Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, September 2014

It’s the 15th of the month, and you know what that means. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is shared all over the planet and hosted at May Dreams Gardens. If you’ve never participated, just jump right in. We’d love to see what’s growing in your part of the world.

Here, in USDA Zone 7a Oklahoma, it’s a story of small flowers, pollen and nectar. Pollinators are hurriedly stocking up anyway they can, and asters, garden mums, crapemyrtles and so many other plants are perfect for an early fall snack. A cold snap two days ago reminded all of us that a change in weather is truly on the way. This week, we’re back up in the 80s, but not for long I fear.

Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® pink petunias are always a good plant in my garden.
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® pink petunias are always a good plant in my garden.

Ipomoea purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’ morning glory, clambering up a green arbor at the end of the garden, is a perfect foil for the purple chairs beneath. Morning glories self sow everywhere so keep that in mind if you ever get seeds. Still, that star in the center of every bloom is worth it for me. Other plants like Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® petunias are still delighting me with their beauty. These two plants have a trumpet shaped bloom. Pollinators are very attracted to this shape.

Ipomoea purpurea 'Grandpa Ott' morning glory clambers up a green arbor behind my purple chairs. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 2014
Ipomoea purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’ morning glory clambers up a green arbor behind my purple chairs.

Do grasses count as blooming plants? Yes, in my world they do. I planted Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ blue grama grass in one of my “holes of opportunity” where a rose died from Rose Rosette. Two seasons later, look at how pretty this grass is. Note, I wasn’t able to find it in Oklahoma, but when I was in Ft. Worth, I bought it and several other things including some asters and mums I also couldn’t find here. It is completely perennial in our climate so I don’t understand why we can’t purchase it locally. Ask for it. It’s such a beautiful grass.

Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' blue grama grass is so pretty with its eyebrows.
Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ blue grama grass is so pretty with its eyebrows.

Looking at that arbor in the photo above, I may paint it green to match the others now that both roses are gone. What shall I plant in the other hole? I don’t know yet, but I am thinking on it. Of that, you can be sure.

This orange crossandra is one of my favorite plants of this year and last. I can’t say enough nice things. Orange is not my favorite color although I do like it in gardens. After all, I’m an University of Oklahoma Sooner, so I come from the land of crimson and cream. Thus, I’m just not into OSU orange, Texas Orange or even Tennessee’s hue. However, crossandra is a nice sherbert shade that doesn’t seem to scream at you. Plus, the leaves stay shiny and upright throughout the entire growing season. I may border my entire garage garden with it next year.

Crossandra nilotica, orange crossandra.
Crossandra nilotica, orange crossandra.

The asters are just starting to do their thing. In about a week, the garden will be flush with them. Here are some blooming now.

Below is Symphyotrichum syn. Aster novae-angliae ‘Hella Lacy’ given to me by writer and horticulturist, Russell Studebaker, is the prettiest aster I own. It’s named after garden writer and plantsman, Allen Lacy’s, wife, Hella. If you haven’t read Allen Lacy, you should. The New York Times’ Anne Raver profiled him and his wife about their little acre of botanical goodness, the Linwood Arboretum.

Aster novae-angliae ‘Hella Lacy’ was named for the wife of garden writer, Allan Lacy. It is a thing of beauty.
Symphyotrichum syn. Aster novae-angliae ‘Hella Lacy’ was named for the wife of garden writer, Allen Lacy. It is a thing of beauty.
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, fall aromatic aster in pink. Might be 'Raydon's Pink', but might not.
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, fall aromatic aster in pink. Might be ‘Raydon’s Pink’, but might not. I have Boltonia (false aster) planted right next to it. So confusing.

I have an order in to Bluestone Perennials for two more asters: ‘Alma Potschke’ and ‘Bonny Blue.’ Asters and garden mums are excellent bedding plants to round out a garden. They also feed pollinators which is so important right now. I only have one mum blooming so far, Chrysanthemum (syn. Dendranthema) x. rubellum ‘Clara Curtis’. ‘Clara Curtis’ is also sometimes called ‘Country Girl.’ You can read more about the passalong mum controversy in Southern Living.

Some shrubs are still blooming. If you’ve never planted Hydrangea paniculata, you should. They are great plants and can be grown in partial sun or even full sun like this ‘Pinky Winky’ below. It was a trial plant years ago, and it’s never gotten any larger than four feet. It blooms white and then, as the blooms age, they take on a pink hue.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Pinky Winky.'
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Dvppinky’ (Pinky Winky)

In this section of the back garden, you may notice the pink crapemyrtle is blooming less. Pretty soon, the maiden grass will bloom and turn brownish-yellow. The leaves on the crapemyrtle will turn too. We’re kind of in between blooms in many places right now.

This section of the garden shows the in between bloom time we're having.
This section of the garden shows the in between bloom time we’re having. The pink blooms at right are Pink Knockout roses. No, they don’t have Rose Rosette.

Zinnias continue to flower with deadheading. They are the stalwart feeders of many bees, moths and butterflies. The ones below seeded themselves as they often do.

