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!