Late Summer Garden

New England Aster

Gardening Gone Wild is once again hosting it’s Picture This Photo Contest, this time on the theme “Late Summer Garden”.  Christa Neu of Organic Gardening will be the judge.  For us, I am only too happy to move to the end of this gardening summer.  The weather has been to all extremes and far from conducive to poking about in the garden.  However, as of today, there is sunshine coming through the trees and the benefits of last nights drenching rainfall percolating through the soil.

There are some striking end of season flowers to be seen around the hill today.  I had lamented about not planting a cardinal flower this year and then found this scarlet sage coming up in the wild flower garden in the triangular field.

Salvia coccinea

In the same little patch of wild flowers I find a very pretty Cosmos as well.


Does it count as gardening if all you do is toss the seed out and then come back two years later to see what is prospering?

At the back of the garage a single St. John’s Wort flower is in evidence.  Even with insect damage it still looks exotic.

St John's Wort

And the loropetalum (a witch hazel relative) has come fully into flower.  I think it was supposed to bloom in the spring but at that point it was on death’s door, having barely survived the winter.  Now, however, it’s covered with beautiful fuchsia-colored straps that are striking against the purple foliage.


Another very positive find for this time of year was on one of the rosemary plants that we put out this year.  Ever since we saw the rosemary in bloom out in Sedona we have been watching our’s (mostly Tuscan Blue) for some more of those gorgeous blue flowers.  We have some we winter over in the garden and some we’ve taken inside.  In no case have we had any blooms until finally this year on a single little plant that I put in the garden after torturing in a tiny pot most of the year.  And now I don’t even remember which variety it is.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) in flower

Another flower with orchid-like shape for this time of year is the toad wort.  We have a particularly nice one with gold margins on the leaves which is very well behaved (some of the trycyrtis grow rampantly).

Trycyrtis (Toad Lily

For the GGW contest I was originally thinking of using an image of the sweet autumn clematis which has been really dramatic for us this year.

Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora)

The swath of clematis is the first thing you see at the back garden now.

A little closer view of Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora)

I realize that for some people this clematis is a bit aggressive.  We have yet to see any seedlings here.  Yet when I drove to Cape May last week this very same clematis was everywhere, draping all the roadsides and fields.

Clematis in understory at Cape May

Yellow warbler astounded by clematis flowers

In the end, I’ve decide to enter a photo of the New England Asters that are just coming out right now.  New England Asters are a native flower found widely across the U.S.  Though mine are undoubtably a cultivated variety the shared characteristic of all these asters is a brilliant purple daisy-like flower with yellow centers.  They are particularly striking representatives of the late summer garden.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)


6 comments on “Late Summer Garden

  1. Malinda

    Stunning photo! The colors are amazing and so is the arrangement. I think the focal point is placed perfectly.

  2. HA / Cameragardening

    Your entry is very beautiful – that color is striking! I have to say I love your picture of the yellow warbler as well! What a beautiful bird and one I haven’t seen before (I live in Finland). Then again that Loropetalum gives me “must have” feelings.. any idea if USDA zone 5B would be too bad for it?

  3. Jennifer

    I think you made a great choice for the GGW contest. The exquisite deep mauve aster glows in the light. I really like your pink Loropetalum. It is more unexpected than the standard yellow witch hazel. I wish I had a Sweet Autumn Clematis!! My second choice for the contest would have been the picture of it with the yellow warbler. Good luck with your aster entry!

  4. Pingback: Winners for September’s Picture This Photo Contest

    1. jw

      Good catch. I’ve corrected the text. It is indeed scarlet sage, a part of the original seed package from Wildseed Farms in Texas.