Sunday, September 16, 2012

West Front Yard

It's hard for me to comprehend that it is September, except for the fact that the days are noticeably shorter, and the temps are finally a bit cooler.  Now that we had about an inch and a half of rain last week, a number of plants are perking up.  The fall bloomers are starting to show color.  I am loving some of the plants in the area where the tree used to be, so thought I'd do an update.

I don't show this view from the neighbors' to the west of us sidewalk often.  Sometimes I think I'd like to put a sidewalk in here, but there are sprinkler heads in there, and it would probably cost more than we'd want to pay to move them on top of the cost of the sidewalk.

'Heavy Metal' switchgrass anchors the corner, while the tubs provide lots of color.

I've mentioned that most of the blooms in these tubs are volunteers.  I did plant the wild ageratum in the first tub when I figured out it can be a spreader.  The red, maybe an agastache or salvia of some kind has just recently appeared several places, and is providing some nice color.

This one is growing in the crack of the sidewalk.  The beautyberries are nice and purple.

The Joe Pye weed is one that I moved from the other side of the yard, an offspring of the very tall one.  I'm guessing it will get taller next year.  The orange is one of two tithonias in the yard.  It's been fun watching the monarchs, other butterflies, and bees enjoy the blooms.

The bees are also enjoying the pitcher sages I have in a few places, which have been blooming about a week.

I don't show this view facing east as often as from the other direction.

I've been pleased that the hummingbirds are back this year.  The 'Black and Blue' salvia and I'm thinking, 'Apricot Sunrise' agastache are what I've seen them feed on.  These overwintered due to our mild winter last year.  I have some seeds for native plants that I want to plant in this area for next year, so think I'll plant these in tubs next year.

The gooseneck loosestrife seems to be finished blooming.  There's another of the volunteer red bloomers.  I wonder if the hummingbirds have been feeding on them as well.

Kiss me over the garden gate is not native, but is a nice old fashioned flower I enjoy growing.  It's a pass-a-long from a friend.  I've never seen plants of these offered at garden centers, but think I've seen some seeds.

The flowers in front of the house are pretty much finished for the season.  I've been deadheading the gray headed coneflowers.  I'm not sure why this one is not blooming again, while the others are.  That's the other tithonia next to it.  Since I've been having some health issues, which are almost resolved, but have caused me to have little energy, I've been spending more time on this bench watching the flying insects and hummers than usual.  I've also been doing a lot of gardening in my mind, kind of like how I frequently do my housework.

We'll go around the corner, and head to the east and south.

I plan to water less next year, since the plants won't be as new.  I think part of the reason the liatris, which are finished blooming got so floppy is because they had more water than they needed.

I've been taking most of the seed pods off of the wild sennas, since I don't have room for more.

I was going to take this pole down, since it is leaning over, but am having second thoughts.

One or more of the hummingbirds has been landing on the things hanging from it to watch me as I watch it.

The latest goldenrod to bloom is Riddel's.  The pollinators are all over it.  Can you see them?

Now, you can!  The insects on the right are goldenrod soldier beetles.  They aren't as thick as they were a few days ago. 

I don't remember planting this pink blooming flower, but it appears to be a boltonia asteroides of some kind.  Some don't like pink and yellow together, but I seem to have a number of pink and yellow flowers growing near each other.

Continuing east, the rigid, or stiff goldenrod is almost finished blooming.  I'm pleased that these gray headed coneflowers have had a long bloom time.

The 2 plants of switchgrass, either 'Prairie Sky' or 'Prairie Wind' are fun to walk between to enter and leave the seating area.

I sure enjoy wild quinine, even when the blooms are no longer white.

This is a volunteer plant that some on FB have thought was a mint, and it looks like mint, and has a nice scent, but it has a single stem, and so far, does not look like a spreader.  Do you know what it is?  I sure would like to know if it is going to end up trying to take over.

This allium that I moved from another part of the yard is blooming later than the other ones that are taller.

Here is the last liatris to bloom.  I hope it is more upright next year. I never did figure out what all of the names were, but found a tag this evening that I promptly misplaced, that said something completely different from those I remembered planting.

I sure like it!

Since I was concerned about cup plants coming up in our neighbors' yards, I cut them back.  I am sad, though, and miss the height of the blooms.

I plan on planting some native larkspurs and other seeds in this area this fall.  I'm thinking about going ahead and doing it now, since they would already be on the ground if they had seeded themselves, but think I read that they should be sown closer to a frost.

I don't remember what kind of asters these are, but found a 'Wood's Purple' tag, so maybe that's what they are.

I see there is a small insect of some kind on one of the blooms.

I have never been happy with this area.  There are several plants I plan to move, and hope to get the area planted more thickly.  I did take the irises out today, and planted them across the street.

I like the color of this lantana.

Here are the Riddell's goldenrod and the boltonia from the front.

Do you know what this little white flowered plant is?

