine. Once established this little vine really takes off, and is very attractive to hummingbirds.

One of my favorite shrubs in the garden this time of year is the American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). It’s a native woodland shrub that adapts well to the landscape. It blends in the garden hardly noticed until it’s bright lavender berry clusters begin to appear, quickly becoming the star of the garden.

For more September blooms be sure to check out Mays Dreams Gardens for this month’s Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.


Noel Morata said...


i love what a beautiful garden you have presented to us this september, your salvia and sage combinations are a knockout!

cindyzlogic said...

Happy to see you have some blooms that survived the Summer. Congratulations!! Your Moonflower is gorgeous!

Les said...

I am not complaining about the lower temps and humidity. I just wish they were accompanied by gobs of rain. I like your blue and red combo.

Carol said...

Beautiful plantings Alan... wonderful colors and textures in your garden. I do not think you could be a 'part-time artist' your garden and photography reveal your eye is fully engaged in the artistic realm. ;>)

scottweberpdx said...

Gorgeous! I love Beautyberry, if only I could find room for one in the garden :-(. That cypress vine is awesome...I always forget about them until I see them in someone else's garden, then am instantly envious!

April Lorier said...

You did a beautiful job documenting the coming of Fall! Love, love, love those beauty berries! But...

The most attractive photo on the page was your ubiquitous smile!