joe pye weed

22 Sep

joepyeweed 004Joe Pye Weed is just about the last of the flowers to come into bloom in the garden.  By the time the flowers open the leaves have lost nearly all of their purple color from earlier in the year — the purple color is seen only in this variety which is called Chocolate Joe Pye Weed.  joepyeweed 003Leaf color is the primary reason I grow this flower; the blossoms themselves are unspectacular.

It might be appropriate that I end this blog on the last flowers of the season.  I’ve recently bought an old (c.1858) house in Maeystown, IL and will be spending the winter refurbishing that.  I’ve already begun dividing some of the plants from this garden as I’ll be starting from a blank slate at the new place.   Maybe I’ll begin blogging again when I have something to show there.  In the meantime, thanks for visiting my garden and best of luck with yours.


6 Sep

naneliotrosegarden2013 004The sedums are beginning to bloom, a true indicator that the season for new blossoms is nearly over.  Sedum is such an easy-to-grow plant every garden should have at least a few.  To the left is Autumn Joy, identified by its red stems.  Below are the common (“Live-Forever”) and white-blooming, variegated leaf varieties.

sedum2013 001Sedums can be grown in sun or shade, form 18″-24″ inch clumps, and are easy to propagate — just bury the bottom 3″-4″ of a cut stem and keep the soil moist.

sedum2013 005Sedums come in a variety of color combinations, including a deep purple-leafed variety.  Except for the white variegated sedum, most flower in similar clumps of pink, star-shaped blossoms.

obedient plant – physostegia

6 Sep

obedient plant 2013 004A late season bloomer, obedient plant is showing the effects of some very hot, dry weather recently.  The usual pattern of rows of four blossoms surrounding each stalk is interrupted by some that withered when temperatures reached 100 F.  Still nice to see color this late in the summer, though.

obedient plant 2013 006

passion flower – passiflora

25 Aug

yellowdaisy 002Passion flower vines are late to green up — sometimes as late as July — and late to bloom.  Although they will climb trellises, they tend to wander at will and probably are best along fences.  The flowers are not easily seen, often buried among the foliage, and must be viewed closely to appreciate their complexity.

rudbeckia nitida

22 Aug

yellowdaisy 002The garden definitely is slowing down, but every once in a while something new opens to remind us that the season isn’t over yet.  This is a variation of the Black-eyed Susan but with a green center – cousin to the cone flower.


angel’s trumpet – datura

12 Aug

angelstrumpet 013angelstrumpet 011I’ve been watching the Angel’s Trumpet form buds for the past couple of days and finally last night it began opening.  This is a tropical plant but easily grown in this zone from seed each year.  It’s large flowers (about 10″ long and 4″ across) make for a pretty spectacular plant, which by summer’s end will be the size of a small shrub.angelstrumpet 012

surprise lily – amaryllis belladonna

7 Aug

surpriselily2013 005Surprise lilies are beginning to open throughout the garden.  These come up as clusters of strap-like leaves, about 15″ long, each Spring.  They die back completely by late Spring and it’s easy to forget they’re there.  In late Summer, long (15″-24″) stems emerge with circles of pink lilies.  Also called Resurrection Lilies, Painted Ladies, Naked Ladies, and a variety of other names, they’re a nice late Summer surprises in any garden.  surpriselily2013 007Be sure to plant them among other flowers.  Otherwise, when the leaves die back you’ll be left with a bare patch for most of the season.

bee balm – monarda

4 Aug

beebalm2013 016Bee balm has been attracting both bees and hummingbirds.  These are in a spot that’s not quite sunny enough and the stems have bent over nearly to the ground trying to get to a sunnier part of the bed.  That means they’ll have to be moved–again.  I’m bound to find the right location eventually.

beebalm2013 011

butterfly bushes – buddleia

4 Aug

buttterflybush2013 004butterflybush2013 017butterflybush2013 019Butterfly bushes are late starters – late to green up and late to bloom.  But that makes them welcome additions to the garden when many other flowers have begun to move past their prime.

lemon balm

25 Jul

besusanetal 009Lemon balm has insignificant flowers but a heady lemon scent, especially when the leaves are nicked by a besusanetal 016passing lawn mower.

I usually let a few plants grow long, like these next to an old whiskey barrel planter.besusanetal 010

But the plants surrounding the gazebo are trimmed regularly.  Trimming inhibits the forming of flowers but helps keep the lemon balm from growing too large and covering everything around it.