Articles for the Month of September 2012

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for September 2012


Well my lead Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day flower for this month is one of those potted plants that looks wonderful at this time of year, but only if it has a place to live over the winter.  For years I’ve kept it in the basement and it takes the better part of the year to get back to flowering strength.  This brings me to the major thing that is growing around here right now — a greenhouse is well underway which will allow us to provide a happy dwelling place for the bougainvillea and other plants of a more southerly persuasion.

Greenhouse Cathedral in process

This is a 10′ x 14′ BC greenhouse and, as you can see, it sits well up on a solid kneewall that should allow for tall plants and hanging vines.  Inside the greenhouse I’m planning wooden benches, electricity, and even the kitchen sink.

Assembled cedar benches

Stained workbenches

So while that’s clearly been my focus for the last few weeks there are some other flowers worth sharing.

The Turtlehead ‘Hot Lips’ is living up to it’s name.

Turtlehead ‘Hot Lips’ (Chelone lyonii)

I swear it puckered up for the picture.

The Dahlias are enjoying there staring role for the season.  Bishop of Llandaff is always great to see with its dark foliage.

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

A new one for us is the compact Dahlia ‘Extase’.

Dahlia ‘Extase’

A striking addition to the rose garden is a ‘Black and Blue’ Salvia which hasn’t been intentionally planted there for three years.

Salvia ‘Black and Blue’

This was really a delightful surprise and a reminder of how nice that deep blue color is.

The Loropetalum continues to please.


I will close this month’s Bloom Day observations with a lovely Toad Lily that I got from Plant Delights this spring.

Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’

New Additions

Cypella coelestis closeup

We’ve just started a bracing bit of fall weather and it’s time to update on a few items that are happening on the hill.  About two weeks ago, before we left for a wonderfully relaxing week on Cape Cod, we had our first glimpse of the Cypella coelestis that I brought home from Plant Delights this spring.  This is another elegant member of the iris family that should be just barely hardy in our area.  I took several pictures the morning I saw it in bloom but by afternoon it had already faded.  This is truely one of those ephemeral garden treasures…

Cypella coelestis

Another treasure from Plant Delights is the little rain lily ‘Lily Pies’.  It lasts a little longer than the Coelestis but you had better pay attention while it is in bloom because it very much deserves looking at.

Zephyranthes ‘Lily Pies’

I mentioned earlier the brilliant blue gentian that I’ve added to the garden this year.  Here is a better shot of this colorful perennial.

Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Unfortunately the rabbits have taken to cutting the flowers off to spite me.  They don’t eat them — they just cut them off.

Nearby, the Prairie Sun have mostly managed to get to flowering height and they remind one of why they are well worth growing even if they are not reliably hardy here.  What a beautiful blend of yellow shades with that green at the center.

Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ detail

Lastly, the other important addition is the new greenhouse that is under construction.  After years of contemplating we are putting up a 10 x 14 greenhouse in the vegetable garden.  It’s a kit from BC greenhouses with aluminum frame and twinwall polycarbonate walls.  We’re putting it on a 30 inch kneewall to allow for a ceiling fan, hanging plants and lots of plant height.  In some sense it will be a little cathedral for plants.

Greenhouse trenching

Greenhouse trench

Greenhouse kneewall forms

Not only will the greenhouse allow us to carry over the citrus that currently survive in the basement over the winter, but we should be able to start plants for an earlier springtime planting.  This is going to be fun!