I love this time of year. I can’t help it, I’m a transitions girl. I love the softer light, the gradual muting of colours, the sense of everything beginning to hunker down for the winter. With all the recent wind and rain, the garden has taken a real battering, but at this time of year I find charm in the general air of dishevelment, and I certainly won’t be trying to stake everything that has flopped over. I’m just enjoying the garden let it all hang out.

Garden View 1
Garden View 2
Garden View 3

Yes, the rudbekia are now looking rather the worse for wear.

Battered Rudbekias

In some cases, for all the world like a party girl at the end of a very long night.

Ragged Rudbekia

I am intrigiud by the way that in some lights the petals almost look as if they are made out of plastic – or is that just me?

Dishevellled Rudbekia

There’s quite a lot of outright death around, but even that has a kind of beauty.

Almost Dead Echinacea
Dead Rose

But this is a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post, hosted by Carol@May Dreams Gardens, so I should get on with showing the flowers…

I am loving the way that the achillea shows so many different shades of pink as it starts to go over.

Achillea Cassis 1
Achillea Cassis 2

Last year I was complaining that my astrantias just didn’t last – this year Astrantia ‘Shaggy’ has been flowering continuously from May until now, so no complaints from me! I guess they took the hint…

Astrantia Shaggy

Last year I fell in love with the asters I saw on other people’s blogs around this time, and I am so glad I went out and bought myself a couple.

Asters And Echinacea
Aster frikartii Monch
Aster divaricatus

I hadn’t realised that the flowers of Aster divaricatus flush pink as they get older, beautiful.

The loss of the Kanutia macedonica to powdery midlew earlier this year left me with holes to fill, but the cosmos and scabious I bunged in have done me proud.

Scabious Hanging On

Mind you, the tendency to the horizontal has even hit my lovely dark purple sedum this year.

Purple Sedum

The general “I just want to lie down now” vibe has lead to some strange combinations, including echinacea with this same sedum.

Sedum WIth Echinacea

Given that the echinacea is four times the height of the sedum (when both are vertical), I suppose I should enjoy it while I can!

Elsewhere, the combination of dry weather earlier in the year and wind more recently has meant that the dahlias have been rather disappointing. They have produced fewer flowers, and the ones that have appeared are on much thinner stalks than I remember from last year. The heavier blooms of ‘Rip City’ and ‘Thomas Edison’ nod downwards, in the ground and in the vase, though it turns out that the backs of these flowers are beautiful in their own right.

Dahlia Back Detail

But the undoubted star of the garden at the moment is the hard working Echinacea purpurea. Yes, it is a lie that it doesn’t need staking, but it has been flowering its socks off for months now, and stays beautiful in seemingly all stages of its decay. So I will leave you with a couple more photos of it, the news that I have just been visited by the Fairy Hobmother (now unfortunately returned to Faerie), and encourage you to go off to Carol’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post to explore what is going on in gardens across the world. I first heard about the Fairy Hobmother over at Margeurite’s blog, and didn’t really think any more of it, but I’ve just been visited too, and she left me a rather nice present. Apparently, if you leave a comment on this post and make a wish, she might visit you too…

Echinacea With Miscanthus
Echinacea Again

61 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 2011

  1. It all looks very grand, going out in a blaze of glory indeed! The a. frikartii Monch looks so blue beside the echinacea, a lovely combination. That is on my wishlist of asters, I’m hoping to jam two or three others in too, besides a. lateriflorus ‘Prince’ which I planted a couple of months ago. My wind-flopped cosmos are stifling some of our small late bloomers, so I’m starting to pull the odd one out to give other plants a chance for a last sprint.

    1. Hi Sara, grand in the manner of an aged Grand Dame who has had a little too much gin, perhaps… Oooh, just looked up your Prince – purple leaves! Luscious. Cosmos can turn in to a bit of a thug can’t it, I like the vision of you freeing more dainty plants from its clutches.

