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