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Summer’s End: GBBD, September 2014

September 16, 2014
deck container red and whiteWith the autumnal equinox only a few days away, the Maine weather has turned cool and crisp, marking the end of summer and the arrival of fall. Early morning temperatures have dipped to the mid-thirties several times, flirting with frost, and many plants are responding to the cool temperatures and shorter days by going into dormancy. There are still blooms to be found in the garden, however.

Spirea japonica x ‘Magic Carpet’ continues to make new flowers, as does Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice.’ Both of these have been blooming continuously since June.

magic carpet fall flowers heuchera in september
sedum matrona septemberThe sedums have just begun to bloom and are in their glory, totally unfazed by the cool, dry weather. These include ‘Matrona’ blooming in the fence border, ‘Autumn Joy’ in the deck border, and ‘Neon, brought north from my Gettysburg garden and waiting in the holding area for a new home.
sedum autumn joy september sedum neon september
September herbstsonneOther hardy plants that are not intimidated by the cold include Rudbeckia laciniata  x ‘Herbstsonne’ and Phlox paniculata ‘David.’ There are still a few flowers on Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Fuji Blue’ in the blue and yellow border, and Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ is even forming new buds.

september blooms

daylily buds struggleIn the fence border, three daylilies (Hemerocallis ‘Autumn Minaret,’ ‘Final Touch,’ and ‘Sandra Elizabeth’) still have buds, but are struggling to open them on these cold mornings. ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ has become nocturnal, finally getting enough warmth to open its flowers in mid-afternoon and then keeping them open through much of the next day. Other plants covered with buds may never get a chance to open them. Two flowers opened on my morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’) when we had some hot weather two weeks ago, but the remaining buds stopped growing once the cold weather arrived. An aster (Symphyotrichum laeve ‘Bluebird’) in the blue and yellow border, similarly covered in small buds, may bloom if frost holds off.
morning glory 2014 morning glory buds 2014

Much of the bloom in my garden these days is actually at the edges of the garden, where it borders the woods. There native asters and goldenrods are happy to welcome autumn.

September wildflowers

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see September blooms from gardens in a variety of climates.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Shirley permalink
    September 16, 2014 3:17 am

    Great garden blooms – it’s turning slightly cooler here in Scotland too. I don’t have quite so many sedums but the butterflies and bees always enjoy feeding on them. Happy GBBD, Jean 🙂

    • September 23, 2014 9:49 pm

      Shirley, the sedums are pollinator favorites here, too. A friend of mine has a flower bed full of different varieties of sedum, which makes a spectacular display at this time of year.

  2. September 16, 2014 7:56 am

    Jean your garden is so sweetly blooming for its happy gardener. I was wondering how cold it had gotten there…we will hit 35 later this week…that will halt much in the garden I fear especially the veg garden.

    • September 23, 2014 9:51 pm

      Donna, We’ve had one light frost. I rounded up old sheets and threw them over as many plants as I could to protect them, since we had forecasts of another warm spell to come. I’ve pretty much given up on the morning glories ever blooming this year (I’ll start them indoors next year to give them a head start), but the aster ‘Bluebird’ looks like it is beginning to open its buds.

  3. Nell Jean permalink
    September 16, 2014 9:53 am

    Coming Autumn gives a whole different look to gardens. The blooms at the edges are among my favorites. I was pondering on how fall blooming bulbs know it is time to emerge in gardens as hot as mine.

    • September 23, 2014 9:53 pm

      Nell Jean, I love the blooms at the edges, too. At this time of year, the best garden displays are put on by the wildflowers blooming along the sides of the roads. Especially spectacular is a tall, deep purple native aster known as “ironweed.” Today I saw some of it blooming in combination with bright red leaves of sumac, a giddily vibrant display of color.

  4. September 16, 2014 1:54 pm

    There is such life left in your fall garden…The photos are so enjoyable.

    • September 23, 2014 9:54 pm

      Thanks, Charlie. At this time of year, I find that each plant still in flower demands individual attention as I walk through the garden each morning.

  5. September 16, 2014 7:24 pm

    Mid-30s! It was 83F when I finally gave up and turned off the air conditioner at midnight last night and 80F at 6am this morning. It almost seems that we live on different planets. I love your Sedums and have been flirting with the idea of planting some in my own garden but I think even that should wait until our current heatwave passes. Your garden still has lots of color – I hope it hangs on a bit longer for you. I also hope your construction project is going well – will it be finished before winter arrives?

    • September 24, 2014 10:31 pm

      Kris, Our different conditions are a reminder of how much climate variety there is on our planet. It is rare here for temperatures to stay above 70F overnight (even during one of our so-called summer “heat waves”), and I don’t even own an air conditioner. Since sedums are succulants, I imagine that they could do well in both cold and hot conditions. I notice that Allan Armitage lists most as hardy in USDA zones 3-8.
      My construction is coming along, just much more slowly than expected. I am hoping that it will be completed by mid-November — which would be just before winter arrives here.

  6. Jaya Kumari permalink
    September 17, 2014 12:30 pm

    after reading your articles everytime,,i always feel the connectivity with the flowers and plants,,,,,it seems like they are your baby,,the way you are caring for them……loved your articles a lot:)

    • September 24, 2014 10:33 pm

      Jaya, Yes, my plants are my babies. I know each and every plant in the garden by name and feel like I have a relationship with each of them. 🙂

  7. September 18, 2014 6:56 am

    Your blooms look healthy and lovely! I am excited to welcome fall again, I think it is my favourite season. Enjoy your weekend and the equinox!

    • September 26, 2014 8:13 pm

      Lula, Fall is very definitely my favorite season — and the season for which my native region of New England is justly famous.

  8. September 22, 2014 5:34 am

    Hello Jean, it seems like the seasons is moving on for you while here in the UK, it’s been a rather warm, sunny and particularly dry September. Having said that, I’ve noticed the nights drawing in and yesterday was an unusually cold night and that felt like a warning shot across the bow for the coming autumn. Despite the cold, your flowers and plants are looking lovely and far from dormant.

    • September 26, 2014 8:17 pm

      Sunil, Our seasonal change has been right on schedule, although it is always nice if we can avoid serious frost until October. Some of my plants have already been nipped by frost, but I managed to protect many. We are now having a few days of unseasonably warm weather. This is also typical; when such weather comes after frost, it is known as “Indian summer” (although I have no idea what the origin of the name is).

  9. September 22, 2014 1:04 pm

    The late bloomers are always appreciated Jean. I really like the Rudbeckias and have been surprised at the long bloom period. In fact I am off to see what you have to say in your last post regarding perennials which bloom for a long period.

    • September 26, 2014 8:18 pm

      Alistair, there are still a few flowers on the tall Rudbeckia in my garden, and I have noticed wild Rudbeckias still blooming along the sides of the road.

  10. September 25, 2014 8:55 pm

    I like that you included the asters and goldenrod. I am seeing great globs of these flowers all over our yard right now. So beautiful but a quiet reminder of the shorter days.

    • September 26, 2014 8:19 pm

      Marguerite, the goldenrods begin blooming here in July, but the asters (especially those wonderful big showy New England asters) really do say “fall.”

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