      1. I like that image :-) Mmm, I fell for the purple leaves, I had originally intended ‘Lady in Black’. I bought a small bare root plant by post, and it has produced some lovely purple foliage already – I’m looking forward to next year’s flowers too. I love cosmos, but hadn’t quite anticipated how big it would get! Same shortsightedness with the existing clump of leucanthemum, I planted several things around its fringes early in the summer which were all but swallowed up. Yesterday I found a beautiful scabious which had been engulfed.

  2. Janet, what a wonderful series of photos. I particularly like the colour of the rudbeckia. I’m not a great one for deadheading often leaving the seeds to ripen but I carefully avoided any “decay” images for GBBD. I will see it as a photo opportunity next time. Your ones are beautiful!

    1. Thanks Janet. I’ve loved watching the rudbekia change over the time they have been blooming, a gradually deepening of colour combined with the petals become ever more reflex. I am a very lazy gardener, so I figure if I can find the beauty in the dying it lessens any guilt I feel even more… Will look forward to artful depictions of death from you soon!!

  3. I too love the transition of seasons, the change in color, pattern and texture. I do like the flowers in death as they make a wonderful photographic study. Your images of the blooms in life and death are wonderful seasonal portraits. And you captured the layering and texture of fall so well with your planting.

    1. Thank you Donna, Autumn is a bit of a gift for the keen photographer, isn’t it. I also have a new appreciation for how apt the American term for Autumn is, Fall, for when everything, well, falls!

  4. I am jealous that you still have so much colour in your garden, even though you say it is going over. Love those asters, what a beautiful blue.

    1. Careful Elaine, it was GBBD posts last year that made me determined to get some asters to prolong the season in my garden – it could be catching!

  5. Hi Janet,

    Lovely to see your blooms; so very jealous that you still have so much!

    I’ve been and spent a little too much today on various grasses and some ‘mums to brighten things up a little. All I wasnted was some Bistort! hahaha. I should know better by now that it’s never going to happen. Got some amazing corkscrew rush though; been wanting it for a couple of years now :)

    1. Hi Liz, it was my project for this year, more colour for more of the year. And you are at least partially responsible for my asters! I did have to laugh at your failure to stick to just one plant on your shopping trip. It never quite works, does it. I love corkscrew rushes, though I managed to kill mine off, very sad.

      1. Hi,
        I think you’ve done a very good job of having the garden retain its interest through the year.
        I’m currently on a mission to get more grasses, it’s just finding ones that look pretty but are fully hardy that’s a bit of a pain as most of the ones I particularly like only seem to be frost hardy.
        Over the past few months I’ve been watching two seedlings appear in one of the spring bulb pots… These popped up this year along with a Strawberry(??). And today I’ve finally worked out what they are! Shasta Daisies! So yay, I’ve just doubled my Shasta daisy plants. lol. It only took me a few months to realise; good thing I allowed them to grow! This one pot has been surprisingly fruitful actually, as it also bore two Lupin seedlings… Shame all its spring bulbs didn’t survive the winter so the pot was empty. Fate, I like to call it.

  6. I am so enjoying everyone’s autumn gardens at the moment, mine feels like mid-August; it just wants to be dormant! My Dahlia’s didn’t impress me so much this year but maybe I just haven’t been paying attenion to them. Your garden is looking the most beautiful it has looked all year (and that says a lot). ENJOY Christina

    1. Hi Christina, I remember being amazed at the colour in other people’s gardens in their blogs, this time last year. I am so happy to have so much more myself this year. And thank you, what a lovely compliment, and I think you are probably right, not least because this is when the miscanthus are at their best.

  7. oh yah! garden gifts were spread throughout the blogosphere. Although I am somewhat disappointed it is the end of summer I will admit I enjoy the transition to a new season too. Interesting to see that the echinacea needs staking. I planted several varieties this year and will need to consider that next season.

    1. Yep, thank you, I now have a tidy little gift voucher in my Amazon account. Just need to decide what to spend it on… I must admit I was really surprised by the echinacea, it was fine without staking last year, but this year it seems to have grown much taller – and then toppled… Glad I am not alone in loving the transitions.

