05 September 2009

September in De Nile...

I've tried to ignore the changing of the months by not changing my office calendar, but to no avail. Denial isn't working, as a quick stroll around the overgrown, overwhelmed garden will attest. It's definitely September.
The plants tell me even without a glance at the calendar. This willow gentian doesn't put in an appearance until September has broken over the horizon.

Ligularia 'Desdemona' is at her peak right now. I love the structure of her flowers although not so much the colour. This time of year brings a great deal of this shade of orange-yellow and also of magenta, which are both colours that seem to polarize people into the love/hate camp. Which do you belong to?

I've mentioned already that this is quite a year for hydrangeas, and Limelight is especially amazing right now. We cut this shrub back to about 3 feet tall in the spring, and it went nuts.
Some of these bloom clusters are almost the size of basketballs. They're a fabulous greenish yellow colour that pleases me to no end.

Herbstsonne rudbeckia is another late-season performer, and perform it does, shooting way into the air before putting on these marvelous shining flowers. My favourite of the rudbeckias, partly because of its dramatic height and partly for the striking green cones on the flowers.

We had a week or more of serious heat several weeks back, followed by Hurricane Bill, which wasn't so much of a garden terror, followed by Not-really-tropical-storm Danny, which was a huge pain in the asters to the garden. Hence the yard overall looks like chaos, with overgrown plants, way too many weeds, and a somewhat overwhelmed gardener. However, there are also delights among the chaos, like this Tradescantia 'Osprey.'

The Veronica-that-wants-to-eat-Scotts-Bay, (one of the creeping veronicas) has decided to celebrate the coming of September by putting up a few more flower spikes. And a lot more growth. Must. Thin. Out.

Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' isn't so much a torch as a matchhead this year, with one spleeny, but very orange, flower. I'm hoping it will come back next year, and the crown IS putting on new growth, but I'm not going to let it flower again this year.

One of a few new plants I'm testing out courtesy of GardenImport, this is Solidago 'Little Lemon'. I love its soft yellow colour, much less strident than most goldenrods. Don't be rollin' your eyes about goldenrod, by the way; its pollen is NOT airborne, so it's not responsible for your hay fever. It gets a bad rap because it does bloom at the same time as ragweed, asters, and other sneeze-makers.

Another one from GardenImport, this is 'Goldcrest' foxglove. I adore foxgloves of all kinds and could seriously become a collector of them. I'm hoping this one will return like my yellow and chocolate species do.

I should have that Goldcrest foxglove planted near 'Goldflame' Honeysuckle, as they make a nice colour echo. Oh, and the hummingbirds are STILL here, to my delight; they're busy with the bee balm, honeysuckles, roses and other plants that they favour.

Another definite harbinger of late summer in our garden is chelone, or Turtlehead. You can't see them, but many of the flowers on this clump of chelone were occupied by bumblebees, busily buzzing and looking for nice tasty nectar treats.

On the other hand, you can see a couple of bees making out with the blue lobelia (L. siphilitica). A good bit of my blue lobelia has white blossoms, which are very cooling and pleasant at this time of year, but I love the blue best. Even if it is more purple than blue.

This annual sage has been a great bloomer, much like the agastache at the beginning of this post, and as you can see, the bees are very fond of it too.

Here's someone I don't particularly like: a baldfaced wasp, hanging out in Actaea 'Black Negligee'. Whereas the bumblebees, honeybees, and I all get along very peacefully and I scarcely give them a thought except to admire and rejoice in them, I give wasps the wary eye. I don't remember the last time I was stung, but see no need to annoy them as long as they don't build a nest under the deck.

Okay, September denial is over. It's here, it's happening. Messy-garden denial has to end next. Extra strength ibuprofen, check. Work gloves, check. Wheelbarrow, check. Time to go out and start cleaning up the chaos a little bit. But at least there's still lots to enjoy, too.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Delightful bunch of blooms Jodi. It is sort of sad that September is here. Yet, with the summer we have had it was worth is. I have loved the cooler temps and we have had adequate rain until now. So..all this just makes me wonder what winter will bring.

  2. Yes, it is September. I can hardly believe it. But it looks like with all the blooms in your garden, that September is a good month for you!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Great post and pictures.
    I love fall, warm sunshine and blue skies. Right now, our late summer weather is just beautiful.

  4. Last week, this week and next, according to the forecast are absolutely perfect in my books -- exactly what our entire summer should be like. I don't normally like the month of September -- never have liked that changeover from summer to fall, but this year, it is most welcome. :) Yer blooms are amazing. As for the magenta/orange combo, I'm definitely in the LOVE camp. :-)

  5. Hey, Jodi, that's my line ..That's my story and I'm sticking to it, my skin got so thin you could see right through it..."

    I hear ya. About September. But with your amazing array of beautiful blooms you're bound to enjoy late summer.

    I'm with you also on the Limelight hydrangea. Absolutely spectacular and I have fragrant Sweet Autumn Clematis climbing the fence behind it. An amazing trio.

    I've already started my fall clean up and rennovation as well.

  6. Oh yes, put the foxglove near the honeysuckle! I love apricot and peach tones with pinks.

  7. I love autumn but it's getting here to soon this year! I bought my fall scented Yankee Candles today so I'm trying to get ready!
    For a minute there, I thought you were going to tell us about the birds and the bees! ;-)

  8. I know the feeling, September already! This year is flying by. Great photos! I'm a fan of the goldenrod even if others aren't. In fact last year I gathered seed and sprinkled more of it over in the wild areas on the outskirts of our yard just to increase the fall color. I need to do that withe the ironweed. They make a great natural fall color blend!

