Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Bloom Day - September 2020

As if the pandemic and the awful political state of affairs in the US weren't bad enough, Mother Nature threw us a couple of new challenges in September: a truly nasty heatwave and a boatload of terrible wildfires that have left us blanketed in smoke that refuses to move out of here.  Still, I recognize that my husband and I are very lucky - we have our lives, our home, and our health, ignoring the persistent throat irritation and headaches I've had since the smoke arrived.

As spending a lot of time outside is inadvisable at the moment, half the photos I'm using for this Bloom Day post were taken earlier in the month; however, with one exception, all the plants shown are still in bloom now.  I'll start with the exception.

The second (and largest) Yucca 'Bright Star' developed a bloom stalk in late August.  It was nearly at full bloom when I took this photograph on September 4th, just before the horrendous heatwave settled in.  It declined rapidly in the heat and I cut it down on September 11th.

The Yucca bloom was a short-lived surprise but let's proceed to September's floral stars, starting with the dahlias and the zinnias.

Dahlia 'Labyrinth' wins the top spot.  It has big, beautiful flowers and it's produced a steady stream of new blooms. 

Other dahlias currently in bloom include, clockwise from the upper left: 'Belle of Barmera', 'Loverboy', 'Mr Optimist', 'Iceberg', 'Enchantress' and 'Einstein''Candelight' bloomed at the end of August but the next set of blooms haven't fully opened yet and 'Rip City' is full of buds but no blooms.  'Rancho' and 'Gitts Crazy' are still keeping me waiting.

I planted two mixed packets of Zinnia seeds and four named varieties but they were also mixed together when I seeded the raised planters in my cutting garden.  I think flowers from 'Northern Lights Mix', 'Unicorn Mix', 'Benary Giant Lilac' and 'Envy' are represented in this array.

I planted plugs from 'Dreamland' and 'Profusion' Zinnia mixes here on the south side of the house

There are plenty of other blooming plants making a statement this month too.

The Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana) looked terrible for months but its twiggy branches are finally covered in both leaves and flowers

I finally got Clematis terniflora (aka sweet autumn Clematis) properly tied up against the south side arbor, encouraging it to climb but a couple of stems have also sought to weave themselves through the Coprosma 'Plum Hussey' at the plant's base

Cosmos bipinnatus is continuing its bloom-fest this month

The sunflower seeds I sowed produced disappointingly small plants but the Helianthus 'Delta Sunflower' (left) and 'Sunfinity' (right) I bought as plants are doing well

Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' will only get better as we head into fall

Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy' lasts longer in a vase than anything else in my garden

I made repeated attempts to get a decent shot of this large Vitex trifolia purpurea in full bloom but none of my photos captured the plant's beauty well.  The leaves are olive green on top and purple on the bottom and the flowers are a delicate blue.

The dependable large-flowered Grevilleas are particularly floriferous this month.  They didn't pay our recent heatwave a speck of notice as far as I can tell.

This is Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream'

and this is Grevillea 'Superb'

I had a few surprises as well this month.

I didn't notice the blooms on this Leucophyllum laevigatum until mid-day yesterday.  Regrettably, the greatest profusion of flowers faces the hedge.

This is the first time I've ever gotten a passionflower vine to bloom in this garden and this is the only bloom I've seen thus far.  This is hybrid Passiflora 'Oakland'.

I discovered this noID Stapelia (aka starfish flower) in bloom earlier this month.  It didn't last long.  It's odor is said to attract flies but I didn't see many.
  

I'd also like to offer special notice to a plant that normally gets little love.

Phyla nodiflora (aka Lippia and frogfruit) has done a nice job as a groundcover below the backyard fountain.  The flowers are tiny but colorful.

With that I'll conclude as I usually do with color-coded collages featuring the best of what else is in bloom this month.

Clockwise from the upper left: self-sown Amaranthus, Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun', Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', Penstemon mexicali 'Mini-bells Red', Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy', Salvia lanceolata and, in the middle, Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite'

Clockwise from the upper left: Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' , Lantana camara 'Irene', Rosa 'Medallion', and Rudbeckia 'Sahara'

Left to right: Alstroemeria 'Inca Sunshine', Lantana 'Samantha', and noID Phalaenopsis

Clockwise from upper left: Allium tuberosum, Asparagus fern, noID Hoya, Gaura lindheimeri, self-sown Osteospermum, Pandorea jasminoides, and Coriandrum sativum

