Gardening Gone Wild’s Picture This Photo contest for September focusses on Ornamental Grasses. And very appropriately Nan Ondra who authored the book Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design will be the judge.
There are some great pictures out there of grasses in different seasons, with and without flowers, with rain or snow, and with ornaments. I looked at the some of my favorite grasses around the garden as possible candidates.
The Sea Oats are one of my favorites but I haven’t gotten my perfect picture of them yet. They need to grow taller or be less crowded by their neighbors.
And the Pink Fountain Grass is another common favorite among the oriental grasses. But I need to give a space in the garden where it can really strut its stuff.
The Japanese Bloodgrass is yet another favorite ornamental grass that it still looking for a better photographer. But for my chosen submission to the contest I decided on a plant that probably won’t make to anyone else’s blog.
This is part of my theme of noticing the things that surround you. This is a widespread annual grass that is usually thought of as a weed despite its spectacular seed heads. It is thought to have been a progenitor of millet and is sometimes referred to a wild millet. But it’s aggressive, its forage value is limited, and it is somewhat allelopathic (stunts it’s neighbors) so it is officially a weed.
But in the early morning or late evening light those seed heads really stand out.
Here we find ourselves at another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day as begun by May Dreams Gardens. We are just returned from another trip to Boston so I will try to quickly touch base with the main sources of flowers right for this season. The flowers in the cutting garden are at their heights now (literally 6 foot tall zinnias and cosmos). And we find ourselves with more than we can fully use — but that just means they make the vegetable garden look good and provide lots of options for the butterflies.
Some of the other stalwarts as the summer winds down are shown in the following images.
The Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has overcome early dear/rabbit damage to become a strong flowering plant for this season — really pretty flowers.
Cleome has become one of my favorites. It grows so easily from seed that I have to remember to plant more next year.
We find the Sweet Autumn Clematis is spreading rapidly along the fence in back of the rose garden and is giving the cherry tree a second flowering. I’ve been reading about this plant being invasive in some areas of the country so I will have to keep and eye on it but at the moment it is quite beautiful.
We planted Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ in the late Spring and it is now starting to flower strongly.
And it is hard to ignore this very special Echinacea which looks good both in the garden and in the house — and has flowered over the whole season.
And the roses continue to do their thing with grace and beauty…
Let me end with the Caryopteris (since I mentioned the lovely ‘Lemon Queen’ Helianthus in my last post. I’ve lost the name of this variety but the Caryopteris is a new plant for us this year. It took a while to get around to flowering but since early August the plant and flowers have been growing bigger (this is all from a gallon sized plant this year) and contributing to our hillside garden.
Last Fall I visited the local nursery and came home with one of the few plants flowering at that time. It said perennial, but I had my doubts. As it turns out the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ is an expansive perrenial. It has gone from one small plant to a bushy stand of beautiful yellow flowers. Very much appreciated at this time of year. The bees are absolutely in love with the plant. We have next to the Caryopteris and together they make a wonderful combo.
We were in Seattle on our way to hike around Mt. Rainier and on a morning stroll from our B&B we encountered the very lovely Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden at the peak of its bloom. This was a great way to see many Dahlias side by side all covered with the morning dew. This wonderful little garden is maintained by the Puget Sound Dahlia Association and it’s well worth a visit if you are in the area.