  8. aloha,

    the softer colors look lovely in your garden today and i agree the light does offer magic to your garden during this time of the year, thanks for sharing the beauty :)

    1. Hello Noel, thanks for dropping by. I think Autumn light is to gardens what candlelight is to people, very kind! Happy GBBD.

    1. Thank you Christine, the miscanthus really come in to their own at this time of year, I do love them. Happy GBBD to you too!

  9. Like you, I love the transition from summer to autumn very much. The sun is lower and creates a backlighting that seems to highlight the garden. The faded and muted colors are a difference from the bright colors of summer. And the cooler breezes are always a welcome change. Your garden combinations are so rich and full. My favorite of your post photos are the first few of the siennas and browns…stunning! Happy GBBD!

    1. It is a kind light at this time of year, isn’t it. Funny, I love the bright lights of July/August, but when we get to this time of year I love the softer colours even more. Unlike you we didn’t ever really get a hot summer this year, in fact today was one of the warmest days in weeks, but I do love that particular smell you get in the air at this time of year, and that faint nip that comes by the time the sun sinks beyond the horizon. Happy GBBD!

  10. Absolutely gorgeous…I’m so in love with your garden…so fab in fall! I think one of my Astrantias that I thought was ‘Alba’, may, in fact, be ‘Shaggy’, now that I see yours!

    1. Wow Scott, coming from you that’s a real compliment, because you have such beautiful combinations in your own garden. Oops, we’re guilty of a GBBD love-in… Happy GBBD!

  11. So many beautiful combinations of fall colors, Janet! I hope you’re able to take many starts of these same plants with you when you move. I love your blue asters! I have some new ‘October Sky’ asters that I hope will be this blue, but they haven’t started to bloom yet. I always find it interesting how the same plant will bloom at different times in different places. My echinacea bloomed in early July and are filled with dry seedheads now, but yours look to be in their prime. I agree there is a certain beauty in the fading and dying flowers that I’ve come to appreciate more and more with time.

    1. Hi Rose, I too get fascinated by the way the same plants bloom at such different times in different places. It gets really confusing when people with gardens north of me here in the UK have things flowering a whole month earlier than I do! Really brings home the effect of microclimate. ‘October Sky’ is a lovely aster, I hope it blooms well for you. And yes, I plan on digging up and dividing lots and lots of plants next Spring! I may even have to buy a few new pots to put them in…

  12. You know what…I stupidly forgot to ask…what’s the orangey grass in a lot of the photos…I thought at first it was Miscanthus purparescens…but now, I’m not so sure…love it!

    1. Hi Scott, I think you must be talking about Miscanthus sinensis ‘China’, definitely my favourite miscanthus, it flowers so reliably and has wonderful red tints in Autumn.

  13. I love all your purples and pinks in the garden. This time of year the longer shadows and soft sunrays make for wonderful photos. I love those petals, plastic looking or not, they are lovely….their coloring is very autumn-ish.

    1. Hi Janet, I hadn’t expected the echinacea to dominate so much now, but I am really loving the way it combines so well with the miscanthus, so a happy accident I will try to repeat in the future!

  14. So many beauties–I don’t know where to start. But I must say, your capture of the Dahlia is stunning! It’s just one of those perfect photos that captures the essence of a plant even if it’s tipped down and has a thin stem. It’s plantaliscious!

    1. Thank you, I must admit I was chuffed when I saw how well it came out.

  15. Beautiful blooms Janet, flawed and all but that’s autumn :) I too am enjoying the transition, some plants still looking good, some over grown, some starting to ‘change’ now. In a few weeks some plants will be shedding their leaves and there will be plenty of leaf litter everywhere.

    Love that Astrantia ‘Shaggy’!

    1. You remind me that I need to dust off the leaf blower/sucker and make sure it works, there are already bitch leaves everywhere thanks to the wind. ‘Shaggy’ is a beautiful plant, it bulks up well too. Much better “dooer” than my dark purple ‘Hadspen’s Blood’, which sulks very easily.

