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Sedums and Other Fall Flowers: GBBD, September 2016

September 16, 2016

September sedums-001Despite drought and some overnight temperatures in the thirties (F), there are still many flowers  blooming in my garden. The sedums, of course, are autumn stalwarts, generally unfazed by drought or cold.

I am pleased to see that the sedums have a lot of company in the mid-September garden. In recent years, I’ve been making an effort to choose plants that will extend my garden display into fall.

liatris scariosa flowersGiven this effort, it’s not surprising that the greatest variety of fall flowers can be found in my newest garden areas.  The recently planted Side Slope, for example, includes three varieties of Liatris with overlapping bloom times. The earliest of the three, Liatris spicata, finished blooming in August, but the blooms of Liatris aspera have moved from the top of their tall spikes in mid-August to the bottom in mid-September. And the fluffy button-like flowers of Liatris novae-angliae are now at their peak.

The most exuberant display of fall flowers can be found in the Porch Border by the front entrance to my house. porch border SeptemberAt first glance, the blooms of annual cosmos and cleome dominate, but a closer look reveals a number of other flowering plants. Heuchera x ‘Raspberry Regal,’ Tradescantia virginiana ‘Pink Chablis’ and Geranium x oxonianum have all been blooming continuously for more than three months. While the Heuchera and the Tradescantia are winding down, the Geranium is continuing to make new flower buds. It’s a mystery me why this hardy geranium, with its clear pink flowers and mounds of attractive green foliage that still look fresh in September, is not readily available from nurseries. It is an easy-care plant with no pest problems, it is easy to propagate (forming big clumps that are easy to divide and also self-sowing), and in cool climates, it has an exceptionally long bloom period.

cosmos September Geranium oxonianum flower

The tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), while not blooming as profusely as they were in August, are also still flowering in the Porch Border (and elsewhere in the garden).

September phlox-001

lavender walk SeptemberTurning the corner from the Porch Border, we come to the Lavender Walk, which is also doing surprisingly well in mid-September. Here the flowers of two different varieties of Lavendula augustifolia,  ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead Strain’ are blooming with Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ and Sedum x ‘Autumn Fire.’

echinacea & lavender sedum & lavender
These are only some of the delights in my September garden, and there are more still to come. In the Porch Border, for example, the flowers of New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) ‘Alma Potschke’ are just beginning to open, and these plants are loaded with flower buds! alma potschke opening

This is also the time of year to enjoy the many varieties of aster and goldenrod that grow wild at the edges of my garden.

asters & solidago

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see other gardeners’ September blooms.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2016 3:13 am

    There was a single, small clump of goldenrod in my garden. I do love goldenrods, so it pained me to rip it out and throw it on a bonfire.

    The old garden was in an area where goldenrods had become endemic in the meadows and on the edges of the forest, but the new garden is on an island where this hasn’t happened – yet – and generally we don’t have too many invasive plants down on my little south-sea island, so it feels like a duty to think a bit about what sort of plants I bring into my garden.

    Sedums, though, have been grown in Danish gardens for ages without wreaking the sort of havoc that goldenrods have done. They belong in North America – they’re too wild for little, old Denmark. 😉

    • September 24, 2016 8:28 pm

      Soren, You are so right to keep invasive plants from gaining a foothold on your island. Here the worst invasives tend to be Asian natives.

  2. September 17, 2016 5:30 pm

    your garden is spreading its wings, and starting to fly!

    • September 24, 2016 8:30 pm

      Diana, I’m very carefully not showing you the parts that are parched and brown from our now-officially-severe drought.

      • September 25, 2016 4:41 pm

        that is a garden blogger’s privilege!
        Look THIS way (we almost all do that)
        The garden I walk thru as I take pictures is ermm related to the one that appears in blog photos.

  3. September 17, 2016 10:53 pm

    As new as some of your borders are, jean, they’re in glorious shape! Congratulations on all the great plant choices you’ve made. I love the asters and regret that there are none in my garden at present (Aster x frikartii seemingly having disappeared without leave). I saw a new-to-me Aster chilensis in my local garden center yesterday (officially Symphyotrichum cliliensis now), which I may have to bring home, however – it’s a California native but I’ve never seen it offered here before.

    • September 24, 2016 8:33 pm

      Kris, I think my new borders, because they had so much organic matter added just a year ago, are doing a better job of holding onto moisture this year. I’ve long wanted to have ‘Alma Potschke,’ which is a cultivar of a native aster, in my garden. Today, I visited a nursery near me that has begun to offer native goldenrods, something I’ve never seen before. I hope it’s a trend.

  4. debsgarden permalink
    September 18, 2016 8:00 pm

    Hi Jean, I love the marvelous pastel colors of your fall garden! The sedum, the cosmos, the asters, the lavender and the echinacea all complement each other so well. It must be a joy to walk through these borders and to see the results of your extensive planning and hard labor.

    • September 24, 2016 8:34 pm

      Thanks, Deb. I’m amazed that those new borders are doing so well — and, yes, it does give me joy to walk through them each day.

  5. September 19, 2016 9:59 am

    Your garden is just beautiful, and it doesn’t look ‘new’. My new garden shares some plants with you and I love to see all the pollinators. Not done yet, but coming along.

    • September 24, 2016 8:38 pm

      Pat, My garden is nowhere near “done” (is any garden ever done??), but I have been plugging away at it by setting myself a manageable chunk to do each year. I’ve not provided wide shots of the newest planting, the Side Slope, which is looking quite raw. But I am very pleased by how mature these one-year-old borders are looking. It’s a tribute to the adaptability of plants that you and I have any plants in common, given that my problem is sandy soil that has trouble retaining moisture and your problem is wet soil.

  6. October 1, 2016 4:48 pm

    Hello Jean, we bought our first sedum recently but the dahlias are already starting to grow over the top of it. Our garden borders are too deep, rich and wet for sedums an other plants that prefer light, free-draining soil but we need to have late-season flowers for pollinators. I love the pink colour-co-ordinated border along the walk, under the railings and your Lavender walk has turned out really nicely with the lavender plants spreading out to fill the gaps and spilling over the path edge.

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