Unlike mid-summer when there are large drifts of color in the garden, the late summer garden has bright spots and lots of texture,” says my friend Layanee, and I couldn’t agree more. Many plants have finished blooming, their foliage and seedheads now providing texture, some plants are just reaching their peak, and still others are getting a second wind. The special charm of autumn is the contrast between old and new.Many roses bloom a second time in the fall, and ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ is one of them I am growing several types of rudbeckia (coneflower) this year, all started from seed a year ago. I think they are all variants of Rudbeckia hirta and I don’t know if they’ll show up again next year or not. A couple of my hydrangeas sent up one or two long branches, head and shoulders above the rest of the shrub. Not sure what is up with that. ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ has the largest individual florets of any of the white/pink-flowered hydrangeas I grow. You can only see the “vanilla” in this bloom, but the older blossoms down near ground level are flushed with “strawberry” pink. What would autumn be without colchicums? C. byzantinum was my introduction to this fascinating genus, growing in the neglected garden of the 19th century farmhouse I moved into decades ago, and it has quite a history of its own. ‘Innocence’ is the white form of this flower. Uh-oh, look at that flush of pink! How’d that get there? Yes, this is the same genus and species as the corn you buy at the farmer’s stand, in a dwarf, dressed-up version. I have Nan Ondra to thank for the seeds. Here’s another ornamental edible: They’d actually look more attractive with a backing of greenery and some contrasting flowers–say, purple asters–but I planted them up against the house with my other herbs. Soon there will be garlic chive seedlings to plant in other locations. This was my first summer growing a tuberous begonia. I am going to try to winter over the tubers and grow it again next year. I’ll let you know if I succeed!
Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.