September 11, 2013

Late Summer

I have more blooms and pretty colors in my late summer garden than I do in the spring. Not planned. I thought it would be the other way around, but I only live here; the plants are in charge and do their own thing.
Sweet Autumn Clematis draped over the deck railing, which I may 
regret some day as it overgrows the railing and eats the deck.

Thunbergia 'Blushing Susie'. I think of pale peach as a 
spring shade, but here it is in late summer.

Amethyst jewels on this caryopteris lure bees into drunken stupors.

Anemone 'Robustissima' hums with pollinators. It sounds like a zither concert.

I was surprised to see that this 'White Chiffon' Rose of Sharon
attracted hummingbirds. They spent more time inside these
flowers than at the feeder I hang for them.


Chocolate cosmos. Velvety, rich and sinful but calorie free.

'Tardiva' panicle hydrangea, looking stately late in the day.

I think of pinks and purples as spring colors, but the late summer 
garden, seen here on a rainy day, is all rosy shades.

It's always a delight when the garden turns out differently than you expected and completely out of sync with your careful plan. It happens every year, and every year I am surprised.

Some plants just never showed up this year, totally in contradiction to the plan. I have grown the very aggressive evening primrose, Oenothera berlandieri, which spreads and takes over. It was pretty but a worry. This year it did not appear earlier in the summer and I missed its delicate pink booms. Where did it go?
Evening primrose in prior years made a large spreading patch. But it disappeared this year.

Physostegia 'Miss Manners' is the better behaved version of Obedient plant, not so aggressive as the species. I had a lovely stand of it going in my garden, but it never came up at all this year, it just went missing when it should have shown up in summer.
What happened to my stand of Obedient Plant? Here it is two years ago, but I never saw any of it this year.

Mysterious disappearances.

Oh well, even though I miss these plants from prior years, there are pretties enough now to keep me entertained in the late summer garden.

28 comments:

  1. My caryopteris died from a late freeze, and I miss it, especially now after seeing how pretty yours is. So sorry you have plants missing, and no answers as to why. At least I know why mine died!

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    1. Holley, Surprising that a late freeze killed yours -- my caryopteris live through zone 5 snowy winters and come back (they die back to the ground but regrow each year.) Real tough plants for me. I hope you try again, they are quite the stars of the late summer garden.

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  2. Ah yeah!!! Pretties indeed friend!!! Your late summer garden is stunning! I'm going to be cataloging some of these plants. I have always wanted to grow the obedient plant but second guessing after your mysterious disappearance! Your show in your garden rocks!!! Such inspiration here!!!!!

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    1. Nicole, don't go by my experience with obedient plant -- it doesn't typically disappear! The pink species is a big spreader, but Miss Manners is white and stays put. I miss it -- such a pretty, feminine plant.

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  3. Your garden really is beautiful. My caryopteris is blooming, but it seems slightly out of sorts, like it's only blooming to make the best of its situation but isn't loving its location. But maybe it just needs rain. :o) My anemones aren't blooming yet are are on their way. Obedient plant wants moist soil. I've never heard of it disappearing but I grow the species, which is unkillable. It's in cahoots with your sweet autumn clematis. :o)

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    1. Tammy, I thought my obedient plant would thrive with the very wet spring and early summer we had. It's so weird that the whole stand just didn't come back. I do know the species pink plant grows rampantly (yours by the A/C/ units are robust and beautiful). Miss Manners seemed reliable for several years, but not this year.

      I can't believe your anemone isn't blooming yet, you are usually way ahead of me!

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  4. The same thing happened with my pink evening primrose. One year it just didn't come up, and then it reappeared four years later! Weird. I always have more flowers in the backyard in late summer than in spring, but I did it on purpose over the years because spring flowers can have a really short season here if the heat arrives early. My front garden is mostly for spring, so I get my fix there, then the back yard is where it's all happening from then on. And yes, it's mostly pink and purple.

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    1. Lyn, interesting that you had the same experience with a disappearing evening primrose. I wonder where it goes? A pink and purple late summer garden is nice!

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  5. I absolutely love the idea of a Zither concert in the garden. The good thing about Autumn Clematis is that you can whack it back within any boundary you wish for it and it will keep on blooming and growing. The evening primrose is an oddity. First it is here and then gone. I have been trying for years to pull out the species Obedient plant. I am afraid to try any others. This white one looks so elegant. Aaahhhhh the last of of summer.

