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A Scarcity of Fall Blooms: GBBD, September 2012

September 15, 2012

happy returns promiseThe early spring and hot summer in south central Pennsylvania seem to have resulted in a scarcity of fall blooms in my Gettysburg garden. Last year at this time, I still had balloon flowers (Platycodon) and daylilies (Hemerocallis) as well as a profusion of morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) blooming on the garden fence. This year, the morning glories failed to grow; the balloon flower has already gone into dormancy; and although the reblooming daylily ‘Happy Returns’ has put up a promise of more flowers to come, it is not currently in bloom.

Thank goodness for sedum! In the small circle by the patio, Sedum spectabilis ‘Autumn Joy’ has just started to color and is the softest of pale pinks. In the front flower bed, Sedum spectabilis ‘Neon’ is also a soft pink, on the way to the vibrant color for which it is named.

sedum autumn joy gburg sedum neon sept 2012
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On the patio, additional color is provided by pink Pelargonium (annual geranium), Dianthus, and petunias growing in a container. Here and there in the overgrown back flower bed, flowers of the hardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’ peek through surrounding foliage of Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’ (The Biokovo is getting thinned tomorrow.) back container

rozanne in biokovo

I have been away from the blog for almost two weeks, buried in the work of a new teaching semester that started with a bang. I am hoping to get back on track with this post.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what is blooming this month in gardens around the world.

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2012 12:01 am

    Your Sedum is glorious! And I really like the ‘Rozanne’ flowers, but she just doesn’t grow very well for me.

    • September 25, 2012 10:44 pm

      Jason, I can’t grow Rozanne in my Maine garden, but she likes the zone 7 climate here in southern PA.

  2. September 16, 2012 12:52 am

    I’m glad you’re keeping busy but sorry that the garden has so few blooms. Last year I bought a purple flowered ‘Stella d’ Oro’ Hemerocallis. I hoped for repeat bloom but it’s not happening this year. Maybe next. Thank goodness for Sedum and Geranium!

    • September 25, 2012 10:46 pm

      Grace, LOL, I could stand to be less busy! I have a ‘Stella d’Oro’ in this garden, but it has never rebloomed as far as I can tell. The problem may be that it’s not in a sunny enough location, or it may be that my summer helpers haven’t deadheaded it faithfully. I’ve had better luck with ‘Happy Returns,’ which I have growing in both my gardens.

  3. joenesgarden permalink
    September 16, 2012 8:12 am

    Jean, pinks and blues seem to be a common color for many northeast gardens on this GBBD. I think we all are thankful for sedum and the long-lasting color they bring to late-summer gardens.

    • September 25, 2012 10:48 pm

      Joene, My Maine garden has a lot of yellows in fall, with late daylilies, rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ and heliopsis all still in bloom. Here, though, pink sedum definitely provides the dominant color.

  4. September 16, 2012 11:37 am

    Hi, Jean! I love your sedum. I have tried to grow it, with little success. If it weren’t for cosmos and other flowers blooming in my wildflower garden, I would have very few blooms now. I do have a few roses beginning to bloom again since the hot summer temps have moderated a bit. Have a great semester!

    • September 25, 2012 10:50 pm

      Deb, There are some gardens in my townhouse development with wonderful displays of cosmos and cleome right now, but I never seem to get around to planting these annuals. Maybe after I’ve retired. (This is my response to everything these days.) I’m just hoping for a quick semester — 4 1/2 weeks down and 10 1/2 to go.

  5. September 16, 2012 6:19 pm

    Hi Jean, the colour of that sedum is lovely, i purchased a pelargonium the other day with similar pink flowers like yours.

    • September 26, 2012 12:59 pm

      I love the way sedum changes color through its bloom season. And those bright pink pelargonium flowers are a special joy at this time of year.

  6. September 16, 2012 7:46 pm

    Jean I have been equally busy with all the changes we have to do this year as our state instituted many of them…well the blooms are also scarce here and I had one morning glory bloom after the recent rain. So I dread to see what October may look like…maybe with some rain and cool temps we may be surprised Jean with some lovely blooms.