Scott, you may have identified this persecaria before, but when I tried looking it up, I didn't find it before getting sidetracked.  I'm thinking I am going to move it to another area so I can plant taller native plants in this spot.  I'm probably going to move the moss phlox, but may wait until I can find more early blooming native plants.

I hope the ratiba columnifera plants reseed themselves.  I want more of them.

I like this color, too.

I wanted to go back to the asters, and show the native switchgrass that I found after planting the ones that are not.  I was told this could be invasive.  It sure isn't so far, but maybe it is going to self sow.  I need to move it away from the asters first thing in the spring when it comes up.  I may divide it and put some in the east bed.  I do want to plant some things there that are also in this west area, because I'm thinking I'd like some continuity between the two areas.

I hope you had a pleasant weekend, and are ready for what the week brings.  I am going to be 60 years old tomorrow.  I want to close with a gift Larry gave me for my 21st birthday, that I was pleased to come across recently.

I don't know if I was ever really wild and natural, as I have plenty of hang-ups, but when I retire in the next few years, I plan to find that person in myself.  I will still have to work, but am thinking I will substitute as a para, so that I can have some days off to get rid of the clutter in the house, do projects like making our own salad dressings and such, and keep up with the garden.

Added 9/17:  As I was going to bed last night, I realized I should mention that I am thankful for the gift of faith in Jesus that I received in 1982.  I am thankful that I am loved as is, and don't have to earn God's love by my efforts.


  1. the plant you thought or do think is a mint. does it have a square stem.

    1. Hi Paula, I don't know why I didn't check on that. I'll have to do that tomorrow. It's dark out there now.

  2. Sue,
    Kiss me over the gate grows wild here! I mentioned before I didn't know what it was I never knew the name. It comes up with the perennials sort of using them as a prop. Your gardens are beautiful. There's a lot of love there! Glad to hear your feeling better. I'll be praying for complete recovery.
    God Bless, Sally

    1. Thanks, Flower Freak. I am feeling better each day. I had more energy for gardening this evening.

  3. Happy 60th Sue. What lovely words Larry wrote to you so long ago and it is so nice that you are still together.

    Your blooms are great and I love that hummer picture. I hope you are feeling much better with each passing day.

    It is wonderful that we don't have to do anything to earn God's love.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thanks, FlowerLady,
      It's a good feeling that we have survived the ups and downs of being in a relationship. It also feels good to be 60. I am now qualified for more senior discounts. Yes, God's love is not conditional.

  4. Hi Sue, Your garden is looking lovely as ever. I think using natives was a good strategy, particularly with the hot, dry summer. Your Mexican hat flowers and asters and agastache really caught my eye today! You asked if we saw areas damaged by fire in CO on our trip - no, we did not. It sure is heartbreaking for those whose homes were destroyed.
    Hope your birthday is good!

    1. Thanks Beth,
      I hope the Mexican hats seed themselves around. I did have a good birthday. Today was good, too, because it was in the 70s after work, and I got some gardening done.

  5. Happy Birthday, Sue. I think that Aster is A. oblongifolius - Aromatic Aster. Not positive, though.

    1. Thanks, Jason, I looked that up, and found a new name for it, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, and in another spot, your oblonifolius. They were still also called aromatic aster. Anyway, what I have sure looks like those images! 'October Skies' was also shown, and it could be that. I'd rather have it be the native kind, but who knows what I purchased.

  6. Special birthday greetings on your 60th! Your yard looks glorious. Sometimes it's good just to sit on the bench and watch the hummers & buzzy bees. I have those red salvia-type flowers too; someone told me they are called Lady in Red. Isn't it great...not by our deeds but by His grace that we are saved!

  7. Hi Krayolakris,
    Thanks! Yes, I have been enjoying my time on the bench. I looked up that Lady in Red salvia, and it does look like what I have that reseeded. Yes, I am thankful for God's grace.

  8. Happy 60th, Sue! That just happened to me in July! I always enjoy the tour of your yard! Everything is just beautiful. I almost wish I lived across the street so I could see the loveliness every day. I've been away from home and didn't participate in Bloomin' Tuesday this week. I will miss Jean and all the other gardeners. Take care!

  9. Happy Birthday Sue. So much still going on there Sue. Love all the pics.

  10. A belated Happy Birthday, Sue! So sweet that you found the book from your husband from so long ago.

    Your 'Black and Blue' salvia looks great! I had one that overwintered, too, but it was very slow to take off this summer and is just now looking good. I wish we could keep these every year. I was also glad to see your liatris--mine also got so tall and flopped over. I had never seen anything like this before, so I'm glad to know that it happens in other gardens, too. Your September garden still has so many lovely blooms; it must be a haven for butterflies and other wildlife.

    I chuckled at your comment about "gardening in my mind." I do a lot of that, too, as well as mental housework and exercise:) Hope you are feeling better soon!

  11. Nice view of the garden. You should share that angle more often
    Love, love, love the gift from Larry for your 21st birthday. That is just awesome. Hope your birthday was good. So nice to see that you're enjoying flowers just as much now as then.


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