Clockwise from upper left: Cuphea 'Honeybells', C. 'Starfire Pink', Rosa 'Pink Meidiland', Eustoma grandiflorum, Osteospermum 'Berry White', Pentas lanceolata, and Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (with 'Pow-wow Berry')

Top row: Erigeron glacus 'Wayne Roderick', Liriope muscari, and Melaleuca thymifolia
Middle row: noID Phalaenopsis, Plectranthus neochilus, and Plumbago 'Imperial Blue'
Bottom row: Polygala fruticosa, Symphyotrichcum chilense, and Trichostemma 'Midnight Magic'

For more Gardeners' Bloom Day posts, visit our host, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

36 comments:

  1. Such a treat to find your blog post for today. Yucca ‘Bright Star’ makes me feel the ray of much needed clear sunshine. Your dahlias and zinnias are a treat to look forward to. Rudbeckia ‘Sahara’ and Cuphea ‘Honeybells’ are winners and remain on my wishlist. Air quality predictions state that we could have good air quality on Saturday. In the meantime, I’m hoping your sore throat and headache can disappear before that. I’m sending you a huge hug!

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    1. Thanks Kay! I hope the latest projection for the return of acceptable air quality is correct but I've heard day-after-day projections of the same kind come and go. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the plant delivery I'm expecting tomorrow, although I expect Annie's timetable could be impacted by the situation in Northern California. One day at a time!

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  2. Beautiful! Especially the Dahlias!
    And those color-coded collages - wonderful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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  3. So much to love here. The yucca is beautiful and the dahlias are stunning. You have a lot of plants I'm not familiar with (like the Leucophyllum laevigatum - wow!). The orchid tree also caught my eye. Is the sweet autumn clematis well-behaved there?

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    1. The Leucophyllum is a frustrating plant, Phillip. It goes for long periods without any blooms as all but then all of a sudden, bam! It blooms. I know other plants in the genus are supposed to respond to rain but I've yet to see a direct link there. We haven't had any rain since April and our humidity hasn't been especially high in a few weeks now. The sweet autumn clematis (which I think is C. terniflora, not C. paniculata) is very well-behaved here. I cut it nearly to the ground in the winter and it comes back every year.

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  4. There still seems to be a lot happening in your garden despite the crazy weather. Gotta love those dahlias and zinnias. Smoke from the fires has arrived here too (Calgary, AB) but it hasn't affected our air quality as of yet. Looks more like fog. In the meantime stay safe.

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    1. Check your air quality index, Elaine! Our hazy skies could be mistaken for our more usual foggy marine layer except that our humidity isn't particularly high and we get regular whiffs of a tell-tale smoky odor. The smoke odor is actually less here today, yet our AQI reading is 167 (unhealthy for all).

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  5. I love that explosive 'fat' Yucca 'Bright Star' bloom. Dahlia 'Labyrinth', with it's subtle coloring shifts is fantastic and a definite winner. Bauhinia is a favorite tree of mine although I thought its a spring bloomer... some are known to have fragrant flowers, is it true for your tree?
    Stapelia is cool, and because of my zone I grow it indoors. The flower of one variety I had was gorgeous, but smelled like rotten meat. It had to go. The one I grow now doesn't emit detectable scent, thankfully. Because of the smoke, all windows and doors are shut, and I couldn't take the stench of death in my living room in addition to smoke and covid.

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    1. The Bauhinia tree blooms at intervals here, although last year I can swear it was in bloom from September through March or later. I don't remember it previously blooming for such an extended period. If the flowers have a scent, my nose can't detect it. At the moment, all the flowers are well above my head so a sniff test isn't possible.

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  6. Dahlia 'Labyrinth' two posts in a row! What a beauty, as is your Passiflora 'Oakland'—that's a new one for me. And wow! Perfect pairing of that stapelia and container. You're lucky it didn't attract many flies. I had maggots crawling around in my bloom pretty quickly.

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    1. I got the Passiflora from Annie's - it's a hybrid of two species, P. parritae x terminiana. So far, I've just had the one bloom but, if it can bloom once, it can bloom again! As to the Stapelia, I'm not sure I could stomach maggots. This bloom dropped only a day or two after I first saw it.

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  7. Oh, my, all those dahlias and zinnias! Butterflies must love your garden.

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    1. The butterfly population has been light overall this year, Dorothy, which is a big concern. I planted both my dahlias tubers and zinnia seeds late so maybe the problem was timing (I hope).

