Tag Archives: eupatorium wayside

Eupatorium coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum) ‘Wayside’

I have always loved Ageratum, but have been unable to keep it looking good for any period of time. By mid-summer, they are a mess, I cry and vow to never put myself through that ordeal again. Fool me once …

Lo and behold, one day I was googling “Ageratum” thinking I could unlock the secret to keeping this annual alive all summer and found a plant claiming to be a perennial Ageratum. What? Has someone been reading my diary?

Dreams do come true.

But it gets better. This plant prefers a wet site. And is deer resistant.

Hardy Ageratum? I’m like totally in.

Specifics:

  • 18” x 18”
  • Blooms in mid-summer, early August here in zone 6B
  • Requires full sun
  • Survives zone 5-8
  • Deer resistant
  • Very tolerant of a wet site
  • Very slow to emerge in spring, one of the last to show signs of life
  • Great winter interest with the spent flowers
  • U.S. native
  • Has recently been reclassified as Eutrochium

As mentioned above, this plant is slow to emerge in spring and I’ve actually forgotten about it until it finally emerged sometime in late April. Another reason to not cut down those perennials too soon people. The spent flowers/stems are a much needed reminder of what is what in my ever expanding jumble of a garden in spring.

I’ve noticed that my original five purchased have expanded a bit in year two as this plant appears to reseed some. It is too soon to say if it is TOC (Totally Out of Control, for those without young kids) or if the reseeding is a must because this perennial is short lived. That is what I’ll be keeping my eye on this year.

The blooms start to develop in July and are a welcome site and color, as we proceed through the dog days of summer.

 

Within a week or so, the blooms fully emerge and they are quite stunning in my humble opinion.

 

The blooms are so interesting up close that I’ve taken to capturing them on my camera phone, macro style.

 

But the interest in the blooms doesn’t end there. As the purple/blue flowers fade with the arrival of cooler weather, they remain interesting into the colder months.

Here in October, fluffy seed heads looking right in place with the gold and red hues of autumn.

 

And especially handsome when covered in frost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The August Garden

As we hit the midpoint of August and slog through the dog days of summer, I realize that the plants in my garden can be broken down into three different categories:

Fading

Still going strong

Ready to take center stage

I guess these same categories exist throughout all of the gardening “seasons”, but it seems to be at an extreme right now.

And the garden, shocker, reflects life itself. Allow me to pontificate.

With the heat and humidity at what feels like an all time high (I’ll still take it over winter) I some times find myself caving and giving in to the joys of air conditioning. Likewise, so many plants have succumbed to the conditions and have thrown in the towel. No more fighting for that last new bloom or trying to keep up the facade of clean looking foliage. Uncle.

At the same time, there are those plants in my garden that say “f you” to these conditions and keep kicking ass. Not too unlike a certain gardener I know who can’t get enough of the stinging sweat in his eyes, the burning in the calves and easily runs through three t-shirts a day. A gardener who accepts the chuckles from his neighbors and keeps pulling weeds like it was hot yoga.

And then there are those plants who sense the cooler weather is coming and are ramping up for a big time display. There are subtle signs from some and not so subtle signs from others. You can feel their excitement, their turn to take the lead in the play. Fall is their time and they f’n know it. Hopefully my kids feel that same type of energy and excitement as they soon head off to high school and 5th grade. Because all kids feel that way,right?

FADING

No plants better represent the concept of fading than the coneflower. Phenomenal in peak bloom but in my humble opinion, still killer as the pink and yellow and white washes out, turns black and eventually becomes all cone.

coneflower spent

 

white coneflower

 

astilbe coneflower spent

 

Almost all of the Bee Balm blooms are in full fade mode yet still have a presence. That is if you take them in from a distance and ignore the slow takeover of powdery mildew.

bee balm and joe pye

 

Fading Agastache still pulls in the bees and who wants to get in the way of that?

spent agastache

 

STILL GOING STRONG

The dwarf Sneezeweed (‘Mariachi’ series) are still blooming strong and the deer have no interest.

