Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: September 2012

My garden is an a sort of transition period between summer and fall. Many of the perennial summer flowers now have seedheads instead of blooms, while the fall flowers have either just begun to flower or are on the verge. Most of the asters, in particular, are dotted with blue and purple, a prelude to the mass of color that will come later in the season. Every morning I inspect these late bloomers, pardon the pun, with impatience (if not Impatiens). I want to address them sternly: “Hey, you! Don’t just stand around gawking – think you’ll get around to blooming before the holidays?” But I remain quiet for the most part, because I don’t want to give the neighbors any funny ideas.

But back to the September Bloom Day. Let’s start by walking out through the back porch.

Flowering Tobacco

The Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) is looking very nice. Very important with this one to deadhead promptly.

Overall, I’m pleased with the look of the containers on the back porch landing.

The Japanese Anemones (Anemone x hybrida) are among the late bloomers. This is ‘Honorine Jobert’. I find the flower buds attractive in their own right. I like how you can see the white between the bracts as they are just about to open.

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia syphilitica)

The Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia syphilitica) seemed to bloom only briefly this season. Whenever I look at this plant I think that whoever came up with the botanical name is definitely guilty of false advertising, or maybe wishful thinking. The name is derived from the incorrect but once common belief that this plant cures syphilis. Couldn’t the taxonomists take time out from messing up perfectly adequate botanical names and think up something a little less unseemly for this poor flower?

Crooked Stem Aster (Aster prenanthoides)

Crooked Stem Aster (Aster prenanthoides) starts blooming in late summer and does well in shade and moist soil.

Big Leaf Aster (Aster macrophyllum)

My kids refer to Big Leaf Aster (Aster macrophyllum) as Big Ass Leafter. This is a good plant for difficult sites.

Solidago flexicaulis

Zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulus) does well in shade and is an attractive plant, but it should ONLY be planted in difficult sites with plenty of tough competition. Otherwise, it becomes a rapacious thug.

Zinnia ‘Profusion Orange’ and Prairie Dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepsis)

Now let’s amble around to the front yard, past the vegetable and herb bed. First we see the orange  ‘Profusion’ Zinnias interplanted with Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsus).

Anise Scented Goldenrod (Solidago odora) and Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius)
Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius)

Then there’s the Anise Scented Goldenrod (Solidago odora) and Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius).

Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’ and Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

Most of the color coming from the raised bed along the walk to the front door comes from Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) and Spider flower (Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’).

Brown Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) and Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

There’s also Brown Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) and Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) in the parkway.

Aster novae angliae

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) is just beginning to bloom in the front island bed. I grow the straight species, and it’s interesting to see how variable the flower colors are: blue, purple, pink …

Blue Stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)

Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) is a nice low goldenrod for the garden, just be prepared to pull up lots of seedlings.

Short’s Aster (Aster shortii)

Short’s Aster (Aster shortii) is, as you can see, completely covered with buds. The first few have just popped.

Verbena peruviana

And on the east side of the house, the Impatiens seem to have called it quits for the season. The Verbena, however, are still going strong.

Well, that’s it. I’m thinking I may follow-up with posts with more information on the different kinds of goldenrod and aster in the garden. They’re my fall favorites – I’d take them over chrysanthemums any day. Would you agree, or are you a chrysanthemum fan?

Many thanks to for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

33 Comments on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: September 2012

    • I sent you a message on blotanical as well. I’m also hopeless with the computer, but I’m glad you seem to have figured it out. I just appreciate that you’re reading the blog!

  1. Hi Jason, i just told my son about only just finding your blog, he laughed at me, he’s the one that helps with computer stuff, your porch is looking good with those pots and you have such pretty plants in your garden, they are all lovely.

  2. Lots of lovely blooms, Jason; I especially like all the natives you have in your garden. You commented on my post that you didn’t have any ‘October Skies’ asters, but they are the oblongifolius, so perhaps you do. It’s just easier for me to remember the cultivar name than the botanical name for that one. All my goldenrod, however, is probably Canada goldenrod; I like all your different varieties, especially the Blue Stem goldenrod.

