September 29, 2014

Fall Flowers in The Garden

There are still quite a few flowers in the garden despite an early frost on September 12.  Above is a cluster of Colchicum cilicicum, which are the most vibrant of the Colchicums I grow and my favorite.  Their tulip-like leaves grow in spring and disappear in June, then the flowers pop out in September.  These have multiplied rapidly in the last few years, so I plan to transplant some to the backyard.
 
I don't know the exact name of these pale Colchicum, but they've made nice clusters that have kept the bees happy on sunny days. 
 
 
My delphiniums are in the middle of their fall bloom.   They bloom first in June, then I cut them down to the ground, and they send out new shoots that put on a second show in September.  The ones above are 'Pagan Purple' from Dowdeswell's New Millenium collection.
 
 
These 'Green Twist' delphiniums, also from Dowdeswell seed, are growing in part shade.  A few days after taking this photo, I noticed they'd all flopped over - despite the wire ring I'd set up around them - so I lopped them all off and put them into a vase. 
 
My roses have also had a nice fall flush of blooms, especially 'Sister Elizabeth,' above. 
 
'Francine Austin' is trained as a climber, and its petite blooms are a useful ingredient in many of the flower arrangements I make with other English roses.
 
 
I planted annual 'Green Mist' Ammi visnaga this spring, thinking it would work well in arrangements, but the flower heads are usually too large for the tight nosegays I often create.  I'm planting milkweed in this spot next year to attract more Monarch butterflies - I enjoyed watching one last week on one of the butterfly bushes.
 
'Limelight' (above) and 'Little Lime' hydrangeas are pinking up with the cooler temperatures.  They are a great filler in arrangements, but I often find a wasp or earwig hiding inside the inflorescence.  Ewww.
 
 
Here is a fuzzy photo of one of my 'Scarlet Pearl' snowberry shrubs (which seem to be some other variety since they don't match Monrovia's photos).  Supposedly the berries persist all winter, as birds do not eat them, but last year they all turned mushy brown when the weather got cold.  They're pretty for now, though.
 
These 'Farmington' double asters are cheerfully blooming along the backyard path.  My other aster, a dark violet one, hasn't yet bloomed.  It had better hurry up or the frosts will zap it.
 
 
Speaking of frost damage, my Let's Dance 'Big Easy' hydrangeas were the only permanent casualty of the frost earlier in the month.  Other plants lost flowers, but these little shrubs are especially tender and many of their leaves turned brown and crunchy.
 
After killing several types of Japanese anemones - I think they're not quite hardy enough for our winters - I finally planted A. robustissima, and it has survived for several years.
 
Wall Germander (Teucrium) has subtle flowers that keep the pollinators happy.
 
Finally, this is a shot of 'Amethyst Falls' oregano, which has been blooming for several months with these interesting flowers. 
The last flowers to show up in my garden are the fall crocus (Crocus speciosus and C. 'Oxonian'), which should pop out soon.  By the time I finish planting all the tulips, alliums, and other bulbs I've ordered, I'll be very happy to take a break from gardening for the winter.

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