red dwarf sneezeweed

 

orange dwarf sneezeweed

Providing a nice contrast in form and color with the emerging ornamental grasses.

planter bed

 

If it takes surrounding hydrangea by grasses and other deer despising plants, so be it. It has worked and this hydrangea continues to thrive even with the extreme heat of the past few weeks.

hydrangea

 

Veronica ‘Royal Candles’, one of the few plants I cut back religiously, always provides multiple rebloom periods. These were cut back only two weeks ago.

veronica prune

 

veronica sedum bee balm

 

Of course it isn’t all about the flowers and one of my favorite foliage plants right now is Diervilla ‘Cool Splash’. It brightens up one of the few shaded areas in my garden and holds up all spring/summer.

diervilla

 

I have tried for years to find a blue evergreen that would be ignored by the deer and say “no problem” to my clay soil that can sometimes be a bit waterlogged. Some how, Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’ has been the one to take the crown and three years in I am beyond thrilled. Upright, untouched by the deer and very little winter damage has made it a winner.

juniper wichita

 

READY TO TAKE CENTER STAGE

The first signs of bloom on the Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ appeared this week, which is always a reminder that September is fast approaching.

sedum pink

 

Boltonia blooms aplenty are here with plenty more to come. Of course once all blooms are present it will lean over and not be as fun to look at but I’ll be sure to never show you that photo.

boltonia

 

Eupatorium ‘Wayside’ or Hardy Ageratum (but not really an Ageratum) finally survived the winter for me after two previous attempts. It seems to have reseeded more than it actually survived but who can complain. I love the late season color. A fun one to photograph in fall.

eup wayside

 

BONUS – Ornamental Grasses

I kind of like ornamental grasses in case you are new here. You’ve been warned.

Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ in full bloom as of this week.

pennisetum

 

penn and joe pye

 

First signs of blooms on Panicum ‘Northwind’.

panicum and joe pye

 

Same goes for Miscanthus ‘purpurascens’ or Flame Grass.

panicum miscanthus blooms

 

Panicum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’ and their airy blooms.

panicum rots

 

I “attempted” to rid my garden of all Northern Sea Oats and while there is still a ways to go, I’ve made major progress. Having said that, I can’t deny these NSO that have grown right through an Itea shrub look kind of awesome. Oh well.

sea oats

QOTD: Do you like this time of year in your garden? Why or why not?

 

Winter garden appreciation

I despise the cold weather and it is getting worse and worse as I get older.

I hate the snow and I do not find it to be the least bit “cozy”. It physically hurts my eyes to even glance at it.

I don’t ski and find sledding to be way overrated.

But even after having said all that, I have come to appreciate the winter garden. It is a reminder of what was, a chance to rest and recharge and at the same time, a promise of what is to come.

I recently put on my big boy pants and a warm jacket, and set out to capture just some of the plants in the winter garden. After reviewing all of the photos I had taken, I realized that I had similar shots of those same plants during the spring and summer. So as a means of contrast, I’ve included the most current pic and then one from earlier when it warm and delicious outdoors.

Enjoy.

Tropical milkweed, which is an annual and one that reseeded for me this past year.

milkweed winter

milkweed

 

Eupatorium ‘Wayside’ which looks like the annual Ageratum but is truly a perennial.

winter garden

wayside

 

A combo of Bee Balm, Joe Pye Weed and Clethra ‘Hummingbird’.

winter garden

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Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’, Bee Balm and Panicum ‘Rots’.

winter garden

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Salix ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ (Dappled Willow) with its awesome stem colors.

salix winter stems

salix

 

Amsonia tabernaemontana looking cool and curly. Still a personal favorite of mine during all seasons.

amsonia winter

amsonia2

 

I love the dried seed capsules of Baptisia and admittedly have yet to explore how to save the seeds. That is what winter is all about, research and reading.

baptisia seed capsules 2

moth baptisia

 

Sedum ‘Red Carpet’ peeking through what little snow we have right now.

red carpet winter

sedum

 

And old reliable, the Purple Coneflower. I always enjoy watching the finches pay a visit and feast on the seedheads.

coneflower winter

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