Bloom Day

It's always a little funny to me when people say they "went looking for blooms for Bloom Day" since I can usually see all the blooms in my small garden standing still and without turning my head. That is certainly true this month.

This one really stands out under overcast skies. I grew most of my dahlias from seed and I'm surprised I actually planted this one in the ground given its red+yellow colors. It will have to go.


Fortunately, it only has one flower because it's growing in the shade.


We have other fuchsias blooming. F. fulgens


and F. 'Miep'.


I'm excited to see some fall asters, although I am not excited about fall. This is Aster lateriflorus 'Lady in Black'. I got two of them earlier this year from Mostly Natives in Tomales.

Aster lateriflorus, for Bloom Day. A midwestern prairie plant I learned about from Piet Oudolf. <3

The cultivar name refers to the foliage which is dark, or would be if I grew mine in fuller sun. It's still dark, but not as dark as it could be.


This a prairie native from the American mid-west, not a California native. Piet Oudolf includes it on his list of "late flowering perennials that have good foliage in the earlier part of the summer" along with Eupatorium purpureum, Helianthus salicifolius, Tricytris formosana, and Veronicastrum virginicum (Designing With Plants, page 76).

This looks more like a California aster although it too is an eastern descendant of Aster novae-angliae. I put it in the garden very late so it just has one crop of flowers at the top of a teetering stem. Hopefull it will still be here next year to show us what it's really all about.

Aster novae-angliae 'Skyscraper'

When does Verbena bonariensis give up and go to seed?


I'm ready to cut it back. I feel newly anxious for neatness in the garden and the long, leaning stems everywhere are getting on my nerves. (Of course, I can't cut them back because the bees and butterflies still need something to eat when they visit every day.)

The yellow in the background is Rudbeckia triloba.


I probably can cut back the leeks because the flowers have made seeds already.


In case you're going to tell me that leeks are biennials like someone did on Twitter last night, please don't. Leeks are perennials and you can Google that if you want.

Speaking of vegetables, I'm just about done with my Magda squash experiment on the front steps. It was a big success and we'll do it again next year.


No varmints attacked the plants as they bore fruit on the front steps like what happened in the backyard. We got an okay crop for three plants considering how downright cold it was most of the summer. At this point the leaves are getting ratty and moldy. When morning sun is in their face it really shows their age. In the garden I would start new plants and phase these out, but it's late September and I really should be back in school. But those asters, whatever they are, belong in the garden for sure. I love them. I need to find out the name.

On the subject of asters (again), Tithonia diversifolia has some flowers and lots of bulbs. You'll be seeing a lot of it here for the next few months.


Unforch, the flowers are high up this year and I don't get the chance to enjoy their chocolate scent.


That's okay. I'm not going to complain.

Also blooming: Cestrum elegans and Madia elegans, the flowering maples, Tibouchina urvilleana, two passionflowers, Asclepias curassavica, Huechera 'Marmalade', and this totally wonderful Sedum album 'Nigrum' in pots on the front steps.



The sun is coming out now as I finish my Bloom Day post. That would have been nice a couple hours ago when I took all these pictures. Maybe you had better lighting in your garden for Bloom Day, or you can find better lighting going in any of the other 78 gardens (and counting) participating in Bloom Day this month.


Anonymous said...

Loads of beautiful blooms. The fuchsia is gorgeous. The container sedum is lovely. I like the arrangement with the blue glass in the colorful ceramic container. Nice coordination.

Christopher C. NC said...

The red dahlia is lovely. Let it be.

I do have to go looking for blooms for Bloom Day. I don't have to go far unless I want to. Mostly it is about eliminating dozens and dozens of possibilities. For now anyway.

Katie said...

It's always fun to see what you can grow in SF vs. what we can grow here in the valley (successfully, that is).

Lisa Ueda said...

Love the fuchsias, what's it's habit like?

chuck b. said...

Lisa, all my fuchsias are tall, gangly things. 'Miep' is very tall--over 8' and a strong grower.

Katie, I would love to give your valley growing climate a whirl for a year or two.

Christopher, Maybe I will let it be. Digging it out seems like a non-starter.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com, thank you for the nice compliments.

Megan said...

Your fuchsias are fabulous! Love your container too. I was going to grab a Sedum album 'Nigrum' at Annie's and totally spaced it. Dang it! We have the 'Super Lame' cultivar. Awesome blooms!

Queer by Choice said...

You and your aversion to red and yellow. I can't believe you haven't already euthanized the dahlia.

That container arrangement is fantastic. You found the perfect container to put it in, too.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Your garden is still looking good. Lots of blooms. I just love the colourful container of sedums.

Single Gal said...

Are those succulents at the last two bottom pictures?

Whatever they are, they look good!

Nicole said...

I agree with Christopher-I find the dahlia looks stunning. The shades work together, its not garish at all. I notice that a lot of bright colors in blooms look garish in the lower light of temperate countries, luckily in the tropics they look fab.

petuniapotpie said...

That's funny about the verbena bonariensis. I felt the same way about my rose campion last week. I mean, I love it but it bloomed for four solid months, no sign of stopping! And the foliage was ratty. So down it went, hack hack.

Ann Atkinson said...

You always make me laugh - thanks! That "aster thing" you refer to with the squash on the front steps: Could it be Argyranthemum frutescens? How is the Rogers Red?

Denise said...

I had the exact same irritability looking at my V. bonar. today. Thumb's up on the dahlia. (Are you deliberately quoting song lyrics or is that unconscious? Thought I detected a bit of Maggie May in there...)

chuck b. said...

Magda squash...Maggie Mae. Get it?

Please tell me you appreciate my sense of humor.