Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up: September 2014 Garden - Almost Fall

Welcome to another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up for the month of September.  Fall arrives in less than a week but the blooms are more vivid than ever in the garden. It has been an unusual gardening year weather wise with a severe winter followed by a cool and moist spring and a cooler and drier summer than usual.  We had our warmest days of the summer the first week of September with temperatures in the 80's with high humidity but now the temperatures are regulating in the 70's and there are signs of fall. I have been enjoying the garden and invite you to take a tour with me so come along and see!

Blue Atlas Cedar Cones September

In the front yard showy cones are forming on the spiky blue foliage of the Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica Glauca) showing signs of fall. This tree now towers at approximately fifty feet! 
Driveway Entry:  Coral Bark Maple and Golden Oriental Cedar

The grasses are showing off their wonderful plumes and the Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'  is already turning to shades of yellow.
Echinacea PowWow 'Wild Berry'

I have been enjoying one of my newest additions to the front garden beds, Echinacea PowWow 'Wild Berry'.  Their deep pink hue and ability to attract butterflies is a benefit to the garden.  Another variety that I have added is 'Cheyenne Spirit' which displays hues of pink, orange,yellow and cream all on the same plant.  We will visit that one as we come to the other side of the garden!
Sedum Brilliant and Hinoki Cypress (Left)
A favorite of mine at this time of year is Sedum 'Brilliant'.  It is a sure sign of fall with its late blooming brilliant pink color.
Heucherella 'Buttered Rum'

Heucheralla 'Buttered Rum' was a new find in the past month at the local nursery.  It is a hybrid mix between a Heuchera and Tiarella and is supposed to stay evergreen throughout the winter....updates next spring!  I am enjoying its caramel and rum colored mixture of foliage.
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'

Here is Hydrangea 'Tardivia' in bloom...
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'

and a close up against the blue "almost" autumn sky.
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (Japanese Forest Grass)

The Japanese Forest Grass has unusually large plumes this year as it is reaching about two feet in diameter.
Spirea Double Play 'Big Bang' September

Here are some more signs of fall.  The Spirea Double Play are turning to hues of gold and orange and the hosta blooms are forming their seed heads.
Variegated Liriope Blooms

Liriope is a welcomed sight in the garden in September with its flower spikes of vibrant purple as you can see here.  
September Perennial Garden

As we move along to the back gardens the perennial border is in September mode.  You can see the Platycodon (Balloon Flower) is displaying its blue blooms.  We'll get a little closer up later on.
Foliage Combo:  Sedum 'Brilliant' and Herchera 'Palace Purple'

Here is a bloom and foliage combo of Sedum 'Brilliant' against Heuchera 'Palace Purple' (Coral Bells) in the backdrop.
Sedum with Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Mugo Pine

Here is another combo of Sedum with Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Mugo Pine.
Raised Garden September

This dwarf Butterfly Bush Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip' as proven to be a winner and is in bloom again for this mid-September garden. I have seen a few Swallowtails and Monarchs on it this season but the numbers of butterflies have seem to gone down. I enjoy seeing the ones I can.
Front Lawn Street View September

This is a scene of the street from my front yard in late afternoon. I was amazed by the hues of the trees in the background turning to shades of golds and oranges already.  It is really starting to look like fall and I think it is a combination of the dry summer we have had and the sudden drop in temperatures over the past couple of weeks after the few days of a heat wave.
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' (Weeping Alaskan Cedar) and Rhododendron

After many years the Alaskan Cedar and Rhododendron in the back garden are really maturing...
Cedrus atlantica 'Pendula' (Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar)

and the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar now reaches to approximately fifteen feet in length!

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'

Ready for some close-ups?  Above is Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (read more about it here) and next is...
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)

Balloon Flower (Platycodon)...
Hemerocalis 'Stella D Oro' Daylily
and Hemerocalis (Daylily) 'Stella D Oro' in bloom.  This is the second bloom for the daylily after I rejuvenated them in August.
Macro of Bumble Bee on Buddleia Lo & Behold Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Here a bumble bee that I captured with the telephoto lens and below is Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' with its mildly fragrant deep pink blooms from a telephoto view.  The tree is now about 25-30 feet high.
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'
One of the things I admire about autumn are the changes that take place in the garden.  Here the plumes on my dwarf fountain grasses signaling the change in seasons.
Dwarf Fountain Grass 'Hameln' September Plume
Even the 'Rosy Glow' Barberry starts to change in color this time of year as it goes to shades of pinks and oranges. It is starting to turn here.
Barberry 'Rosy Glow' and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Foliage Combination

As we end our walk around it is nice to see that a local sparrow is enjoying the bird bath in the back garden as the sun begins to set behind the trees.
Sparrow on Birdbath
                                                     September Sunset over Shade Garden

I hope you enjoyed the walk through my September garden. Please visit our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.   I am also linking up to Creative Country Mom's new Home Sweet Garden Party. Thank you so much for visiting and if you leave a note I will know you dropped by to say hello and I will be sure to visit you as well!  
Enjoying My September Garden
As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Feature Perennial: Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit-Multi Colored Blooms Mid-Summer Until Fall

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit

I have discovered a new hybrid Coneflower, Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit with spectacular blooms from mid-summer to early fall.  Winner of the highly regarded Fleuroselect Gold Medal and All-American Selection Awards of 2013,  Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit features slightly fragrant daisy-like blooms in vivid shades of orange, red, rosy-red, yellow, purple and cream surrounding a large brown cone all on the same plant! Besides guessing which color each bloom is going to be, the large colorful petals on this pollinator are just lovely in my late summer garden and are an attraction for butterflies.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit