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    1. Lisa, I will have to control the sweet autumn clematis by hacking it back as you suggest. Good to know it will tolerate that. This is the first year I've had it, and I love it -- just don't have a lot of room for it to get too big.

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  6. I have that same aggressive primrose too. I planted it where is is confined though. It will be interesting to see if it disappears too. I also have Sweet Autumn Clematis. The Trumpet Vine devours it every year, but it still comes back.

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    1. Donna, I really worried about the evening primrose when I first planted it. Loved the pretty flowers but I was sure I would be digging it back constantly. Not so, and now there isn't even anything to cut back.

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  7. If the plants are indeed in charge in your garden, they really know what they are doing. I am always amazed at how the colors of plants in your garden seem more intense than in mine, which seem bleached from the sun and heat. But why two borderline invasive plants went missing is beyond me... That's a problem you don't have every day. But everything else is looking lovely - more than compensating for those that vanished.

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    1. Sarah, thanks. My garden looks very bleached in the high hot sun too, but Jim has been trying to take photos on rainy days or late in the day and the pictures do look better sometimes than the garden itself does in the middle of the day!

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  8. You certainly have enough pretty blooms to make up for the mystery no-shows, Laurrie. I've always loved the look of Sweet Autumn clematis, but have been afraid to try it. Maybe I should plant some out in the wild area, where it might choke out some weeds:) Caryopteris has become one of my late summer favorites.

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    1. Rose, you might regret letting sweet autumn clematis go in your wild spaces! I'm glad you found caryopteris and are enjoying it -- it is one of my favorites too.

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  9. Beautiful!! The Clematis are always a winner. Great shots of very pretty flowers!!! That is weird on the Obedient Plant! I wonder where it went!! Not very obedient !!

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    1. Kacky, Obedient plant has always struck me as a funny name for a plant that is willful (the species spreads so much) or in my case defiant (it went away)! In neither case is this plant very obedient.

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  10. Laurrie, don't you love *good* surprises. Nature is full of them.

    And your beautiful summer show is both a good surprise and the flip side of spring. Lovely, sensuous, yes, but less flamboyant, and more . . . knowing.

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    1. Lee, another late season surprise that I have yet to get a picture of (I will, though) is the hardy begonia you gave me last year (Begonia grandis). The foliage is beautiful and the pretty white flowers are just coming out now. How delightful to see the patch spreading and filling in this season, and to remember where it came from -- and since the CT garden source is now gone, it makes it a special rare edition too!

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  11. maybe they got too crowded and were outgrown by the surrounding plants? that tends to happen

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    1. Maurice, you would think the aggressive evening primrose and thuggish obedient plant would be the ones to overtake the others. That's what is so strange, they were both plants that crowd others out usually!

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  12. Your garden is looking very colorful and the wall turned out really nicely. You guys did a great job. I seem to have problems getting evening primrose, Oenothera berlandieri to overwinter despite the fact that it is supposedly hardy. 'Miss Manners' also disappeared after a few years. I guess it is a matter that some perennials are longer lived than others.
    P.S. The comment link you left on my blog usually leads back to your blog, but didn't in this case. It lead me to a page saying, " The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile."
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Jennifer, that's interesting that the two plants that disappeared for me were short lived for you too. Thanks for the heads up on my link -- when I checked my blogger profile, all the data had somehow been wiped out. grrr. I re-entered it and the link to my profile & blogs seems to work now. Thanks for letting me know.

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  13. I totally agree, it really is a surprise each year. I've had more unexpected plants show up this year than ever before. Bell flowers, sunflowers, veronica, tomatoes, potatoes ... it's astounding what mother nature can do all on her own.

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    1. Marguerite, as gardeners we think we control what grows in our gardens, but we don't!

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  14. Laurrie everything is looking just gorgeous in your garden...I have always wanted to grow Thunbergia...you have convinced me with one picture.

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    1. Donna, thanks. The thunbergia looks pretty in the close up picture, but I have to say for most of the summer it was awfully skimpy. Foliage, but few blooms, and the blooms were more washed out than pale. Now, in late summer I am getting prettier peach and rosy flowers and more of them, but I wasn't overly impressed with Blushing Susie as a plant..

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