    • September 26, 2012 1:01 pm

      Donna, My ‘Happy Returns’ daylily started to bloom again after I posted this. When I was home in Maine this past weekend, I had more in bloom there — still some white phlox and some yellow rudbeckia and heliopsis, as well as the pink of hardy geranium and sedum.

  7. patientgardener permalink
    September 17, 2012 1:46 pm

    I have never managed to get morning glories to grow – must try again next year. As for sedums they are so much the back bone of my late summer garden that I dont think I even notice them as I forgot to add them in my GBBD post.

    • September 26, 2012 1:03 pm

      Helen, I have previously taken morning glories for granted as something easy to grow in my Gettysburg garden; I’m not quite sure what went wrong this year. Your garden clearly has more going on at this time of year than mine; if I had forgotten the sedums, there wouldn’t have been anything to post :-).

  8. September 18, 2012 9:15 am

    So many perennials are late in flowering due to our cool Summer temperatures, yet I have noticed how Sedum Autumn Joy seems to start colouring up at the same time, regardless of where you live in the northern hemisphere.

    • September 26, 2012 1:07 pm

      Alistair, That is such an interesting observation about Autumn Joy. When I was home in Maine this past weekend, it looked like the plant in my garden there had gotten to a deeper pink than the one in my Gettysburg garden, which has been surprisingly slow to change color.

  9. Astrid permalink
    September 18, 2012 11:25 am

    Hi Jean!
    Love the pinks and blues. Sedum is such a neat plant – ever changing with the seasons. It certainly comes into its full glory now. And thank goodness for annuals!

    • September 29, 2012 3:30 pm

      Astrid, I’m enjoying the pinks and blues at this time of year, too. My Sedum ‘Neon’ has been turning to a quite spectacular shade of pink.

  10. September 20, 2012 3:00 pm

    Hi Jean, I was going to do the GBBD this month after I found out what it was all about but it turned out that we were out for the whole day and I completely missed it so I’ll have to see if I can join in for next month. I should have something but it might only be one or two flowering plants as it’s starting to get cold here and we’ll be getting into the swing of autumn by this time next month.

    • September 29, 2012 3:34 pm

      Sunil, I’m not big on participating in blogging memes, but I find Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day a delightful ritual. I think I’ll have pretty much the same flowers blooming in October as in September. By November, I’ll have to switch to indoor blooms.

  11. September 22, 2012 10:12 pm

    Such a dry summer has really affected the flower power hasn’t it? We’ve recently gotten some rain here and I’m getting a second bloom from a few plants, I wonder if some fall rain where you are will revive some of your plants.

    • September 29, 2012 3:38 pm

      Marguerite, Both my gardens are actually in some of the few states in the US that have not been suffering from drought. I wasn’t in Gettysburg for the summer, but I think the issue here may have been more heat than lack of rain. We’ve had lots of rain this fall, but it hasn’t brought much revival. I do have a new flower scape on Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns,’ and I’ve noticed a couple of new buds on my balloon flower.

  12. September 26, 2012 9:07 am

    Hi Jean – your sedums are looking super – they are such stalwarts aren’t they? I’m very pleased with mine this year – the first time I have grown them I’m ashamed to say, but they have settled in nicely. I think it doesn’t matter so much if there are only pockets of colour at this time of year – what there is is always very welcome especially on a gloomy weather day such as today in Cambridge, pops of crimson are much appreciated. Happy gardening, Ursula.

    • September 29, 2012 3:41 pm

      Ursula, I am enjoying the sedums — especially the cultivar ‘Neon,’ which I planted at the front of the house two years ago and which has now grown up into a substantial plant.

  13. October 7, 2012 5:11 pm

    A similar lack of blooms across the pond although it wasn’t helped by my late September holiday when a lot of annuals died off. I also have sedum autumn joy. They are a really curious shade this year, a really luminous pink.

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