    1. Thanks Larry, I love the way everything changes, almost daily, at this time of year, some colours becoming more muted, others starting to blaze.

  16. What a beautiful garden. I love all the purples and pinks.

    I’m not as excited to see the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It’s a little sad to me, but it does give me needed rest from all the gardening (that I love doing). It also causes me to appreciate spring and summer all the more, knowing that they will not last forever. :)

    1. I think a lot of people feel the same as you do, I’m not sure why I have always loved Autumn, but it started way before I discovered gardening. I think I like the hunkering down!

  17. You still have lots in flower! I have burgundy yarrow and would love to add some of the pink colored ones that you have in your garden. My astrantias only bloomed once-maybe I should have deadheaded mine. Your blue asters make me wish that I had bought some as well. Mine are older plants and need to be replaced or somehow rejuvenated.

    1. Hi Jennifer, if it is any help, although I meant to cut my astrantias back after their first flowering I never quite got around to it. My purple astrantia, ‘Hadspen’s Blood’, didn’t bloom again, but ‘Shaggy’ has flowered prolifically. Perhaps it is something to do with having divided it last year? Though I also divided ‘Hadpsen’s Blood’…

  18. I also like this time of year when the garden is thick with seedheads, berries and pods – springs promise come to life through fertility. Though I do find September to be a little melancholy as I always hate to say good bye to summer. Your pictures of flowers blooming among the dried grasses are very nice.

    1. I think you are right Les, Autumn does hold so much promise of Spring with all those ripening seeds and berries. It is also a time of great changes in the garden, colours and forms alike. Maybe that is why Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons, and why I can’t imagine gardening in a climate without 4 definite seasons? And maybe I am odd, but by this time of year I am happy to be thinking in terms of stews and soups rather than salads, though in fairness I also start dreaming about next Spring around this time too, plotting the plants I want to grow from seed or division.

  19. Priceless phase: the ‘party girl at the end of a long night’ comment – for the spent blooms (Perfect!)!! I love the look of your gardens; that cottage ‘feel’ in those first photos … that is what I aspire to. (Someday I’m going to remember GBBD on time, I swear! It’s only been a year and a half since I started blogging… arg.)

    1. Hi Shyrlene, I always regard it as a miracle if I actually remember GBBD before the day itself reminds me with emails about GBBD posts! The number of times I have been scrabbling around the garden with my camera muttering to myself late on the 15th… Glad you liked the comment – and the garden! How is your greenhouse? Mine is currently still full of tomatoes, but has been invaluable.

  20. Janet your Autumn garden looks terrific. I also love this time of year although I allow myself to spoil it a bit by dreading the coming Winter. Great blue Aster, looks like frikartii monch.

    1. Hi Alistair, spot on with the ID, so you haven’t lost your touch whatever happens with the mystery plant!

  21. Me too, I love this time of year! Despite the ragged state of our gardens and plots, which I mostly don’t mind, there’s still plenty going on and to look at.
    I like asters and have three on the plot which are all just starting to flower, including one with tiny white flowers.
    Having read this post, and looked at the wonderful photos, makes me want to grow even more flowers! xx

    1. Hi Flighty. Maybe you need to get yourself another plot and have each half and half edibles and flowers?! I agree, I don’t mind the raggedness at all, though I did notice that I need to get up and do some serious weeding if I get a dry day, a little ragged is one thing, smothered in weeds quite another! I’d much rather it was all smothered in edibles or green manure…

  22. How very, very beautiful… and how lucky you are to have so many things flowering their socks off. I didn’t do GBBD this time because a) I had about three things in flower and b) it was too wet and windy to do anything anyway. I’m green with envy!

    (But I am gathering a fine collection of seedheads and dead things. There’s a upside everywhere!)

    1. Wet and windy is not at all conducive to taking photos outdoors! The flowers are struggling now – too much rain and wind. Thank goodness for grasses and autumn colour. And being able to collect lots of seed!

  23. I like asters and have three on the plot which are all just starting to flower, including one with tiny white flowers.Your pictures of flowers blooming among the dried grasses are very nice.

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