Zinnias are still flowering.
Zinnias are still flowering.

I went and cleaned out the beds this afternoon when I took a break from writing. I can affirm that I grow the finest weeds anywhere. Just look at all of these beneath my ‘Red Rocket’ crapemyrtle. Nah, nevermind, just look at it instead. Isn’t it the prettiest shade of red you’ve ever seen?

'Red Rocket' crapemyrtle.
‘Red Rocket’ crapemyrtle.

Both types of Phlox paniculata are still blooming. This milder weather has everything blooming a long, long time.

Passalong Phlox paniculata
Passalong Phlox paniculata
Purple heart and sweet potato vine is one of the easiest combos for the heat.
Purple heart and sweet potato vine is one of the easiest combos for the heat.

I don’t know why more people don’t plant purple heart, Setcreasea pallida. Did you know that it is also known as Mary’s tears? That’s because when you pull out the blossom, a tiny blue droplet of nectar is found beneath–like one of the Blessed Mother’s tears. Neat huh? I think people don’t grow it because it’s so easy. I think we need some easy plants too. Why does everything need to be so hard? Why are we always trying to prove ourselves? Trust me and grow this easy plant.

Verbesina alternifolia, yellow ironweed, bought at Bustani Plant Farm years ago.
Verbesina alternifolia, yellow ironweed, bought at Bustani Plant Farm years ago.

I have more photos, but I don’t want to wear you out. Go check out Carol’s website and see who else played this month. Ciao!

 

39 Replies to “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, September 2014”

  1. Your garden is beyond beautiful even as we head into “in between” time. I truly love what you said about purple heart: why do we always have to prove ourselves doing something hard? I love that easy care survivor, too. I can’t get enough purple. . .or orange–and not per Longhorns–I just like orange.

    1. Hi Kathy, I was thinking the same thing. Such great hydrangeas. I replaced a rose with ‘Limelight’ in one of my beds. It’s already taking off and even blooming. I was thrilled. I’m testing a couple of hydrangeas too. Can’t remember the name, but they are smaller. Very cool.

    1. You garden really looks lush and full of color Dee. Love Crepe Myrtle but can’t grow it here unfortunately. I’m a big fan of Crossandra too. Such a terrific annual. It just keeps looking great all season. I haven’t been able to find it around here for the last couple years though.

      1. Hi Deanne, it’s hard to find here too sometimes. I’m glad Bustani started carrying it. I also saw crossandra in a nursery south of OKC. I wish you could grow crapemyrtle. They are such gorgeous plants.

    2. Hi Kathryn, I’ve overwintered it several times. I’m sure you can too. Then, take sprigs next spring and push them into the soil. Water, and voila! You’ll have lots.

  2. I have tried countless times to get that purple heart going and have a small clump right now that looks promising. It fails in full sun here but doesn’t want too much shade either. Love that crossandra and need to find a source.

    1. Hi Denise, I’m amazed that purple heart has trouble in the sun even where you live, but plants are strange things. Here, it loves sharp drainage and enjoys growing in my gravel paths. I think it’s such a great plant. I bet you can find the crossandra too. Ooh, wouldn’t that look good with purple heart?

  3. You forgot about Illini Orange, Dee, but then considering our dismal football program the last few years, it’s no wonder:) I don’t know if I’ve seen Crossanda available here, but it certainly would make a lovely border. Vista ‘Bubblegum’ is a great performer here, too, though I’m not as fond of that shade of pink; ‘Silverberry’ and ‘Raspberry Blast’ are the two Supertunias I plant every year. Love all the longer views of your garden–if there are weeds, I don’t see them!

    1. Hey Rose! I did forget Illini Orange. Sorry. 🙂 I don’t love Bubblegum Supertunia as much as Silverberry, but this year, my Silverberry all died. There’s a new dark cherry one coming out Spring 2015. I can’t wait to see it. As for the weeds, I grow a lot of stuff to distract you. Ha!~~Dee

  4. Always so pleased to see phlox in a garden setting. Long lasting, nice fragrance and
    a constant in my mother’s gardens that I remember from so long ago…..I am 81 now.

    1. Hi Phyllis, thank you so much for your kind words and for commenting. I love to hear from friends. Phlox does have a delightful fragrance, and the bees, moths & butterflies love it so much. I couldn’t do without it.

  5. I like your attitude – “holes of opportunity” wherever you have to pull out a rose. Your garden blooms are looking good and you are making me want some more asters/mums I don’t have. Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

  6. Purple Heart deserves better press. The best use I ever saw of it was in an atrium garden at a nursing home. It was in a planter about 5 feet long and nearly 4 feet off the ground. Purple Heart made a waterfall to the ground, just beautiful.

  7. I join you in your love of supertunias. I am only now discovering asters (well, in the garden as vs the wild, I mean!) just purchased my first one yesterday. I bought one hardy mum last year and added two more to my collection about three weeks ago. I enjoyed the article you linked to about the “passalong” mums. I do have a passalong dahlia I’ve been growing for almost 20 years.

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