Reminders of Brighter Days

Today is the last day of September, which means that no matter how many lawyers you hire to argue otherwise, autumn has truly begun. It’s simply undeniable. And yet, should we want to deny it, there are certain plants that stand ready to back us up in our denial.

These are the plants that, once the heavy heat of summer has faded away, are inclined to pop up with a few more blooms more generally associated with the months of bright sun and longer days.

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The Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), transplanted to a sunnier spot just this spring, is thanking me with a few last blooms. I am hoping for good things from this plant next year, as it has sent a couple of stems shooting up least 18 feet on the nearby trellis (it’s planted to one side of the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’).

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The shrub rose ‘Cassie’ can be glimpsed behind the Loncera. I haven’t written about ‘Cassie’ at all this year. It is quite literally a blooming powerhouse in June and July, but it turns quiet during the hottest days of summer.

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Now that cooler weather has returned, ‘Cassie’ is providing a decent display of its sweet little semi-double, lightly fragrant white flowers, and I appreciate her efforts.

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I suppose most people would say that Cutleaf Coneflower (aka Golden Glow, aka Rudbeckia laciniata) isn’t really reblooming. It’s just continuing to pump out the flowers that started to bloom back in August. At this time of year, Cutleaf Coneflower sports fresh new golden flowers even as it is topped with a myriad of seedheads. Pretty much all the other tall yellow daisies have either flowers or seedheads, but not both.

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At the end of September the blooms seem to have a deeper, richer hue.

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‘Kit Kat’ Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii) is producing a second crop of tiny lavender blue flowers – even if they are much more sparse than earlier in the season.

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OK, so Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) isn’t reblooming, but I felt the need to include it anyway. It just never stopped blooming. For a plant that loves heat, it’s not letting the cooler weather slow it down. In fact, the plant above is the very same one that got knocked over in a storm not so long ago.

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Do you have any favorite rebloomers in your garden right now?

44 Comments on “Reminders of Brighter Days

  1. That little rose is so sweet. Is it in full sun? I am always looking for a rose that can tolerate a little shade, like half day sun one way or the other. My Dearly Beloved noted that there was a bloom on our Red Bud tree today. It was actually come off the trunk of the tree. I thought that quite odd for this time of year. A pretty little thing none the less.

    • It is in full sun. I think ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ and ‘Sallie Holmes’ are somewhat shade tolerant. DE is a big rambler, though.

  2. My rebloomers are various coneflowers and my magnolia tree, of all things. The former are 3 different kinds but I can only cite their colors at the moment (sorry) – white, a double pink and a pretty mango. The magnolia doesn’t fully bloom of course, just a smattering of blooms on the west side.

    My 4 torch tithonias are still blooming away. Several have dropped branches on the cooler nights but they keep blooming. By dropped I mean the branch falls but doesn’t fully separate from the main stem. This happens every autumn. I’ve always wondered – do you deadhead yours? I’ve found that if I do, the plant puts out double the blooms. (In late September I let some go to seed so I can save them for the next spring.) Today I counted six young Monarchs feeding. I so enjoy seeing them but think they should be on their way if they are going to make it through Pacific Grove, CA and onward.

    • Yes, the exact same thing happens to my Tithonias. The plant is surprisingly brittle, especially later in the year. I try to limit breakage with staking, and I’ve started pruning it more.

  3. Wow, your Tithonia is so lush and full–the blow-over doesn’t seem to have slowed it down at all. Rebloomers? Hmmmm, let me think … I have a lot of annuals, including Tithonia, that just keep blooming until frost–Zinnias, Cosmos, Lantanas, Fuchsias, Impatiens, etc. Some years the Lilacs rebloom, but not this year. Lamiums, some Roses, a few others. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer either.

  4. Other than the brugmansias pumping out a new flush of bloom, most of the blooms in my garden are things that just keep going. Nice that you have so many nice reminders of warmer, longer days!

  5. The best part about our garden in Autumn is that Peppermint Sage flowers come out and the Eastern Spinebill returns & feeds on the flowers until he is chased away by bossy Wattle birds. All a nice distraction.

