Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Afternoon

My family went for a sunny fall stroll in the Arboretum this weekend. We saw some stunning fall color, as well as migrating geese, chipmunks, and a little striped snake. Here are some visual highlights:

View over prairie

Native plant garden

Shrub Garden

My daughter gathering leaves for a collage


White birch glowing at the forest edge

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Early Fall Flowers

Both my plants and me have been on garden strike this long, hot, dry summer... But now that cool, pleasant temps have returned, my plants are perking up and my garden itch has returned with a vengeance! Here's a sampling of some early fall delights in my garden:

Geranium wlassovianum

Geranium wlassovianum
 I love this little geranium! Unlike other hardy geraniums, it blooms at the end of summer into fall. The flowers are a gorgeous purple color, and the foliage is just so shapely. It's supposed to have great fall color too - this is its first year in my garden so I'm waiting to see it with my own eyes! For some reason this geranium is hard to track down. Here is another shot of it in its larger setting - I like the foliage next to the lime green spikes of Iris cristata behind:

Geranium wlassovianum with Iris cristata

Caryopteris (Bluebeard)

Caryopteris 'Arthur Simmonds'

My caryopteris, also in its first year, has grown amazingly and has lovely soft blue blooms. The bees love it, and so do I! This particular cultivar is supposed to be more cold hardy than others. I'm trying it out since my area is marginal for caryopteris.


I have several cultivars of sedums. My favorite is this one, which usually remains standing:

Sedum 'Autumn Fire' with Chamaecyparis pisifera, Heuchera 'Prince', and Nepeta 'Dropmore Hybrid'
 It is just beginning to color up. I also have a purple-leaved variety, 'Purple Emperor', which has lovely color but sprawls all over the place in an irritating way. Enjoy this picture because this guy will not be around for much longer...

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Kalimeris incisa (False Aster)

Kalimeris incisa 'Blue Star'

I thought this little guy was a goner when it got devoured by rabbits in spring, but it bounced back admirably and has even been nice enough to bloom a bit this fall. It is an attractive and easy-going plant with very pale blue blooms - the color is a somewhat darker shade in reality. No matter which buttons I press on my camera, they appear washed out in the pictures. Not something to take your breath away, but a cheerful and comforting garden friend.

I need to add more fall bloomers to my garden palette - everything I really love blooms in May, unfortunately! Expanding the summer-fall lineup is something I'll work on in future years. I'm sure I'll find lots of ideas here, at Carol's May Dreams Gardens Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for September.

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