Where DID the summer go? It seems like just a couple of weeks ago, I was hustling to get August Garden Blogger's Bloom Day photos posted! However long ago it was, there's no doubt about it now - we're beginning to experience fall in the garden.
I've begun some cleaning up. I can't stand the crispy brown leaves on the lower parts of some of the annuals, so they've been pulled out. With the hot dry weather we've had for so long, powdery mildew has also been a problem with some of them.
But we got lucky and got three inches of rain over the weekend, the first we'd gotten in about two months! In spite of all that, there are plants that are just coming into their own. The mums are beginning to show color, the toad lilies are opening, and one of the new roses I bought this year - 'Cinco de Mayo' - is screaming for attention with its new flush of blooms.
The various sedums have been blooming, with 'Autumn Joy' and 'Autumn Fire' being the stars at the moment.
The brugmansias have been throwing out their huge and fragrant blooms since late August.
Sweet Autumn Clematis is in full bloom and smells wonderful as I walk through the arbor it covers, up by the house and also the trellis out in Max's Garden. The fragrance is more intense in the evening.
After their usual slow start, the morning glories are growing and blooming like there's no tomorrow. 'Chocolate' threatens to take over the gazebo. "Death by Chocolate" - what a way to go! LOL.
I grew Verbena bonariensis for the first time this year, by seed. I'd read about it on so many other blogs and how everyone loves it. Now I know why they do. The strong, tall stems with the purple clusters of flowers at the top look great at the back of the garden by the fence. It's a favorite of the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, too. I've heard that it self-seeds - I hope so!
Caryopteris incana 'Sunshine Blue' is starting to bloom now. It was just planted this spring, as a replacement for 'Dark Knight' that didn't make it through the winter. This one has grown quite a bit since planting and I'm hoping its vigor will carry it through the winter.
Until I planted these delphiniums (Delphinium elatum 'Magic Fountain') last year, I had terrible luck growing them. These even self-seed for me and we've enjoyed their blooms all summer long.
Whatever the secret is to growing delphiniums successfully, I've stumbled upon it and I don't even know what it is. Sometimes it's best not to ask and merely enjoy!
There are many other blooms, thankfully, so the season isn't over yet. We have all of fall to enjoy, with its deep blue skies, crisp air, and changing colors. It's one of the best parts of living in the Midwest.