Since the beginning of the southern side garden ten years ago, Cleome or Spider Flower has been a summer staple. It self-seeds usually quite heavily but for the last couple of years, only a few cleome have emerged, probably due to heavy applications of mulch in spring. There are a handful of cleome now that were late maturing but worth the wait. The striking flowers sit atop stalks that are five or six feet tall.
Meadow Sage provided some deep rich color early this spring, then took a break during the heat of the summer. Encouraged by refreshing rains and cooler temperatures, the meadow sage has returned this fall to fill the front of the northern border with spiky texture and deep indigo and burgundy tones.
Added to the meditation circle in early June, Penstemon ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ seemed like an ideal choice because the ‘Husker’s Red Penstemon’ had done so well earlier. It soon became evident this is a wilder, more scraggly plant that bloomed intermittently throughout the summer, but never was attractive. Today the flowers do look beautiful though.