September in the Garden.

This post started life as an End of Month View and now we are so far into September, I have changed the title and put in some more up to date photos. In fact I like September;  the light is crisper and the colours seem richer.  So although Summer has fled, let’s celebrate September and all its riches.

First of all I would like to feature the Winter garden which I created this year, showing the process on EOMV.  Several blogger suggested annuals to keep it looking interesting throughout the Summer, so this is what I did. Thank you very much for the suggestion, I have enjoyed these flowers for picking as well, as to make the Winter Garden interesting in Summer.

The easiest were the seeds I just scattered, such as Elscholzia californica, Candytuft ‘Fairy Mix’,  Linaria maroccana ‘Sweeties’ and the poppy, Papaver commutatum ‘Ladybird’. These have all finished now and I never did show you how pretty the Ladybird Poppy is; such a pop of  long-lasting colour and I love the contrast of the black and red.

Papaver commutatum 'Ladybird'

Papaver commutatum ‘Ladybird’

The poppies have finished, but the jolly old marigolds just go on and on. I pick them all the time, but they produce an endless supply of flowers.
In the greenhouse I grew Cosmos sulphureus ‘Bright Lights’, zinnias and cleomes. This is my first year growing zinnias, after reading so many bloggers extolling their virtues. Mine have been very slow to come into bloom, but they are lovely and I am astonished how long each flower lasts. I grew mixed colours.

The giant sunflowers are a bit of fun. My daughter holds an annual  competition to see who can grow the tallest sunflower. There is a party and a trophy is awarded to the winner. I thought I would go for big flowers as well as height. I have never grown these monsters before and I had no idea how much staking would be involved in keeping them upright. They really need scaffolding. My tallest is 10 foot 6 inches, so I hope I am in with a chance of winning. My horticultural reputation hangs in the balance.

I am really enjoying the dahlias growing in the winter garden too.

‘Cafe au lait’ has ridiculously over-sized heads, but it is such an unusual colour. I love the bright red ‘Nescio’; if you are going to have a red flower then it should be a bright red and there is nothing wishy-washy about ‘Nescio’. Actually, I prefer the more delicate charm of Dahlia merkii which is a species dahlia.
For my dark red ones, I started off a few years ago with ‘The Bishop of Llandaff’ which was the dahlia people thought it was alright to introduce into their gardens without incurring the scorn of the taste police. The dark red leaves seemed to make it ok somehow, at a time when dahlias were still considered vulgar. I grew on some seeds of the Bishop and I found some with  darker flowers. Each year I grow a few seeds of the darkest ones and now I have several which are  almost black. I also have one with stripes on the petals which I showed you in another post.
Against the fence I have another species Dahlia coccinea. I like its bright orange flowers and pretty foliage. It grows quite tall so it needs good staking.

Dahlia coccinea Dahlia coccinea

Highlights in the front garden are the Hibiscus which Ivan Dickings gave me. Ivan used to be the very talented chief propagator for Notcutts. I am not sure if he named this Hibiscus. It is a gorgeous colour.

Hibiscus syriacus

Hibiscus syriacus

I have already featured several times the huge Alcathaea suffretescens ‘Parkallee’ on this blog. Next to it I have Clematis viticella ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ which will climb into it next year. This year I had to cut the clematis right back just when it was in full flow when we had the house painted.

I love this Hollyhock relation so much; it gets bigger and better each year. I now have two more  Alcalthaeas. One is the sister plant which is pink. It is called ‘Park Rondell’.

xAlcalthaea suffrutescens 'Park Rondell'

xAlcalthaea suffrutescens ‘Park Rondell’

I also have x Alcalthaea suffrutescens ”Poetry’ which is very similar.

xAllcalthaea suffrutescens 'Poetry'

xAllcalthaea suffrutescens ‘Poetry’

These two plants are still young and I will have to wait a while for them to be as impressive as ‘Parkallee.’

I love agapanthus and I have lots of them in various colours. Most of them have finished now, but this one growing with the Fascicularia bicolor is hanging on. The Fascicularia is just starting to get its bright red rosette. As the season goes on the leaves grow redder. The strappy leaves on the left are Libertia grandiflora which has lovely white flowers earlier in the Summer.

