Monday, September 14, 2009

Back for Bloom Day

It's already the 15th! Can you believe it? Time again for a peek over the fence, so to speak, to see what's blooming in gardens across the country. Here, I came home from a business trip to find the garden in its final act with some pleasantly surprising performances.

The chamomile is flowering reliably...

...and after some desperately needed deadheading, my salvia nemorosa 'Plumosa' is re-blooming a little, albeit not as robustly as earlier this summer.

Just behind the salvia, the Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum) has almost completely morphed from flowers to puffy seeds.

It amazes me that, with so many thousands of seeds per flower head, these don't pop up prolifically throughout the garden from reseeding. Although, after experiencing their poor germination and survival rates firsthand last winter, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. But they add a great fuzzy textural interest now that most things are done flowering.

I have to move all the way to the end of the front bed to find more blooms. First, there is the smooth blue asters (Symphyotrichum laevis), which have only put on a sorry display this year.

My one healthy plant made a valiant effort, but these plants should be about two or three feet taller than this, and instead of these weak blooms they should be bursting with buds. Here is the best display I found:

On the bright side, I did get to see these blue flowers in tandem with the yellow coreopsis (C. tripteris), but only for a brief couple days.

In contrast, my 'Velvet Queen' sunflowers are continuing to surprise and delight. They're all blooming and all in different shades!

There's bright yellow, dark burnt orange, and a couple hues in between.

None of them come anywhere close to the advertised color on the seed packet, but I'm not complaining anymore.

They're slowly listing under the weight of their own flower heads, acting like stumbling drunks. But they're providing a great burst of height and color to finish off the season.

In one of the back borders, this toad lily, courtesy of Mr. McGregor's Daughter, is producing delicate purplish blooms that unfortunately look a little washed out here because of the afternoon sun. This plant didn't miss a beat during the transplanting process, and it's full of buds yet to bloom.

Lastly, the plant with the most flowers right now is my bell pepper plant. In a frustrating twist of fate, this plant, which has produced about 4 peppers all summer, is now exploding with would-be peppers, and frost is about a month away.

Even if we get a late frost, there won't be enough time for these fruits to reach maturity. It's a kick in the pants, but it's motivating me to start my peppers earlier next year!

Speaking of a kick in the pants, I discovered that some devious rodent, most likely either a squirrel or chipmunk, dug up about a third of the trout lily (Erythronium dens-canis) bulbs I planted this past weekend. What's aggravating is not just the loss of the flowers next spring but also the fact that those bulbs aren't cheap! Oh well, it's just a reminder that I'm not the one actually in control around here!

For more Bloom Day posts, see Carol at May Dreams Garden, who graciously hosts this meme!


Rose said...

I do love those brightly colored sunflowers! Don't they just make you smile? Your Joe Pye weed is looking good; mine was so small that it was hidden behind all the other blooms. On the other hand, I have a very tall aster blooming now that I don't remember planting! Yes, we have to remember that we're not really in control of the garden.

I've had the same experience with bell peppers; they usually start producing heavily just as the frost hits. They like hot weather, though, and I don't think they got enough of that this year.

Always good to see all the Blooms today!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How odd that your "Asters" aren't doing so well. Maybe they just need more time to mature. Those Sunflowers are fantastic! It's something to think how a little seed can make such a big, beautiful flower in such short time. I'm glad the Tricyrtis is doing so well, especially after surviving the summer in a pot. It's a testament to the vigor of 'Tojen.'
Sorry about the Erythroniums. I blame the squirrels! (This has happened to me too many times to count.) You should try covering the planting with chickenwire, or plant them in a cage.

Diana said...

Hi Rose -- Love all those sunflowers. I don't think I will have any this year -- in spite of all the heat. Odd, isn't it. And I love your Toad Lily, too. Happy GBBD.

garden girl said...

Beautiful sunflowers Rose! I'm envious of your toad lily. Mine seem to be languishing, and there's no sign of buds or blooms. Your asters look like they're doing about the same as mine. I was happy they bloomed at all since they were just planted this spring. Hopefully yours and mine will be more impressive next year.

My sympathies on the trout lilies. I almost got some to try with my bulb order a couple of weeks ago. If the squirrels ate yours maybe it's for the best I didn't. They've dug up more stuff here than I can list.

Happy Bloom Day!

Gail said...

Hey Rose, As pop around the blogasphere I am struck by how rewarding and frustrating this summer has been for most of us. Your sunflowers are fantastic as is the Toad Lily; but the asters are not cooperating! Here~~the phlox and Susans loved the rain and cooler summer...but not one Zinnia germinated! Ah gardening! gail

rambleonrose said...

Rose--I bet your Joe-Pye will be much bigger next year, especially with all the moisture it received this year as a little guy!

MMG--I don't know what to think about the asters. Maybe they're just struggling in that spot or I'm neglecting them too much. Unfortunately I don't have any chicken wire or anything useful for covering the bulbs. I thought about it when planting them but couldn't find anything suitable. Argh!!

Diana--Thank you! And I am surprised that your sunflowers didn't bloom. Hopefully next year!

GG--I think you saved yourself some aggravation by not planting the trout lilies! I just hope the little jerks don't find the rest of them!

Gail--I agree! Gardening is constantly a surprise, both pleasant and unpleasant!

Sue said...

Hi Rose,
I enjoyed seeing your blooms. My Joe Pye weed either has a disease where the stems turn dark and shrivel or else they aren't getting enough water now that my husband put a long drain pipe on the house, and the rain water no longer goes into the flower bed. I wonder if I can poke some holes in the bottom of it without causing water to go into the basement.

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