Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday a Day Late, and a Request for Fall Garden Tips

When I looked at the calendar, and saw there was one more Wednesday this month, I thought incorrectly that Gail at Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday was next week.  It's not the last Wednesday of the month, it's the fourth.  Not one to like to miss out on this event, I went out after work in the rain and took some photos.

I planted 2 beauty berry bushes last summer, after seeing it on blogs, and liking it.  I didn't realize it was a wildflower when I planted them.  I did know birds eat the berries.  They will have plenty this year!

I cut the milkweed back this summer in hopes it would get bushier.  As a result of that, it has not bloomed.  The coneflower planted last summer, is just now starting to bloom.  There are two of them in this area, and only one is blooming so far.  I still like the vertical shapes of the liatris, even though the blooms have faded.  The goldenrod on the right, I've shown recently.  Just to its left, is the ironweed that has gone to seed, or is in the process of doing so.

I can't remember if this liatris bloomed yet this season.  If so, it is having a second flush, even though I didn't think they normally did.

A few weeks ago, I cut deadheaded the skullcap, 'Mongolian Skies' by cutting it back, and it is loaded with blooms again.

The Short Toothed Mountain Mint is continuing to look good.

The rudbeckia, 'Herbstonne' is on it's second flush of blooms, and is ready to be cut back again.  The helenium on the right may be the native kind, but I'm not sure.  It was much later to bloom than the others I have.

I got this pitcher sage from our Community Crops' plant sale this spring.  I am tickled to see that it is blooming.

The false sunflowers are still on their second flush of blooms.  The amsonia and baptisia still look good, even though they have been finished blooming for awhile.

The 'Fireworks' goldenrod and boltonia I planted across the street are nice and bushy.  The smoke tree on the bottom left had been cut back by the previous tenants.  When I pointed it out to the owner of the property, he asked me to keep it.  I was pleased to, because I remember how much I liked it when it didn't have competition from other volunteer trees.  I'll have to move one of the goldenrods in the spring.

The boltonia on the left is the clump that the ones across the street came from.  I am enjoying it next to the eupatorium, 'Prarie Jewel'.

I don't think Russian sage is a wildflower, but I'm glad this one is blooming near the spent liatris.  The foliage on the amsonia hubrichtii is starting to turn gold.  I like the coreopsis near the house, but don't think it's a wildflower, either.

I noticed this aster type plant in the side bed.   I think it's a volunteer, but I could have planted it.  I think I've mentioned before that I can be forgetful.

I've also mentioned that I am a special education paraeducator at a high school.  Some of the other paras have been playing around like they are newscasters, and have taken it a step further, saying they are going to do some stories.  I told them I'm a news junkie, and would be glad to watch their news.  They said, no they want me and another who also said she'd watch to be guest reporters.  Today, one of them had a bunch of notes in a notebook, and they asked me to give some tips on fall gardening.  Now, only one or two of the other paras has a place to garden, but at the end of the day today, they asked me if I had given thought to what I was going to report about fall gardening.  I thought I'd throw it out to other garden bloggers, especially in zones 4 to 6.  Fall is not my favorite time of year because I am tired at the end of the work day, and don't make it out to the garden as much as I'd like.  Plus, with the cost of the dental work and night guard coming up in October, I have not been able to do any plant shopping to fill some holes I have.  By spring the finances should be in better shape.

Whatever tips I get, I plan to copy and paste into something to give to my co-workers.  Some tips I can think of are to let most plants keep their seedheads for the birds to eat and to add something to look at in the snow; enjoy being outside as much as you can while the weather is warm enough; plant garlic in September, and bulbs, as close to just before the ground freezes as you can.

Yes, it is fall, isn't it?  I am not yet to the point I'm accepting that, but it will come.


  1. Now is the perfect tiem to plant anything! And yes, leave those seed heads, leave everythign for birds to have cover, for other wildlife, for winter interest. I can't beleive peopel cut down their gardens--esp if the stems of plants are hoolow, which funnel that water down to the rhizome to freeze it with ice and kill it. I prefer to mulch in the fall so it has the winter to improve the soil a little and form a good mat.

  2. You're not the only one who thought WW was next week--I'm a day late, too, Sue:) After seeing a mature beautyberry at a garden where I volunteer occasionally, I want one, too! I love those lavender berries; I'm just trying to figure out where to put it.

    I usually plant bulbs late in the season, too, but our local Extension adviser says that the earlier you plant them (once it turns cool, of course), the hardier they will be. Also, plant tulips even deeper than suggested, and they are more likely to last longer. I'm going to try both of these this fall. Another tip--just before winter sets in, I like to mulch around many of my plants, using leaves or pine straw, to prevent damage from heaving during the cold winter.

  3. I have wanted Beauty Berry for my garden for some time now. Every time I see it, I renew my vow to get it! Sue, are you having chilly weather yet? Even so, your flowers look spectacular!

    Good luck with your night guard. It was the hardest thing for me to get used to, but you will be so glad you did when you finally do. As expensive as they are, I think they are worth every penny!

  4. You have a bunch of wildflowers in your garden. They all look so happy too.

    I like your tip to leave the seedheads on the plants. It's one many may not think of. I have a tip about marking out your vegetable garden for where crops will go next year. I do mine in the fall because come spring I've forgotten where I grew what the previous year so I do it as I clean everything up. Saves time and ensures a good rotation.

  5. beauty berry is prolific here. do you have white also?

  6. Looks beautifully lush in your beds. Yes, I'm having a little trouble adapting to Fall... even though it's official, now. ;-)

  7. You have such a cool variety of plants. Nice photos - my plants are fading fast.

  8. Hi Sue, Beautiful~ Your wildflower blooms are perfect! Glad you joined and a day late is very okay with me! gail

  9. Hi, Sue, I am glad I found this post. I really must participate in this meme, it's a good one. Your native plants are fabulous.
    A couple more fall tips: remove annuals and save the seeds, divide overgrown perennials, and fork over the vegetable plot to expose underground pests to cold temps.

    I hope you are going to do a post on all the tips when you have put them together. Love, Pam x


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