Agapanthus with Fascicularia bicolor

Agapanthus with Fascicularia bicolor

Nearby a large headed Agapanthus looks good with the strappy leaves of a Fucraea. On the wall is Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’.
New Echinacea hybrids are always a disappointment, vanishing without trace after their first season. Good old Echinacea purpurea hybrids hang around and seed about too.  These are growing near lovely Rosa ‘Perle d’Or ‘ which is blooming as well as it was in June.

Rosa 'Perle d'Or'

Rosa ‘Perle d’Or’

Red Hot Pokers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, even though some of them come in tasteful lemon or green. This one is called ‘Brimstone’.

Kniphofia 'Brimstone'

Kniphofia ‘Brimstone’

I like the picture these pokers make with the seed heads of veronicastrum, a dainty thalictrum and a dark yellow solidago.
Of course September is the start of the Michaelmas Daises. My favourite, Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ has been in bloom for ages and just goes on and on.
Here is a mosaic of some of the other blooms making the September garden special. The last blue flower is unlabelled because I cannot think what it is. Any suggestions?

What are you enjoying in the garden this September?

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59 Responses to September in the Garden.

  1. Your garden is wonderful !!! What a great variety of flowers, you need to give a lot of water this year if you had the same summer as me !!! I like Agapanthe and anémone 🙂 Congratulation for the garden !!!

  2. Julie says:

    I read your posts with a mixture of sheer delight at your variety of plants and a feeling I must do better, even my Asters are still just buds. The taste police will have no business in your garden as its all looks splendid. I found the same with Echinacea but I shall keep trying with some of the white forms. I certainly hope you win the Sunflower competition, thats a whopper!!

  3. christine says:

    your garden is beautiful! the last picture looks to be a lobelia of some kind. maybe siphilitica

  4. Wow, Chloris. It’s just one beautiful flower after another. Always liked Agapanthus, but it doesn’t survive Ontario’s winters. And those red poppies – wow.

  5. Angie says:

    I remember admiring your Alcalthaea last year. I had never heard of them before reading of them on your blog. Parkallee is a beautiful soft colour.
    Good luck with the sunflower comp – 10′ 6″ – that’s some height. Did you need a step ladder to get such a good close up.
    i am new to Dahlias this year – my grandfather was extremely fond of them. It appears to me that are making a bit of a come back judging by the amount of bloggers that are now growing them. I too grow A. Andrea Atkinson but still tight in bud right now.

    • Chloris says:

      My grandmother used to grow dahlias in stiff rows and they were always covered in earwigs. I hated them. I love them now though. My anemones have been blooming for ages, but you have had a cold summer.
      My very tall son in law helped me measure the sunflower with one of those stiff metal measures. I hope I win.

  6. hoehoegrow says:

    A lovely post Chloris, full of my favourite plants. What a great idea to save the darkest ‘Bishop’ seeds to develop a strain all of your own. I may have to borrow your idea as I love the dark reds .Eucomis ‘Burgundy’ is a beauty, but I am unsure as to its hardiness. I have mine in a pot and overwinter it in the greenhouse, while the Eucomis Bi-colour stay in the borders and even got through the low temperatures of 2009/10.

  7. Those nearly black dahlias look great. I’ve never though to save dahlia seed before, since I religiously dead head them almost without thinking. I’ve bought an Parkallee! Now I can’t wait for it to look as glorious as yours does.

  8. mattb325 says:

    The garden is looking lovely.
    It always saddens me to give any recognition to the taste police when it comes to what colours we grow and where we grow those colours. To think that plants that flower so generously and so vibrantly be could be labelled vulgar and relegated to enthusiasts for decades is very sad.
    It’s so much fun filling the garden bed spaces with annuals and other short lived perennials while the rest of the garden planting matures.
    The yellow Kniphofia looks lovely! Such a nice pop of colour at the end of the season 🙂

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Your September garden is marvelous. I like the yellow/green Kniphofia, lovely and unique. The blue flower reminds me of one I recently saw blooming at a local botanical garden: Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia).

  10. Kris P says:

    I’m impressed by how floriferous your late summer garden is and what a wide range of flowers you have in bloom too. Whether or not you win the sunflower challenge, I’m certain your horticultural reputation will remain intact – your 10.5 foot sunflower beats any I grew or any I’ve seen here. The unnamed blue flower makes me think Lobelia but I can’t provide a good ID.

