What else would I lead with at this time of year? Duh. I’m well aware that my last post featured Flame Grass, but I couldn’t resist featuring it yet again. Those silvery blooms blowing in the wind bring the garden to life. Once that green foliage color turns every imaginable shade of orange, it will be sensory overload.
Can you say focal point? Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) is killer right now. While I love it massed for maximum effect, it can hold its own on its own. While the flowers or inflorescence are a show-stopper, give me the sturdy blue stems any day of the week. Even on a Monday.
Ho-hum, another Panicum ‘Northwind’ pic.
The red is really shining through on Panicum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’. These grasses are incredibly fool-proof and have been for over a decade now.
Multiple grasses are anchoring this garden scene. I’ll say it again, as ubiquitous as it may be, the upright and tan blooms of Karl Foerster grass add so much to the late summer garden. Massed or dotted throughout the garden, it doesn’t matter. It works and I won’t stop using it any time soon.
Just a different Instagram filter for a different vibe.
Fine, you win
I cut it down to the ground in early spring. I cut it back again in June. I chopped off a ton of the branches after they were infested with Japanese beetles.
It doesn’t matter. This Salix ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ (Dappled Willow) just keeps growing and growing. If I’m being honest, I’m bored with it but I can’t imagine trying to remove it.
Not looking good
All of my Achillea (Yarrow) ‘Moonwalker’ look like this or worse. The funny thing is they thrived earlier in the summer like never before.
I told myself I wouldn’t dabble in red-blooming Lobelias any longer. They have never escaped the jaws of the deer or the rabbits. Just when all 5 were starting to look great while blooming together, this happened. I even sprayed the bastards with Deer Off the night before.
You know I love me some Sneezeweed ‘Mariachi Series’. But for the first time since I’ve planted them, they are toppling over. It may have been due to a recent deluge of rain so I’ll do my best to remain patient.
Yes, still awkwardly running after each and every Monarch butterfly.
Autumn has arrived
This is the Viburnum that I ceremoniously moved to a new location in the garden a few weeks back. I’m sure the red leaves are due to the stress I put on it and not the fact that fall has come a few weeks to early. Either way, that color is solid and I have big hopes for the future as it matures.
But even better is the sign of all of those berries. This is a Viburnum dentatum ‘All That Glitters’ which requires ‘All That Glows’ as a pollinator. I have both planted close to each other and I’m assuming this is the result of that pollination. They should turn purple in color in the coming weeks.
All of my Itea (Virginia Sweetspire) turn red prematurely in August. This is the dwarf cultivar ‘Little Henry’ which I’m allowing to sucker like mad in a very wet part of the garden.
While it may be slight, you can start to see the color transformation in the foliage of the Amsonia.
The Red Twig Dogwood just displayed its red stems for the first time this week. And for those curious, the leaf damage was from Japanese beetles a few weeks back.
Ready to shine
The Eupatorium ‘Wayside’ (Hardy Ageratum) are starting to bloom.
But have they ever taken over.
So many of you warned me of this and it is coming to fruition. It may be OK this year, but I see a problem with the years to come. I’ll need to jump on this soon to prevent a total takeover.
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ is rounding into form and they are all inundated with bees.
Helenium (Sneezweed) has popped up all over my garden where I least expected it and I’m good with that. That is until it falls over when the many flowers emerge at once.
They may not “shine” but Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) ‘Hot Lips’ adds a nice dash of color in late summer.
My continuing use of annuals
I’ve added Heliotrope …
… and Persian Shield
… and I must admit I might be coming around even more on using annuals. As many of you know, I’ve rarely used annuals in the garden outside of containers but finally embraced them this year. I’m getting the “fill-in” functionality and long bursts of color. While I prefer to grow over time with my plants, I may be finally crossing the dark side.
I love you, but don’t know where to go with you
I am like totally in love with Aralia ‘Sun King’.
Look at that foliage.
Problem is I have no room for it in my garden. All of my shaded areas are accounted for and even if I made room, I worry about the deer destroying it.
So for now, I’m digging it in a container, shaded on my front porch, and will do my best to overwinter it in the container.