    Good luck in your clean-up expedition. I need to do the same!

  9. This post had several things I want to comment on, but I know I'm going to forget something. I knew from the title right away that you were going to talk about being in denial. I have been, too, but am starting to give in. I find myself thinking about spring, and hoping the hellebores and other flowers I planted survive winter and bloom.

    When I planted my Herbstonne last year, I thought the blooms were going to be like the ones I just this evening learned are Golden Glows. I like it, though, and have been deadheading it, because it continues to bloom on the lower parts of the stems. I should probably stop deadheading at some point, though. I don't remember if birds eat the seeds.

    I like your Ligulara. I don't think I've seen these before. If I am in a "camp" on the colors, it may be the love of the yellow orange, but I think it's more of a like for them, as I seem to be in love with pinks these days. I don't think I'm a big magenta fan, but if I loved the flower, I'd find a spot for it. I do like to do a lot of mixing up in some of my beds.

    I like my Little Lemon goldenrod, but it bloomed pretty early this year, and is probably finished now.

    Well, I've been going back to your post to see what else I was going to say, but at this point, have carried on enough, and better go home. Oh, I love your orange foxglove. I have several kinds, and could collect them, too.

    Thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

  10. Yes, Jodi, I'm afraid September is here, much too soon, as usual.
    I want summer to go on and on, especially this batch of sunshiny days we're having lately. Perfect gardening weather!
    If you can grow that agastache way up there, so can I! Is that Salmon and Pink, or something similar? I love it!
    I have A. Foeniculum blooming in my garden for the first time. I love the purple spires, and the leaves smell so good!
    It's lovely to see your late summer garden. You have some real beauties there.

  11. Oh, btw, my Limelight hydrangea is spectacular too this year, although it's still a baby at about 4 ft. But it's loaded with beautiful blooms.

  12. I'm in the 'Love' camp when it comes to the Ligularia. I've got dozens and dozens of plants and the pond area is bright with their blooms.

    The season is waning fast here too but the late summer wildflower rally is putting on quite a show. I was tickled pink when I found some Blue Gentian had invaded a corner of my property. But the real winner is the Cardinal Flowers that are still blooming down at the river. I finally managed to get a decent photo :)

  13. Oh come on now, Jodi. De Nile is a very nice place to be. It's still July as far as I'm concerned. I refuse to change my calendar or my mind. September can wait.

    You must get that Agastache [first photo] into the "Golds" color echoes.

    I had to laugh at your torch as a match head. Clever. Hopefully next year. The torch will light and stay lit all summer.

    I can do magenta, but orange...not so much. The closest I get is peachy pink. I always cut my Ligularia blossoms. The foliage is fabulous.

    'Limelight' is quite a buxom beauty. Pretty close to pornographic if you ask me. LOL.

    I hate wasps. I know they're great predatory bugs but I still hate them. This one on your 'Black Negligee' [more porn?] looks menacing to the core.

    You can get a lot of work done in JULY. I say go for it. You've got many more months to enjoy your efforts. [I've got a houseboat on De Nile. I live there.]

  14. Jodi girl .. should I mention I cleaned most of my pots, lined them with newspaper (keeps them from sticking together when I stack them .. especially the terra cotta ? never know if I spell that right) anywhoooo .. just dig in and do it girl .. thinking about it too much makes it worse than it is ? hahaha ... like house cleaning ? eeuuuwww !
    I love all the colours .. and I love goldenrod too ! can you put in a good word with Garden Import for me .. I swear I am a good plant tester !! ;-)
    P.S. I have my lobster trap out for sharing : )

  15. I'm a fan of magenta, so I just say no to the color of the Ligularia blooms. It's all academic anyway, as my soil is too dry to grow it well. I'm still waiting for my Actaea to start blooming. I think that's my favorite scent in the garden.

  16. Once again, we are growing many of the same things. I'm not a big fan of the deep yellow color. Magenta...it depends.
    I'm glad the hummingbirds are still there. I think that could mean that we'll still see them around for a couple weeks more.
    September is one of my favorite months, but it's also a precursor to a time of year I don't like at all. I'm just going to try and savor every wonderful autumn day we're given!

  17. Lovely and fun! Yes to magenta (many of my friends walk very quickly past my pink border though).

  18. Hi Jodi, There is no holding back the fall~~it's heading at us full speed. Lovely, lovely photos...ah to have moist soil! I think that Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum has a very similar flower form to your ligularia~~but in a fine yellow! I've never collected its seeds but will try...might you be interested? I should mention...it's over 7 foot tall! gail

  19. Wow, Judging by your photos, I'd be happy to be in de same Nile as you at this time of year. Lovely.

    I do like orange... though, like magenta, it depends on the degree of intensity. Anyway, my likes or dislikes are academic, as about the only thing in bloom right now for me are the offspring of a packet of 'Paintbox' nasturtium that turned out to be pretty much exclusively orange. So my tiny garden is a Nile river of orangeorangeorange.

  20. With flowers like that, Jodi, I welcome September with open arms!

  21. Visiting your garden is a treat, Jodi - it's beautiful on its own, but you also have some plants I used to love but can't grow now, like the Herbstsonne and Foxgloves, Chelone and Lobelia.

    The color leaves me neutral, but you are so right on the structure of the Desdemona in closeup!

    Hope soft Autumn lingers long and frost comes late ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  22. Like you, I am in complete denial about the arrival of fall. I keep telling people that it will not come, and that summer lasts forever. They aren't buying it! Truthfully, I love September, but it's the thought of the cold, dreary months ahead that make me lose heart. I think all gardeners in the north suffer from SAD!


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