'Cheyenne Spirit' is hardy in USDA zones 4-10 and prefers full sun and moderate watering in a well-drained soil.  Once established watering needs are less and the plant is more drought tolerant. Besides being drought tolerant this perennial is also cold hardy, disease resistant, heat tolerant, humidity tolerant and pest resistant. This herbaceous perennial has a mature size of 24-30" tall by 18-24" wide and displays a full upright habit. Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is ideal for sunny borders, mass plantings, massing in cottage gardens and cut flowers. Companion plants include Ornamental Grasses, Rudbeckia and Perovskia.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit

As an added bonus Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit's stronger stems have shown in test gardens not to topple over with heavy rain like some of the other Echinacea varieties.  Blooms are constant and deadheading is not necessary; however, regularly removing faded blooms will promote continued flowering.  Besides being attractive to butterflies Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is also "deer resistant".

I am testing this beautiful perennial in my gardens this summer and am happy with the results so far. If you are looking for some late summer color try Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' in your garden!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved

Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up August 2014: Late Summer Garden

August Garden
Welcome to another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up.  The dog days of summer have arrived with temperatures in the 80's and little rain.  This is typical for August before the cooler days of autumn arrive and there have not been many days in the upper 80's and 90's like in previous years, which has made for a pleasant summer.  But wait...that is not the end of the story.  On August 13th we had the highest recorded rainfall in 500 years here on Long Island...13.25 inches in one day with the first 9 inches within a couple of hours.  The long period of drought is over and the gardens are doing well displaying their late summer color.  Come take a walk with me to see what is blooming in the month of August.
Echinecea 'Magnus'

One of the newest arrivals in my garden is Echinecea.  I have always admired this plant for its late summer blooms and have found a place for it along side some fountain grasses in the front entrance where I can enjoy its beauty.
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)
Balloon Flower (Platycodon) is now in full bloom and such a fun perennial. Once again I eyed a friend holding the puffy blue balloon-like flowers in her hand investigating their unusual appearance.  This particular variety fades into little tan puffs that can be popped like plastic bubble wrap at the end of the summer.  One of my favorites, Playtcodon continues to supply much amusement in the garden!
Oriental Lilly (Lillium 'Stargazer')
Around the corner by the pool is Lillium 'Stargazer' which is always a hit with its bright pink spotted blooms, dense orange pollen and fragrance.  They have just about completed blooming for the season but you can still see this one in full display.
August Garden with Dwarf Butterfly Bush 'Lo & Behold Blue Chip'

The Dwarf Butterfly Bush (Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip') is showing its deep purple fragrant blooms after coming back from a harsh winter.  The bees and butterflies are enjoying the flowers and so am I!
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
The harsh winter also affected the hydrangea for this season, The 'Endless Summer' and 'Nikko Blue' suffered severe die back but have grown new foliage and will be back in bloom for next year.  To the rescue is my tree Hydrangea 'Tardivia' with its beautiful elongated fragrant white blooms that are opening in time for August and September.
Daylily 'Stella D Oro'
Constantly reliable throughout the entire summer and into fall is ever-blooming Daylily 'Stella D Oro' which you can see here with its bright golden-yellow blooms.  It brings color to many parts of the garden and draws many pollen loving insects.
Heuchera 'Caramel' in front of Japanese Garden Juniper
Here is Heuchera 'Caramel' in front of Japanese Garden Juniper.  This variety of Coral Bell grows to approximately twelve inches in diameter resembling a miniature hosta  with unusual orange-yellow foliage that lasts all summer and into fall.
Oriental Lilly (Lillium 'Cassablanca')
Here is Lillium 'Cassablanca' which is near the end of its bloom time but still displaying  lovely pure white fragrant flowers with deep crimson pollen....
Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell' (Daylily)
along with the blooms of Daylily 'Sammy Russell' alongside the pool for some late summer color.
Salvia 'May Night'
In the perennial border the tall stalks of 'May Night' Salvia tower over the rest of the garden displaying their bright deep purple blooms.   The blooms are an attraction for dragonflies as you saw in last month's Bloom Day post and are now are a food source for butterflies and other creatures.
Double Knock Out Rose Pink
The Double Knock Out Roses have been filled with abundant blooms all summer with new buds opening each day...  
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'
and is Crape Myrtle season with continuous mildly fragrant blooms from July until  fall just when the earlier summer blooms are fading. 
Sedum 'Brilliant' against Mugo Pine
Seen here is Sedum 'Brilliant' which will display deep pink blooms from the end of August into September, fading into straw colored seed heads for fall.  For now I am enjoying the show of light green clusters on succulent foliage before the blooms.
Foliage Combo:  Sedum 'Brilliant', Mugo Pine and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Foliage is important in the garden as well.  Here is a combo of Sedum in front of the medium green of Mugo Pine and blue-green of Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar with a touch of variegated liriope in the backdrop to the right.  Below is the foliage of the Rependens Yew that I could not pass by without taking a macro with the new lens.
Foliage of Taxus 'Rependens'  (Low Spreading Yew)

I hope you enjoyed the walk through my August gardens.  It has been said that "the best way to create a garden is to begin with your heart" and since gardening is my true passion I must agree.  Please visit our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.   I am also linking up to Creative Country Mom's new Home Sweet Garden Party. Thank you so much for visiting and if you leave a note I will know you dropped by to say hello and I will be sure to visit you as well!  

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved


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