Early Morning Garden In Early September

Facing west: Lantana camara (Common lantana)  in the Southern Border and Zinnia in Island Border

Facing west: Lantana camara (Common lantana) in the Southern Border and Zinnia in Island Border

After the cold winter Lantana camera took a long time to start growing this year. This was fine with me because it seemed too large the last couple of years. This perennial, deciduous shrub is invasive in some places further south and is very toxic. Butterflies are typically attracted to it but there have been very few takers this summer.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Both the lantana and this Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) were planted soon after the garden was established. I moved most of the Perovskia to another location because usually by now this is crowded out by the arching branches of lantana. This year it is holding up pretty well.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Near the bottom of the branches the berries of Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) are ripening.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

This intimidating creature is Argiope aurantia, known as the Corn Spider or the Black and Yellow Garden Spider.

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

I was happy I did not disturb her web. She did not like being photographed so early in the morning.

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

She was very well camouflaged as I went to check out the Chrysanthemums. Upon closer observation the concentric circles of the web are visible against the dark green on the left.

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Here is a view of one of these orb spiders from the top side in a photograph taken several years ago.

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Argiope aurantia, (Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

I was excited this morning to find several yellow irises poised to rebloom. These are passalongs so I do not know the name.

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

 

 

32 thoughts on “Early Morning Garden In Early September

    1. Christina

      I don’t think you’ll be able to divide the Perovskia, it has one very deep tap root and if you cut that the plant often dies, it would be easier to take cuttings which strike very easily or look for small seedlings that you can lift before the root goes too deep, good luck.

      Reply
  1. Robbie

    lovely pictures of your garden in September. That spider is amazing! I have never seen one in our garden, but at our other house I found a large one with pattern once and it was stunning like this one:-) Reblooming Iris that is a wonderful surprise..I may have to find a spot for that surprise in the fall-beautiful!

    Reply
  2. johnvic8

    Interesting what happens to plants year after year. My Russian sage has been close to invasive in the past,but this year it has struggled. There’s no explanation. Your photos of the spiders are marvelous.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      You are so right about the changes in plants from year to year. Hope your Russian Sage recovers (and I hope mine doesn’t become a thug, but for 14 years it has been well-behaved).

      Reply
  3. Julie

    Hi Susie, a couple of questions, is that your second reblooming iris, do you have a white one too, do you feed them in between flowering and what type of soil do you have?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes the white rebloomer is Iris germanica ‘Immortality’. The other day I found its stalk had grown down toward the ground and two huge flowers were ruined. Probably should feed them but I don’t. The white one is in fairly rich loamy, garden soil. This yellow one is in a bed quickly created last year with just some bags of topsoil and compost. I also have Iris germanica (not rebloomers) growing in clay soil and they do ok too. Hope this helps Julie.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I read that if disturbed the Black and Yellow garden spider will drop immediately to the ground. I guess that’s reassuring. For the past few years I’ve had to cut back this lantana, but after the cold winter we had it took a lot longer to grow this year–much easier to deal with.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    That lantana is amazing! We only see them as pot plants for summer here. How lovely to get a second blooming from your irises. Does that always happen? I wonder if it depends on your climate or the sort of iris.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Cathy! There are a lot of smaller lantana grown around here as edging or in containers and treated as annuals. Reblooming—or remontant—irises are bearded iris hybrids I think and breeders seem to be coming up with more and more of them. Might be worth a try where you live.

      Reply
  5. Chloris

    Your Lantana looks wonderful with the Perovskia. I didn’ t realise that it was toxic. It is beautiful but I don’ t like its smell.
    That spider is beautiful but I wouldn’t like to meet it.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Chloris. I read all parts of lantana are toxic, but then later read unripe, green berries are poisonous. Some references don’t mention toxicity at all, but one document from a local university said it could be fatal if ingested. Also I read it can be toxic to livestock, so dangerous if allowed to spread unchecked. So far this is not on a list of invasive plants for our area that I can find.

      Reply
  6. Pauline

    Your Lantana is so pretty with so many flowers, we have to grow it as an annual here.
    Your spider looks rather large, I’m glad it was outside in the garden and not in the house!
    My perovskia is spreading by underground runners, so I will have to move it to somewhere it can explore without smothering other plants.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Pauline. We have a lot of smaller lantanas grown as annuals also. I’ll have to check around my perovkia and see if I can divide some. I’d like to have more (Oh, as with many things that spread, I might rue the day I had that thought! After many years though, mine has not been aggressive at all.)

      Reply
  7. Christina

    I was intrigued to see your spider which is very similar but not the same as one I have in huge garden at the moment and have opted about in the past. I looked it up as I didn’t remember the name and discovered it is the same family as yours but a different variety. Argiope bruennichi. The one we have is fatter and the stripes go all across the body.

    Reply
  8. bittster

    Those spiders are something! I have yet to see one this summer, but always enjoy coming across their webs….. assuming I don’t walk straight into it with a spider on my nose!
    The lantana is something. I think it’s just not hot enough here to even grow it well as an annual (I tired) but down around Orlando I remember seeing it invading roadsides for miles.

    Reply
  9. Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome

    Oh, I have one of those spiders in my garden! It’s also called a Writing Spider, because of the intricate, heavy web work it spins in a column down the middle of the web. I was glad when I looked it up to learn that it is not venomous!

    I love Lantana and always grow some in my porch container gardens here in Northeastern PA. I saw some spectacular Lantanas grown as standards when I visited the Herrenhaus Gardens in Germany a couple years ago. I also saw huge beds of it surrounding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington DC in mid-October one year. The fragrance was overwhelming! Yours is stunning with the Russian Sage.

    Your iris is lovely too and reminds me that I planted a re-bloomer last year. I need to check on it!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Kimberley, thanks for your comments. I think I prefer the term Writing Spider. It describes the way that zigzaggy stabilimentum looks. Lantana can indeed be very pungent! Hope you discover buds on your reblooming iris. Susie

      Reply

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