  6. I adore Cassie. I will keep my eye open for her! My crinum Americanum is blooming again. This lily supposedly likes swampy areas but it’s growing by my mailbox! Does that tell you anything about living in the low country! Hahah

  7. I like your comment about lawyers. They will often argue black is white and win – especially if you can afford to pay and get the ‘best’ ones
    As to your comments about Autumn we seem to be having what we call ‘an Indian Summer over here’ -that’s after our hot and dry real one.
    I think it is just my favourite time in the garden!

  8. No rebloomers this year, but we’re enjoying the aromatic asters, Salvia guaranitica, and a late-blooming Rudbeckia. It’s 80°F as the high today — and will be like that the rest of the week. I’m wishing fall would hurry along….

  9. The pink Magnolia soulangeana here rebloomed fairly heavily in mid July and into August (quite the surprise, lol) and even put up a few new flowers last week. Very strange to see! 🙂 The only things actually flowering here are the abelias , one Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that has matured to red, and about fifteen gigazillion crabgrass plants. 🙂

    • Too bad that crabgrass isn’t particularly colorful. I have some Sedum ‘Matronna’ but it is completely overwhelmed by the Rudbeckias.

  10. I planted Sweet Black-eyed Susan this year, didn’t expect it to bloom (first year creep), but it has really taken off and is blooming hard. Zinnia and Mexican sunflower still going strong, too, and the purple asters are coming on. My catmint is not putting on a second show – I think it is too crowded. The honeysuckle has draped itself over the privacy fence – hope my neighbors don’t mind – and offering a few blooms for the last of the hummingbirds. Still a few monarchs hanging around as well.

  11. The Ellagance Snow lavender is finishing its second bloom, which was much bigger than its first. So is the Mini Blue lavender, a much brighter bloom than earlier in the year. One nearly cut-to-the-ground calendula is producing buds again. Right now that’s all that’s left of the rebloomers. Walker’s Low catmint had one, with fewer the second time.

    I want a Kit Kat for my new herb area!

  12. Never mind autumm rebloomers — after 20″ of rain and nice, warm temperatures, we have more than a few flowers showing up for a second spring. One of these days it will all come to an end. In the meantime, I second the huzzahs for that Mexican sunflower. That really is a beauty.

    • I’m starting to worry about second spring – my Korean Spice Viburnum looks like it may start to bloom, which means no flowers for actual spring.

      • Another Illinois friend just was commenting about the 80 degree temperatures. They’re predicting a cold (cool) front for us, but given what you northerners are saying, I’m not sure where it’s coming from!

  13. Is trumpet honeysuckle native, or is it native nearby? I never saw it it Oklahoma, but I wanted to get some when I came back just because it is a native American honeysuckle. It took me a while, but I now work with one, albeit a sad specimen at the moment. So far, I am not as impressed as I though I would be. I still sort of want it to be fragrant. My favorite is still the common ‘Hall’s’ Japanese honeysuckle because it is the only familiar honeysuckle, and because it is so very fragrant.

    • It’s native to this part of the country. But sorry, no fragrance. I don’t know about CA, but in the eastern part of the country the Japanese honeysuckle is a serious pest.

      • I have heard that it is invasive in the East. It is not so invasive here yet. However, I have heard that it sometimes hybridizes with the native honeysuckle. That sort of concerns me. The native is not much to look at, and does not get much attention. It could be genetically ruined before anyone even notices.

  14. You have so many beautiful things still in bloom! I don’t really have any rebloomers, except the rugosa roses that bloom sporadically into the fall but even they are finished now. My petunias are still holding on though, and there are still pansies, and a few nicotianas and French mallows surviving. Every bloom is precious this time of year!

  15. Hello Jason, despite it being the afternoon, it’s dark, dingy and very wet here at the moment, certainly very different to even just a few weeks ago. We actually have very little in the way of late summer flowers at the moment, but there’s a border planned to correct that. I’m looking through posts like yours to see what plants will give flower and colour at this end of the season.

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