Late Summer perennials

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ combined with pink Aster

 

What will September bring? By most standards we have experienced a mild Summer. No drought and no extended periods of high temperatures. Gardens and lawns are very much appreciative and growth has continued uninterrupted. Asters, Helianthus, Jo Pye Weed, Crepe Myrtles and Toad Lilies – all blooming or coming into bloom as I write this. Proof that late Summer has plenty of color to offer gardeners. So far mother nature has cooperated by giving us timely rain. Remember though that plants can still use about an inch of water per week so don’t forget to water if the rains did not soak your neighborhood.

We are entering the window to work on our lawns here in late August. Depending on your lawns’ needs, that may be as simple as aeration and seeding or even a total restoration. If it’s the latter make sure to get your herbicide down now as the area being killed off will need a little recovery time before proceeding ahead with seeding.

 

 

 

I have a late season nesting of Wrens in a little ceramic house that hangs at the edge of my deck with the pond being just a few feet away. You can see the Wisteria that provides cover as the parents zoom in and out of their little house. It’s fun to watch and listen to them as they chatter away as the parents perform housecleaning and feeding chores. I don’t have any idea how many chicks there are but they are noisy when they are hungry. It sounds like a good healthy nest full. Here’s to successful fledging.

Wrens

Toad Lily amongst Crepe Myrtle trunks

Toad Lily amongst Crepe Myrtle trunks

A different Fall color variant of native Red Maple

A different Fall color variant of native Red Maple

Good Fall color from Hosta

Good Fall color from Hosta

Sometimes there aren’t enough words to describe something you are looking at and Fall color fits that category. It is much easier photographed than it is described as each Fall brings new and different color variations. Variations are determined by our weather during the Summer followed by how cool it gets at night in September. If we have drought conditions in late Summer, trees and plants in general are going to want to start their dormancy as early as late August. They will want to drop their leaves with as little fuss as possible including any spectacular color changes. Another major factor is cool nights as trees are starting to go dormant. This helps to set the brilliant colors everyone loves to see. We did pretty well this year as rainfall was decent with no significant dry periods. And then it cooled down significantly in September with some chilly nighttime temperatures. Colors this Fall have been very good.

 

Color is not only manifested in leaf color of trees. Hosta this year has been pretty spectacular with their brilliant yellow color. Berries have colored up very nicely as evident by the red berries on the American hollies growing in the field behind my home. A couple of reliable performers in the perennial world are the Trycirtis family and the Dendranthema (Hardy mum) family. Trycirtis or Toad lily has small orchid-like flowers that grace arching stems by the hundreds. They keep developing more and more interesting flower variations for this family. Very worth having in the garden and it will take shade also! I planted the hardy mum in my garden just a few years ago and already I have had to divide and remove 50% because of pretty aggressive growth. It will take over in the garden if left unchecked but the late season show is worth it. This photo was taken a full 4 weeks into its’ flowering period.

 

A lot more photos than usual this time but it was worth it. Enjoy!

Japanese Katsura Tree fronted by a Fernleaf Full Moon Maple

Japanese Katsura Tree fronted by a Fernleaf Full Moon Maple

Native Red Maple

Native Red Maple

Living fossil - Gingko

Living fossil – Gingko

Fall berries of Satyr Hill Holly

Fall berries of Satyr Hill Holly