  11. Alison says:

    I agree with others that the blue flower looks like Lobelia siphilitica. I enjoyed this look at some of your late summer flowers. I didn’t get around to putting together an EOMV post for August either. I did absolutely no work on my gravel garden, and just couldn’t find the energy to take photos that wouldn’t show anything new anyway.

    • Chloris says:

      Well the joy of a gravel garden like yours is that it looks good without lots of maintenance. Thanks, yes it is Lobelia siphilitica. I was having a senior moment.

  12. Cathy says:

    Your garden is still full of colour – love all those dahlias but especially the Dahlia coccinea, which I have just searched for online but it doesn’t seem to be available on any German websites. I shall have to do some searching over the winter! That last blue flower is so pretty whatever it may be. I love blue flowers any time of year and envy your agapanthus which I assume are hardy in your garden. Perhaps I will grow some in a pot next year…. Thanks for sharing all your September glory!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. Most of my Agapanthus are hardy but some of the large headed ones need the greenhouse in winter. I have grown loads from seed and so I am looking forward to testing their hardiness next year.

  13. homeslip says:

    Wonderful. I want to put your posts in a special folder and read them again and again for inspiration. Honestly your plant recommendations and pairings and propagation ideas are just brilliant. Thank you Chloris.

  14. Meriel Murdock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland says:

    Wonderful as always! I too thought it might be Lobelia. A close-up would be useful. You should see one of my Knifofias, huge and 26 flowers on it at the moment. K.rooperi I think, a nice soft orange. It has never been quite as good. Positioned just in front of rocks in a deep pocket of soil it seems to fit in perfectly, especially as the rocks have orange tones in them. Very architectural. K. Thomsonii var. snowdenii is another I grow which is unusual & quite subtle. I would love to get my hands on one of those Alcathaeas as I can’t seem to get Hollyhocks to last. I love too, the shorter Hollyhock relative, Sidalcea.

  15. Chloris says:

    I love rooperi and thomsonii too. They look more like aloes than Kniphofia.
    I am propagating Alcalthaea Park Allee for several blooging friends. I will send you one two if you email me your address.

  16. Chloris says:

    Blogging, not ‘ blooging’.

  17. Anca Tîrcă says:

    Simply beautiful! Enjoy your time in this wonderful September garden!

  18. It’s wonderful to see such a variety of gorgeous flowers looking so fresh and colourful at this time of year. I agree with you about echinacea, species or close to are more reliable but usually pink.

  19. rusty duck says:

    Dahlia coccinea is gorgeous. Love the colour.
    Good luck with the sunflower competition, it sounds as if you’re in with a pretty good chance. Best get the scaffolding in though, the wind is getting up at the weekend apparently.

  20. I have never heard of Alcalthaeas; they are most attractive. Do they suffer from rust? Rust is the reason why I stopped growing hollyhocks. Zinnias and Marigolds are commonplace perhaps but they have so much flower power – I love mine.

    • Chloris says:

      No, they don’ t get rust. They are a cross between a hollyhock, Alcea rosea and a marshmallow, Althaea officinalis. They get their healthy greyish leaves from the marshmallow.

  21. Anna says:

    Oh I like September too Chloris. I enjoyed your post. I have never considered saving dahlia seed but may give it a go after reading your post. Well done on the dizzying heights that your sunflower has reached says she green with envy. My sunflowers were probably less than 9 inches this year when the slugs demolished them. Funnily enough there is a self seeder at the allotment which has taken me by surprise and is now over a foot high but I don’t think that it’s going to flower in time.

    • Chloris says:

      It is fun growing dahlias from seed as you never know quite what you will get. Slugs love young sunflowers, I put coffee grounds round my young plants, they don’ t like that.

  22. If I send you some seed from my reddish D. coccinea, will you send me some seed of your orange one? 🙂 Too many lovely things to mention, but I especially love the ladybird poppy,

  23. Christina says:

    Your garden has even more flowers now than in spring, it is wonderful. There is a place for ‘tasteful’ gardens but not in an exuberant country garden such as yours. I know I was one of the people who said they hated dahlias but I have changed my mind, but I think that is because when I saw them they were always in straight lines, (like an allotment) with clashing colours and forms planted next to each other, planted in a mixed border with plants that combine with them they are great flowers that give so much of themselves. I admire much else in your garden but my comment is becoming as long as a post.