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  8. Your garden is just beautiful, so much color and texture and well laid out. I like your Hong Kong orchid tree, it is very different from the one I have. Your Grevilleas are especially gorgeous and what great plants to not mind the heat!

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    1. Grevilleas and Leucadendrons have become the backbones of my garden, Tina. Both like a Mediterranean climate and, whether I'm always happy with the characteristics of that or not, that's what I've got.

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  9. Your Zinnia patch did great considering they were late. Perky and cheerful. Bauhinia looks healthy again--it recovered very well.

    Stapelia grandiflora, I think. Mine is blooming now, too.

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    1. The Bauhinia is classified as "semi-evergreen" so I think I just have to expect that I'll have 2-3 months of ugly leafless twigs every year. Stapelia grandiflora was my guess too, although it wasn't what I originally thought I had based on the plant tag!

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  10. I can't believe it is the 15th already! (I feel like time is going at warp speed.)
    As always, a beautiful array of blooms, which I find amazing and wonderful that they are all in your garden. I'm so glad you share them with us! :)
    Let's think ahead to next month when hopefully, there will be no smoke and fine October days with pleasant temps.

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    1. Can time go fast and slow at the same time, Eliza? That's what it feels like to me these days. The election seems like it's coming up on us fast but each day is so painful in terms of the political "discourse" that it simultaneously seems like a lifetime. (And it's nowhere near as civil as the word "discourse" suggests.)

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  11. I'm awestruck by the number of blooms you have in the garden, all at the same time no less. I notice that there's an orchid in the last photo group - can you grow those outdoors all year or do they have to come in over your "winter"?

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    1. I keep the orchids, including Phalaenopsis, in my lath (shade) house year-round but that's to provide protection from the sun and extreme heat. Winter here doesn't pose any real threat - we don't get freezes and, like our summers, our winters have tended to be somewhat warmer than they once were.

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  12. Dahlias and Zinnias are amazingly beautiful.I have one Huernia variety but never seen it blooming.It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to Gardening here at http://jaipurgardening.blogspot.com/2020/09/peacock-flower-beauty.html

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  13. You have an amazing collection of color! Hopefully you'll be able to be outside soon to enjoy them before they are finished blooming. You must have a lot of pollinators that enjoy your gorgeous garden!

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    1. I've got lots of bees but we're light on butterflies this year, Karin. The hummingbirds help out, though!

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  14. Oh Kris, a heatwave plus the awful fires must make life very difficult. I suffer from asthma and just the thought of all that smoke makes me wheeze. And on top of that, you have your terrifying political position. Mind you,politically we are in a terrible mess too.
    As usual you have a fabulous array of plants, I have Dahlia 'Labyrinth' too,it is a beauty. My Stapelia gigantea bud is getting fatter and fatter and I think it will open tomorrow, I keep rushing into the greenhouse to see if it is there yet.
    Take care and I hope you will be able to get outside soon to enjoy your wonderful garden.

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    1. I'm really missing the opportunity to spend time outside, Chloris. Working in the garden has been my primary stress release over the last few months. I woke up at 5am this morning as the smell of smoke coming into the house through a partially open window, which was not a great way to start the day!

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  15. OMG, you have so many beautiful flowers! I didn't even go outside to look this Bloom Day, but I'm pretty sure I can count the flowers on two hands. Maybe I'll manage a late post on the matter today... I LOVE that Labyrinth dahlia!! Absolutely superb. And of course, the Bauhinia and Grevillea never fail to throw me into a state of plant lust. Hang in there, Kris - this too, shall pass.

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    1. I hope so, for all our sakes, Anna. You take care of yourself - your air is worse than ours!

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  16. Love that Stapelia. I had one years ago and it bloomed for me. I don't know what became of it. Seeing yours blooming almost makes me want one again. Despite all the heat and smoke you have plenty of blooms. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I hope you find yourself a Stapelia.

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  17. As always, a wonderfully floriferous selection, Kris. No one would ever know your garden suffered so much heat during summer. The Zinnias are a colourful bunch, with lots of variations.
    Would you recommend a yucca for a large pot? I’m thinking of tucking one into a northern corner of my house where it will be a bit sheltered from frost.

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    1. I grow a Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata' in the cavity of a tree stump, Jane, so I expect that some will handle life in a container just fine. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that a larger specimen like 'Bright Star' might not flower in a pot, though.

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  18. Kris-your garden is always a pleasure to visit and you have such an array of beautiful blooms. The Zinnia collection is amazing! Thank you for the tour.

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