Monday, September 15, 2008

September, 2008 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

After seven-plus inches of rain dumped by the remnants of Ike in the Chicago area this weekend, it's a wonder there are any blooms left for this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, sponsored on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Please visit Carol's blog for links to all the participants.
The annuals continue to bloom. The impatiens are pretty beaten up from the rain, but the browalias are none the worst for wear.
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is slowing down, but there are still a few buds yet to open.
Sedum 'Blackjack' is anything but black. It's a sport of Matrona. In the shade it looks much more like Matrona than Blackjack. The stems were purple, but have faded to green in the past week or so.
Hosta plantaginea 'Royal Standard' is a late bloomer. Beautiful, fragrant blooms are worth the wait. The last echinacea left standing. The rabbits leave them alone until the seeds ripen to their tastes. There have never been any left for the finches. This one's a little rain-beaten, and will probably end up in a bunny tummy in the next few days.
Rosy Returns. . . returned! After moving it into more sun this spring it bloomed for the first time several weeks ago, and delighted me with a rebloom just last week. Slugs mounted a war in the garden a few weeks ago, and the daylily foliage was among the casualties, as you can see.
This tropical hibiscus will have to come inside in the next few weeks.

The old-fashioned fragrant heliotrope is one of my favorite annuals. Bees love them. They overwinter well indoors, and this one will be coming inside soon.

Thanks for visiting, and remember to check out all the September GBBD posts!


  1. Your garden looks good, even with all the rain. I think those sedums are very confusing, as you can tell from my post. A lot of inter-mixing of varieties, I think. But they are welcome in the garden because they provide good color in September when other flowers are fading.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. I am debating bringing in our hibiscus again this year. I have to fight with the cats to keep them off the thing all winter long. I wanted to plant it this year to see if she would survive in our warmer zone but with the drought, she never made it into the ground. Maybe I will bring her inside one more winter and hopefully get her planted next year. Then she makes it or not… Ah, what to do. I hate killing plants by leaving them to the cold but also hate fighting with the kitties...

  3. Your 'Black Jack' has reverted back to 'Matrona.' I have zealously removed every reverted shoot. That's where I got my 'Matrona' in the seashell planter. You're probably better off just getting 'Purple Emperor,' but if you want I can bring you some 'Black Jack.' I have lots. My Coneflowers are still going strong, so it's interesting that yours are nearly done. I'm so glad your 'Rosy Returns' finally bloomed. It's a cute thing.

  4. I never thought to overwinter heliotrope but that's a good idea. The blooms still look good despite some cooler temps at night now.

    My white coneflowers are still going strong - this has been an exceptional year for them. The purple didn't fair so well - they were diseased and I had to remove them in July.

  5. Every time I visit a garden the differences in bloom time amaze me. A few blocks away and their Susans are still yellow, I have coneflower they don't! Each yard is it's own micro-climate and we create our own little eden. Aren't we lucky that we have annuals to carry us through to the frosts! You know the phrase
    end up in a bunny tummy makes them appear so 'Thumper' like, instead of the ravenous garden bloom eating creatures they are!


  6. No bunnies here, GardenGirl - and when I left the coneflower seeds up for the birds they slacked off and I had a zillions coneflower seedlings in all the wrong places. But I might rather weed out seedlings than deal with rabbits ;-]

    Wish I could smell that lovely hosta flower - Happy Blooming Day!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  7. Thanks Carol - I just didn't take photos of the beat-up stuff! There are so many different sedums, I can't keep them all straight.

    Hi Skeeter. Ah yes, that's one thing I don't miss not having anymore cats! George doesn't mess with my plants.

    If you have an attached garage you might be able to let the hibiscus go dormant and just leave it out there for the winter to buy more time to get it into the ground. We can even do that here in zone 5. I know someone who stores hibiscus and brugmansia in the garage over the winter here. They lose their leaves, but so far have come back to life in the spring. I know mine wouldn't survive over the winter outside here. I've considered the garage, but will probably keep them in the house.

    Hi MMD, it never did have purple foliage, so either I was actually sold a mislabled Matrona, a Black Jack that already had reverted, or possibly it's too shady for the foliage to color up. Either way, I never turn down free plants! :~) I saved some seeds from my yellow digitalis - let me know if you'd like some!

    The coneflowers would still be going strong, but the bunnies eat them once they get to a certain maturity, which is unfortunately before the blooms are spent. I don't get any seedlings either, thanks to the varmints.

    I'm thrilled Rosy returned! Even the 'Happy Returns' doesn't rebloom in the back yard - just not enough sun.

    Hi Beth - heliotrope is easy to overwinter, and you're so inclined, it's really easy to start new plants from cuttings too.

    Hi Gail, it's so true how different things perform differently in different gardens. For example, the 'Royal Standard' hostas seem to get started much later in my garden than in other yards in our neighborhood.

    I'm always glad for the annuals, although they're mostly looking pretty beat up after all the rain we had. They'll probably all bounce back in a week or so.