  24. Chloris says:

    My grandmother used to grow dahlias in rows and I never liked them. I think part of growing up as a gardener is to look at plants with fresh eyes and overcome illogical prejudices. I used to hate succulents until I went to Tresco and was bowled over by the displays there. I love them now. I suppose as with everything else it comes down to how you use plants and combine them.
    Thank you for your kind words Christina.

  25. I’m enjoying anything and everything that’s blooming. :o) My Monck asters were nearly devoured by my blue mist flower and I had to go on a search and rescue mission to find them. They’re overdue for some extra love but will bounce back. Zinnias love heat and sun. Consider starting them from seed and putting them out when it warms up. Your garden looks absolutely wonderful. :o)

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Tammy. I started my zinnias in the greenhouse. The first batch were eaten by molluscs so this lot were rather late getting going. Next year I shall definitely grow more, the colours are luminous.

  26. Annette says:

    Great post indeed with lots of inspiration – I love Dahlia coccinea. Does it come back for you every year? I’m so much looking forward to seeing the winter garden evolve, Chloris, it’s so exciting to watch plants developing. I’ve quite a few dahlias in the potager and the new borders this year, for cutting but also as fillers and they just flower forever. Happy weekend 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      Dahlia coccinea comes back each year. I don’ t dig up my dahlias for the winter. I cover them with newspaper and then mulch. I am convinced that it is winter wet rather than frost that kills them. I think you can never have too many dahlias, they are wonderful for arrangements and colour in the late summer and autumn garden.

  27. Cathy says:

    Lots of lovely blooms to enjoy, Chloris – your garden must be full of colour still. Must look into Dahlia coccinea… Helen the Patient Gardener has just given me a Lobelia siphilitica so I am looking forward to seeing it flowering so blue and profusely as yours…

  28. bittster says:

    So many beautiful goodies, you make a wonderful argument for the end of summer. I love the blues of the agapanthus, and the fact alcalthaeas resist rust… well I would grow a hollyhock again!
    Good luck with the sunflower, I would hate to see your reputation crumble.

    • Chloris says:

      I love the colours of late summer. You must be enjoying yours too, specially with all your butterflies.
      My reputation is in tatters, I did not win the sunflower competition. The tallest was well over 11 foot and mine only reached 10 foot 8 inches. I’ m hanging my head in shame.

  29. Debra says:

    Oh wow. So many of my favourites are represented here. I remember seeing poppies for the first time when I was a little person. They weren’t quite in bloom yet but I peeled back the petals and got the shock of my life seeing the big black eye looking back at me. hahahaha. I’ve loved them every since. People can be snobby if that brings them some joy but I just love seeing even the ‘unfashionable’ flowers.

    • Chloris says:

      I remember seeing poppies for the first time as a child too. I was fascinated. They are a delight and these ladybird ones are a dark red which contrasts beautifully with the black centre. They are much prettier than our wild ones. I saw them growing wild in Crete and they looked wonderful growing en masse.

  30. snowbird says:

    I just love your garden, there is such beauty all year round!
    Sending lots of luck re the sunflower competition…..I do hope you win, one does have ones reputation to think of!!! How fun having a party and a trophy.
    The poppies and zinnias are lovely, as are the dahlias, [aka begonias during a ding bat moment…lol]
    The hibiscus is gorgeous, mine hasn’t flowered yet, and those hollyhocks and their cousins are charming, mine always end up full of rust!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dina. I missed the sunflower party because I was in Corsica but, oh, dear, the shame, I didn’ t win. It reached 10.8 in the end but the winning entry was over 11 feet. I grew it in loads of muck and fed it regularly with comfrey tea so I don’ t know how to grow a bigger one. I’ ll have to think again for next year.

  31. Gorgeous flowers and what an amazing sunflower…they do get very big sometimes….thankfully mine did not flop until the storm in August and the bush in front of them was a good brace as they towered over 10 feet tall.

  32. Chloris says:

    The tall sunflowers with huge heads are great fun but, oh dear, what a problem it is to keep them upright. They need a bush or something solid to prop them up, staking doesn’ t do the job.

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