15 September 2011

let your shadow lengthen on the sundials

So what's blooming at Belfry HQ?

Not a whole lot.  The September gardens of novice gardeners, who go mad for April-May-June but fail to plan for autumn, are often rather dull. I am no longer novice enough to be able to excuse myself for inexperience with spring lunacy, and in truth I have tried to establish some autumn-blooming plants. I just haven't been terribly successful.

I will keep trying. Japanese anemones and tiny cyclamens seem to me to be among the most desirable of garden denizens and there is no good reason why I shouldn't be able to grow them. Indeed, I got some cyclamens going and then moles got to them a few years back. I made an effort with the anemones too, but suspect they were too dry in that place near the sassafras tree.  I will try again, perhaps this year, perhaps nearer the house this time.

So, moving on to what we do have.

September Bloom Day

A lot of tremendously bad photos, is what we do have. I did not actually take these in the middle of the night, it just looks that way.

Going clockwise from upper left:

Liriope (lily turf) is one of those plants that everyone has and therefore some people hate it. Mine was a gift from a neighbour, so whatever ambivalence I had about liriope as a common-as-mud plant had to be swallowed and the gift accepted graciously. As garden plants go, it is not terribly exciting on its own, but it has many virtues. It is hardy, evergreen, noninvasive but easily propagated by division, and blooms in August and September. Nothing much seems to want to eat it, either, which gives it an advantage over hostas. I therefore find it hard to dislike.

There is some Gaura lindheimeri, which is insubstantial and not very showy on its own, but it mixes well into perennial borders. The plant is native to Texas, and is sometimes called 'butterfly gaura' because, as you can see, the flowers look very much like tiny butterflies. It is also tough and pest free, despite its delicate appearance, and I like it very much.

The 'Iceberg' rose is blooming also. 'Iceberg' is one of the floribunda roses, common as mud, and given my love for old garden roses I feel a bit sheepish about having it, but it is pretty and apparently indestructible.

And last, there are the mixed Calibrachoa, which you might remember from June's Bloom Day. They've been blooming pretty much continuously since June. I strongly recommend them as a container plant and good petunia alternative.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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