Articles for the Month of September 2013

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for Sept 2013

Gentiana 'True Blue'

Gentiana ‘True Blue’

It is now mid-September and time to note the flowers in bloom for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  For the most part it’s the usual suspects.  An exception is the Blue Lobelia that I grew from seeds distributed by the Scottish Rock Garden Club this Spring.

Lobelia siphylitica

Lobelia siphylitica

It grew easily from seed and looks like it will have a long term role as a perennial in the garden.

Another newcomer for the season is the pineapple sage.  It’s just starting to flower now and it’s brilliant red flowers are real eye-catchers.

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage

Another red flower that is a head-turner is the red Dahlia, Bishop of Llandaff.

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff

It’s not supposed to be hardy for us, but I left it in the ground last year and it has come back even better than before.  We’ve had dozens of flowers over a long season, much more than if I had planted it from scratch this year.

Another flower with a very long season is the Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’.

Alstroemeria 'Sweet Laura'

Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’

Ever since we discovered Peruvian Lily hybrid was hardy in this area we have been amply rewarded by growing them.

Among the nice surprises of the season was to see this little cyclamen popping up with no leaves showing as yet.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. confusum

Cyclamen hederifolium var. confusum

The New England Asters are just now beginning to flower with their dark purple flowers and golden centers.

New England Aster Purple

New England Aster Purple

The gentian that heads this posting is forming a substantial mat of strong blue flowers.

Gentiana 'True Blue'

Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Both the spring and fall blooming gentians share strong coloring on the outside of the petals and detailed coding when you look on the inside.

Gentiana 'True Blue' on the inside

Gentiana ‘True Blue’ on the inside

The Celosia continue to dominate the front flower bed.  I had no idea that these would be four foot high when I planted them.

Cramer's Amazon Celosia

Cramer’s Amazon Celosia

And the toad lilies just go on and on with their flowering.

Tricyrtis 'Autumn Glow'

Tricyrtis ‘Autumn Glow’

We have been blessed by an abundance of butterflies this year, partly stimulated by a magnificent showing from the Mexican Torch Flower (Tithonia) in the cutting garden.

Butterfly on Tithonia

Butterfly on Tithonia

But there are other critters around the yard when the Macro lens goes for a walk.

Triangle Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata)

Triangle Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata)

Praying Mantis face-on

Praying Mantis face-on

I think the mantis is saying ‘What’s growing in your garden?’  Check out other gardens for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

Mailbox Pleasures

Packaged Anticipation

Packaged Anticipation

I received a box of bulbs this week that I had ordered from Lithuania in August.  It’s delightful to open a package that packed full of surprises that won’t be fully realized until next year but that already appear different than anything I had ever seen before.  Augis’ Bulbs has a wonderful web site with an extensive list of bulbs that would be of interest to anyone who likes to explore unusual varieties.  Many of these items are from the former Soviet Union and not easily available in the U.S.  It was with a sense of adventure that I sent off my check last month.  I’m pleased to say that the order was more than fulfilled.  The bulbs received were all very healthy and in a number of cases include multiples where I had ordered only one.  Altogether I had ordered 16 bulbs including 9 Corydalis.  Two items of special interest were Gymnospermiums that I had never heard of before.

Gymnospermium alberti

Gymnospermium alberti

Gymnospermium alberti was plant of the month for the Alpine Garden Society in February 2011.  The bulb is huge.  In addition to the Gymnospermium the Corydalis cava is gigantic.

Corydalis cava

Corydalis cava

I am used to much smaller Corydalis.

The next day I got a box from Maine with a collection of rock garden plants for the raised alpine bed that I’ve built.

Package from Everymay Nursery

Package from Everymay Nursery

They looked much nicer when I unpacked them.

Evermay shipment out of the box

Evermay shipment out of the box

As usual the Everymay order was full of nice healthy plants.  Four Lewisia, four Saxifraga, 2 Campanulas, 3 primulas, and more….

For most of them their new home is the raised Alpine bed.

Raised Alpine Bed

Raised Alpine Bed

Here’s a more detailed view of some of the planting opportunities.

Alpine bed detail

Alpine bed detail

I must confess that this is really usual for me — to have the bed prepared before acquiring the plants.  What fun!