Beautiful October 2021
We had our Indian summer a little late this year. October was unusually warm and wet per WRAL, but it refreshed the garden beds. The European honey bees and native Eastern Bumble bees have enjoyed the late blooming dahlia, Teesbrook Audrey. This has bloomed most of the summer, but responded really well to the October rain.
You know how I love to let a few weeds grow here and there to see if it's a plant I want to keep. Here are two success stories. The wild ageratum aka Blue Mist flower with a group of wild asters.
This is a weed that I should probably remove, but I fell in love with the small sweet pea like flowers. I call it a beggar tick plant. I did a little online research to identify this plant. It is a tick tre-foil. This is a host plant for several insects including Eastern tailed blue and Gray Hairstreak butterflies. I see both of these in our yards.
This not the native Beautyberry, but Japanese Early Amethyst Beautyberry, though the birds still enjoy the berries.
One of my favorite tall growing sedums from my grandmother's garden. Unfortunately, I don't know it's name.
Another heritage plant in the garden. A contemporary of my mother and dear neighbor, Clara, gave me pink salvia coccinea many years ago. This re-seeds reliably each year. It wasn't as prolific as in years past as we had a dry September. These really shine in the autumn.
The pink muhly grass bed next door is thriving. I love this bed as it provides a view from the kitchen next door plus a wonderful view for us when we are on the patio looking west. The white flowers belong to an aster or a flea bane that self seeded This is another weed that I let grow. I'm going to let this go to seed. I would love to have more next year. The zinnias and cosmos were pulled up last week. One zinnia still looked pretty good so we kept it in place. This bed used to be a gravel driveway. The shorter leafy plant in the foreground is Southern Charm verbascum. I planted three in the Spring and was very happy that they like this garden bed. They were at peak in the summer.
Our neighbors, Sue and Rebecca, gifted us this beauty Fall 2020. Sue thinks its a Japanese Chrysanthemum. I have admired the ones in their front yard for a few years now. Pollinators aren't interested, but this is a beautiful plant which seems to be pretty versatile when it comes to sun or part shade.
This really added some much needed color below the butterfly bush which is winding down for the season.
The Japanese anemones have bloomed profusely despite the lack of September rain. The bees do feed on these plants.
The only problem that I've had is that it gets very leggy. Its in a part sun area which may be contributing to the legginess. This photo was taken in early October before they reach a floppy point.
I planted a much smaller variety, Pocahontas, this Fall in another garden bed. It tops out around twenty-four inches. I won't see it bloom until next year. Here's a photo from Bluestone perennials. I've ordered several plants from them this year and have been impressed.
We are experiencing cooler temperatures this week with some rain which has really revived the garden. Highs are in the 60s which has been so refreshing. You can see that the willow oak is still green. We often see our best autumn color in early to mid- November. This week I am watching the waning moon in the mornings. Happy gardening!