Saturday, October 21, 2006


It's been a while since I posted. The summer was kind of rough and I didn't spend much time in the garden, but fortunately it's mostly filled with native perennials so it didn't mind. I went out today for one of the last times this season. It turned cold early this fall, and since it stayed cold late into June it was a pretty short growing season. The butterfly bushes were barely above my head, and the sunflowers I cut back never recovered their height. The dogwood hardly reaches the top of the fence. However, lots of nice flowers, even now...

Witch hazel

Mystery aster #1: white, roughly 3/4 inch flower heads. This is behind the indian grass against the fence, and I didn't know it was there until today. The dogwood and milkweed have interwoven to make a nearly impenetrable thicket back there. No wonder the rabbits love our yard despite the giant dogs!

Mystery aster #2: pink, flower heads over an inch across. I have several of these and they're still flowering vigorously. Mystery aster #3 (no pic), with tiny (1/4 to 1/3-inch) white flowers, I thought I'd identified as Aster ericoides, but the nursery where I bought it doesn't carry that Maybe ptarmicoides? If I ever find my account number, maybe they can tell me my order history. Non-mystery asters, sky blue (Aster azureus) and big-leafed (A. macrophyllus), both did well this year and are done.

The next pictures were taken September 16:

Little bluestem grass

Prairie dock. I have dozens of flowers but they face the neighbor's yard! I was actually holding the stems and turning the faces towards me to get this picture.

Cranberry bush viburnum. As far as I've seen, nothing eats these berries, which seems like a terrible waste.

Downy sunflower. After I cut these back to keep them from flopping over, they flowered on stems about 16 inches tall. I think I need to strike a better balance next year - either cut back earlier, or not as hard.

Today I scatter-planted six hybrid asiatic lilies and five Allium 'Purple Sensation', put 25 dutch irises near the clematis pole, and planted one Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' (between the ninebark and the butterfly bush; no marker). I have a couple more plants coming, supposedly. It's supposed to be in the 30s tomorrow so I don't see how I'm going to be motivated to plant them when they come. That's the problem with fall planting, especially bulbs. In the spring I kick myself for being such a wuss the previous fall, but faced with the reality of planting in the cold, I'd rather watch TV in sweatpants instead.