    I'm not thrilled that the rabbits eat the coneflowers, but I try to be charitable as long as they leave the plants intact. At least they don't bother the coneflower foliage. The hostas aren't always so lucky.

    Hi Annie, I know what you mean - I've seen coneflowers take over a garden with all the seeding they can do. I never have that problem here. I agree - I think I'd rather pull the seedlings than have the blooms eaten all the time. I don't even try to grow tulips - the casualities were too heartbreaking. . . same with lilies. :(

    That's my favorite hosta (this week!)

  8. Lovely post for this crazy weather. Heliotrope is also a favorite of mine. Stay dry and happy gardening in this waning summer ;)

  9. Anonymous6:52 PM

    Considering the amount of rain you got, the garden looks great Linda. I love all your blooms. I need to remember to add more annuals next year. They really extend the season. Your Heliotrope is one of my faves. :)

  10. Nope, no attached garage. An open 3 sided one instead. arggg...

  11. Glad I stopped by here--your post didn't show up on my blogroll, but I've noticed it's not always accurate.

    I know what you mean about almost not being able to post today because of the weather, but I think the Chicagoland area fared much worse than we did. Your flowers are looking great in spite of the weather.

    Linda, I have a favor to ask of you. You mentioned overwintering the heliotrope and earlier this spring you talked about other annuals you kept through the winter. Could you maybe do a post sometime on this with some tips on how to care for them and the best plants to keep? I'd really like to try to save more of my annuals this year, not to mention saving some money next spring:)

  12. Anonymous10:51 PM

    It is strange how much rain Chicago received while Austin--so close to Galveston and Houston--received nothing. Your flowers look great. I'm glad they weren't damaged by the storm.

  13. Thanks Joey! Looks like we've got some dry weather ahead, thankfully.

    Thank you PG. I do like having the annuals and tropicals around the patio. They add so much color all season, especially in a shade garden that tends towards more foliage than flower. Bees and hummingbirds enjoy them too.

    Hi Rose! I've never seen anything quite like that rain we had. It was non-stop from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening.

    I'd be happy to do a post on overwintering annuals. I overwinter a lot of stuff, annuals and tropicals. It's definitely a money saver!

    Hi Pam, its not unusual for us to get some rain from the remnants of hurricanes and tropical storms, but I've never seen anything like what we got from Ike.

    I was very surprised how little rain you Austinites so much closer to the storm received. Too bad it couldn't have been apportioned appropriately where it was needed!

  14. Nice flower pics. Love the Hibiscus. I found a Watery Wednesday that should be fun, come on by and check it out.

  15. Hi again Garden girl :-D

    Great selection of blooms in spite of Ike! Love the ‘blackjack’ sedum and the Echinacea – what great colours :-D

    Although on the late side, once again, my post is up now too if you want to hear about it :-D

  16. Hi Garden Girl, it's good to see that your garden still has blooms even after all that rain. I've heard from other bloggers in the Chicago area too that were hit by that deluge.

    Happy GBBD!

  17. Beautiful flowers!

    Than you for your visit :)
    I don't have time to visit blotanical at the moment. I'm very busy working.

  18. We also had tons of rain, but I didn't lose any flowers. I love your pale echinacea, there's something strong and elegant about it.
    ~ Monica

  19. Hi Darla, thanks for visiting! I'm glad you enjoyed the September blooms.

    Hi Shirl, loved your GBBD videos this month!

    Hi Yolanda, after all that rain my containers were so waterlogged most of them haven't needed watering all week!

    Thanks for visiting Marie! Sounds like life has been very busy for you lately!

    Hi Monica, that echinacea is gone now - eaten by a bunny. This year they've not only gone after all the blooms, but have chewed down the foliage of most of the coneflowers too.

    I haven't had problems this year with the rabbits in the garden until recently, and had been negligent with using Liquid Fence which normally does a pretty good job of keeping them at bay.

  20. Anonymous10:00 PM

    The scent of heliotrope is beautiful, making overwintering them sounds like a good idea. Do you ever get blooms on them inside, or does it take until next season for them to flower again? Do you grow them from cuttings?
    Your hosta blooms are looking good. Lovely foliage followed by pretty white blooms makes them an all season plant.

  21. Hi Northern Shade, I just love heliotrope. The blooms are so sweetly scented.

    I overwintered that one last year - it's the first time I tried doing that. I had it under a sodium grow light, and when I brought it outside in the spring, it was already blooming. It didn't bloom much over the winter, but started up again around mid-March.

    They're very easy to start from cuttings. I've used rooting hormone, but they root so easily I might try starting a couple without it this year.

    The cuttings were started sometime in early January, and were blooming (inside) by March. They bloomed under the light, but I think they might bloom in a sunny window too. (They bloom on the patio here with no more than 3 hours of sun a day.)

  22. Anonymous9:02 PM

    These are beautiful blooms. I'm also following your post on over wintering some plants.

  23. Thanks Anna!

    Some of the plants I overwinter inside here are probably hardy in your neck of the woods!


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