October sees the garden in transition. Some parts of it seem sort of messy and out of control.
Above: Pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris is a fluffy pink cloud. I like the yellow maple leaf floating in the middle.
There are many, many flowers, but most are small in size. The yellow sulphur butterflies are everywhere, supping on the orange tubular blooms of Cuphea ignea. There is one now, just above my fairegarden watermark.
Three species of Cuphea were planted in and in front of the Dahlia box. For once, the Dahlias are not the center of attention. The Cuphea ‘Purple Passion’ and Cuphea micropetala inside the box join the soldier straight row of Cuphea ignea growing below at the base of the old deck boards. Hummingbirds and bees of all sizes, shapes and colors join the butterflies at this nectar bar.
There are various asters, wild ageratum, Japanese Anemones all blooming splendidly, but the eye cannot look away from the pink muhly grass at the top of the hill. Soon the sheffies, post about them here, will be joining in the fun. You can see their buds just below the dark foliage of the knockout rose, also just coming into flower.
On the other side of the slope stands the shed and its plantings. There are many dried seed heads of New England asters and various Eryngiums, among others. This year we are saving seeds more than usual in preparation for when/if we move when my husband, The Financier retires in the next couple of years. Saved, packaged and labeled then stowed in the freezer for the Genesis, the garden will begin again. Maybe. As a former girl scout and girl scout leader, our motto of Be Prepared has served me well over the years.
Fall is definitely here, with the miasma matrix of grasses and tall perennials drawing the crowds. Heading back to garden beds behind the garage that are slightly less steep, the lone teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, post about it here, stands erect in the Gravel Garden.
Along the garage side, the repurposed wheelbarrow planter is slowly being switched over to violas that will last through the winter and bloom bountifully in spring. But the lantanas, gomphrenas and alyssum still look so nice, I couldn’t bear to pull them just yet. Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’ are blue petticoats along the pathway to the back. In a minute, the sheffie mums will be joining them. Asters and mums make good chums, by the way.
More seedheads, these are Rudbeckia triloba joining more Cuphea ignea. Last fall I took cuttings of the cigar plants after seeing how they were favored by the hummers, flutterbys and buzzers. The pieces rooted quickly and easily and grew inside the greenhouse/sunroom during the cold months. Thirty-eight well rooted plants were set out this spring and have thrived. This will be repeated, although perhaps some will reseed or even prove hardy. Ever the optimist. The pink spikes behind are Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’.
Toad lilies, Tricyrtis ‘Empress’ are blooming as never before. A story about them can be seen by clicking here, if you so desire. These are planted more for the gardener than the pollinators. I love them.
Sitting in the chairs, sometimes with the camera in hand but more often unencumbered, watching the butterflies and buzzers flit and bob happily, the thought came to me that this garden is an oasis of flowers in a sea of mowed lawns and clipped evergreen shrubs in the neighborhood. It is alive with wings and even creepy crawly things, a place where nature rules supreme, weeds and all. Except crabgrass. I hate crabgrass.