Chuck, Iris and Herbstfreude In Early Evening

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ fell victim to the cold winter and did not bloom in spring. Most of the shrubs have recovered now and offer occasional flowers. Two weeks ago I cut several for a Monday vase. I ended up not using them as the flowers were too far past their prime, but I enjoyed their sweet fragrance for several days.

This evening I spied a fresh bloom, apparently home to a little translucent, white spider. This may be a crab spider or a ghost spider.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

More of the yellow reblooming bearded German Iris have opened this week and the white Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ will soon follow. On the left beside the irises a Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) has been blooming for several weeks. Although the plant tag indicated this cultivar could tolerate full sun, even planted here in part sun its leaves have brown edges, crisped by the hot summer rays.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) and Reblooming Iris

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) and Reblooming Iris

Autumn Joy sedum is fully open in front of the northern border. Several bees and a wasp were feeding on it. This group of plants have a dusky rose color, while nearby some purchased a year earlier have a flatter top and brighter pink hue.

Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

 

28 thoughts on “Chuck, Iris and Herbstfreude In Early Evening

  1. Christina

    I’m so glad your Gardenias are flowering, I have missed reading about them this year. The Sedum is lovely, they are becoming one of my favourite plants, the foliage is good for most of the year and the flowers are a perfect source of nectar for bees and butterflies in autumn.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Just a few sporadic flowers are showing up on the gardenias, but that’s a good sign the plants are ok. It was disappointing to miss their show in the spring. I agree with you–sedum has a lot of strengths.

      Reply
  2. Cathy

    That sedum is a afvourite of mine too. They are the first plants to show after winter here, and the last to leave the stage before winter – invaluable! Love that photo of the spider in your gardenia.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Those crab spiders are interesting. They don’t spin a web, just sit and wait for food to come along. It can be days or weeks, but when something tasty shows up they wrap their long front legs around it and inject venom. They can change their color to fit in with the background, so while this one looks white, I have other pictures where they look yellow. Not sure how many colors they can imitate though.

      Reply
  3. Chloris

    I have never heard of hardy Gardenia, how wonderful. As houseplants I find them difficult, they always drop their buds because they need more humidity than I can give them.
    Sedums really are the stars of September and such butterfly magnets.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Most gardens where I live have some form of gardenia, but as I found out the cold can get the best of them some winters. Sadly sedums are not doing much to attract butterflies this year–it’s been a disappointing year for butterflies here.

      Reply
  4. rusty duck

    A few sporadic gardenia flowers are far better than none. I would dearly love to be able to grow them outdoors. The scent is just wonderful. They are very difficult as houseplants, which is what we have here.

    Reply
  5. Annette

    How I’d love a Gardenia in my garden but it’ll always stay a house plant, I’m afraid. That scent must be gorgeous! Is that Iris going to be blue? Looks very promising.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Annette, is your gardenia very fragrant when grown as a houseplant? The ones I have smell very sweet. The iris is, I think, ‘Immortality’ and is white, although it does have a violet cast when it is forming.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Maybe someday Donna, but perhaps a move is not worth leaving your own special garden just to grow gardenia. The irises have been such a treat this week and there are a few more buds.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. We’re really borderline here in Chapel Hill for gardenias I believe, but they have been reliable for a decade. This past winter was rough on them.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      You’re so right! The irises added a bit of elegance that I don’t usually have in my later summer garden. Love that sedum for its long-lasting performance.

      Reply
  6. katie squire

    I have had my gardenia “Chuck Hayes” and it has done very well in Tidewater Virginia. I wrap it every year in burlap but this last winter it was really cold and all the leaves were dead. There seems to be life in the branches and I have cut it back and am hoping that it will start putting out some leaves. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Katie, I didn’t even know to wrap the gardenia in burlap. Sounds like a good idea. I trimmed one of mine back also. Another one looks terrible so I think I’ll trim it back as well. Sorry I don’t have any advice. Mine did well for 12 years, then we had these two really cold winters. Not sure if the gardenias were just getting old and needed some rejuvenation anyway or if the weather is what has done them in. Hope yours comes back out. It probably won’t bloom this year but I think it should survive.

      Reply

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