Ignore the Flowers Day: September, 2016

For me, blooms make the garden. This attitude is considered unsophisticated by some, who say we must pay greater attention to more enduring plant features: foliage, texture, structure, yada yada.

Grudgingly, I admit that there is something to what these people say, which is why on the 22nd of most months I participate in Ignore the Flowers Day, hosted by Christine of My Hesperides Garden (she calls it Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day). This ensures that at least once each month this blog has a whole post devoted to something other than blooms.


Grasses have a big presence in the garden right now, like the Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) above.


A big challenge in writing about Switchgrass is coming up with synonyms for “airy”, as in airy seedheads, which to me are the most notable quality of this grass. The seedheads contrast with the overall bulk which is the second most notable quality. “Breezy seedheads”? “Well-ventilated seedheads”? Thesaurus.com is of limited help.


It’s almost too easy to take pictures of Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).


‘The Blues’ Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), newly planted in the Lamppost Bed, is not as upright as the ones in Lurie Garden, but I like the color.


But ‘Standing Ovation’ (also very recently planted) stays as vertical as its name implies.


Speaking of seedheads (we were, a few pictures back), these Yellow Coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata) look kind of interesting.


Also this Bee Balm (Monarda didyma).


Here’s what’s left of the ‘Purple Senation’ Alliums (A. aflatunense) that were blooming back in May. I’m glad I left them standing.


Most of the berries in our garden have already come and gone. There are a few on the Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum).


Still plenty of crabapples on ‘Donald Wyman’ however. I learned too late that for some reason birds are not too fond of this particular crabapple, though eventually most are eaten by Starlings if nobody else.


The bright red fruits of Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) seem to be hanging on longer than usual. Eventually the leaves will turn a deep maroon.

Were you able to spend any time ignoring the flowers today?

49 Comments on “Ignore the Flowers Day: September, 2016

  1. I will miss the flowers enough in the cold months, so I never ignore them! But I do like to also notice the texture, shade and feel of other plants.

  2. More adj. for airy
    chiffon, cobwebby, dainty, delicate, fine, floaty, gauzy, see-through, sheer, tiffany, transparent, wispy, translucent,

  3. Yes foliage is important, especially now when there aren’t as many flowers around. Also important in shade where not many flowers are happy. Your grasses are beautiful and they add different texture and movement, everything comes together to make a very interesting garden!

    • Although it seems to me the best grasses like full sun. There aren’t a lot of great grasses for shade. Japanese Forest Grass is one exception.

  4. I like your new title for the meme, I might even adopt it! I’m always envious of your grasses Jason and love seeing them. Even in your colourful, flowery garden the foliage does play its part. I appreciate you joining GBFD when it is almost against your principals!!!

  5. I have to admit that I pay more attention to blooms than to foliage. Suppose it’s the “wow” factor. But your grasses are lovely and they do play an important part in the whole picture.

  6. At this time of year it is easy to ignore flowers. I love foliage and at this time it really shines. I love sea oats. Those seed heads are cheerful hanging there like little bells swaying in the wind.

    • Well … they’re Judy’s, but thanks anyway. I suppose I should have said: It’s almost too easy for Judy to take pictures of Northern Sea Oats.

  7. I’m having trouble ignoring the flowers today as my white tulips have just come out! I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for that one!

  8. What fun to have found your garden blog! I’m well hooked~particularly by your grasses. I find native grasses so much more lovely and interesting than the boring and ubiquitous ones foisted upon us in the magazines.

  9. With the start of the academic year and going back to my jobs, I’ve been ignoring the whole garden for the most part except on weekends. Great foliage!

  10. Looks great, and very in-flowery. It does have a strong taste of autumn though and I guess it’s time to face that reality.
    I might have to try a few of the newer bluestems. I’m kind of spoilt in that the wild ones grow both inside and out the garden without any help from me, but maybe a little boosting the gene pool wouldn’t be the worst thing πŸ™‚

  11. Hello Jason, I’ve wanted to put grasses into the garden for some time now as we have none at the moment, but I’m worried that they will self-seed everywhere and run amok. We inherited this problem with a Carex that has ended up all over the garden (including the lawn). We’re gradually winning the battle but it’s two years and counting and it’s not all gone yet.

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