    Thanks for visiting several of my recent posts; this is the first time I’ve been able to access your blog, so I’m so happy I could finally see your garden, too! I agree with you about deadheading the nicotania; I learned that the hard way this year–one flowerbed was overrun with volunteer seedlings of it this summer. It’s a pretty flower, though, so that wasn’t all bad:)

    • Rose, thanks so much for looking at my blog and leaving a comment. Also, it’s good to know that ‘October Skies’ is oblongifolius. I might try it, I like this aster a lot, but what I have now is the straight species. I find that A. oblongifolius is both a prolific bloomer, relatively well behaved, and a manageable size, traits not combined in many asters.

  3. Your kid’s aster story reminds me of something that happened years ago at a garden center I worked for. I asked the clerk to change the sign out front to let people know we had a great selection of butterfly bushes. She put up “big ass butterfly bushes”. Happy GBBD!

  4. It seems a lot of your garden is just coming into bloom! Nice to see another gardener not ignoring this wonderful season.

    • I love fall. Asters, goldenrod, Japanese anemone, apple picking – and apple pie. My birthday is in October, and I always ask for an apple pie instead of a cake.

  5. Love Asters & Goldenrods…and yes, MUCH more than Chrysanthemums! There is something wonderful about that totally rich combination of golds and purples…I just love it!

  6. So much you have blooming. Most of what you have just blooming has pretty much hit the end game here. Asters are all finishing up, Rudbeckia too. It looks like your garden is pretty large for being a city garden.

    • Well, we are Zone 5, merging into 6 lately. So I guess you would be ahead of us. Our flowers last longer, but you get an earlier spring! We live in a town right on the Chicago border. Our lots are a little bigger than Chicago lots, and then our house is on a lot a little bigger than most lots in our town. But the garden seems bigger because almost all the grass has been replaced with flower beds. Also, the photos use “borrowed views” like the big trees in the neighbors’ yards.

  7. Beautiful, bountiful blooms! I love them all, and especially your nice collection of fall-blooming natives.

  8. Thank you! I like to mix the natives with exotics like lilies, nepeta, roses, and Japanese anemones. With the natives you get a lot of unusual plants that should be used more in gardens.

  9. Your garden’s looking great. I especially love your wide variety of asters and goldenrod. Aster oblongifolius is one of my favorites too. “Radon’s Favorite” is another variety, quite similar to “October Skies.” They both reseeded in my garden and I don’t have a clue which one I have – although by now I suspect that all of mine are a cross between the two. An even shorter variety is “Dream of Beauty”, which (in my garden at least) blooms a little earlier than the other 2 varieties, is pinker in color, and is shorter, topping out at about 15″ tall.

    • I want to check out these cultivars. I have little tugs of war between my internal purist and my internal asthete over using straight species or cultivar. I do some of both.

  10. Love the asters! Hope you do a post on them. Didn’t realize there are that many varieties out there. My kalameris is sorta, kinda like an aster, but I wouldn’t mind expanding my pallet.

  11. Yes write a post about a post Asters; there are so many, it’s good to know which ones do well in different situations. You have masses blooming for GBBD. Christina

  12. Your containers are looking wonderful. And so many different types of Aster – one of my favourite plants at this time of year too. We only have half a dozen or so, so far… and I’ve never grown any goldenrod so it is interesting to see yours.

    • I think it was in the UK that asters were first used in the garden, in the US they were just roadside weeds until relatively recently. Same story with goldenrod – though I think it was the Germans or Dutch who first developed cultivars.

  13. Beautiful as always! Jason, the neighbors know; we all know. It’s o.k. to be different; embrace it. Maybe your gardener name could be Talking with Asters or Rolling with Lilies.

  14. Belated happy bloom day! I love the flowering tobacco. (Note to self: Must plant some next summer!) I also took interest in your goldenrods and asters. These are great to have in the garden in fall.

  15. I also really like the flowering tobacco. There’s a series of dwarf cultivars, ‘Little Nicky’, but I like the ones with big white flowers best.

  16. Hi Jason, you’ve still got so many plants in flower at this time of year it’s amazing. I especially like the collection of pots on the back porch and steps. We’re beginning to run low on flowers although there are the fuschias still to come and then the winter flowering plants will take over – but again, we don’t have many because it’s such a small garden.

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