This completes a series illustrating the variety of blooms found in this garden in mid-September. Once extreme heat and drought set in during July the garden looked browned and parched. Now, eight weeks have passed with little maintenance, and the garden has awakened. Cooler temperatures and some key rainfalls have brought out a burst of blossoms.
Echinacea (purple coneflower) is planted throughout the garden and these perennials have remained in bloom longer this year than usual. As the petals drop the seed cones provide food for the American goldfinches. Most of the Echinacea have dried up now and the brown stalks and cones are being left for winter interest and for the birds.
A pair of pink dwarf Crape Myrtles at the front entrance took forever to bloom this year, while these Southern favorites were coloring the landscape all around town (and even in this neighborhood). The peak flowering period seemed to be about mid-August.
Because this annual is so commonly used, bringing it home was merely an afterthought at the garden center in early summer. During the worst of the dry, hot July days though, it added happy spots of color (both pink and magenta) to the border.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Only a few cosmos self-seeded from last year’s effort to fill the side border with feathery greenery and delicate blossoms. Usually these are very simple to grow but last year neither these nor the zinnia seeds produced a reward. The deer still graze down this side garden and seem to be attracted to the cosmos.
Cleome or Spider Flower is a magnificent accent in the border. The complex structure of the blooms and the long seed pods forming below the flower give this annual an architectural look. This is an old-fashioned flower that is remarkable.
More In the September Garden
Ending the tour of blooms in this mid-September garden, there are several flowers blooming for there are no accompanying photographs, but they have been featured before: Pink Yarrow, Dianthus, and Verbena bonariensis. The pink yarrow bloomed profusely in the spring before browning in the heat. Only a couple of these are in bloom now. The dianthus was planted this spring and did well with deadheading though early summer before fading in the heat. It has revived somewhat but is not significantly showy. Verbena bonariensis, a tall plant with small flower clusters on long stems, has been blooming since mid-May. Yellow American goldfinches love them and love to sit on them, bending the stems eventually. Several new ones added to the garden in late spring survived.
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
While this Asclepias tuberosa is not actually blooming now, the seed pods are interesting. Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. The caterpillar is feeding on the leaves and storing energy for the pupa stage.