Goodbye to summer

I don’t mind summer’s heat too much, but relish the start of September with the promise of cooler temperatures, though frosts and freezes are not far off. Then, of course, there’s the long wait until spring, but there’s much to treasure in the early autumn garden, so I’ll try not to think about what comes next.

Colchicum flowering through a clump of Carex ‘Banana Boat’.

Finally rain, an overnight deluge after a month of very spotty rainfall. And, rain is forecast for several days over the next weeks, so our short period of drought is thankfully over. Early in August the garden showed few signs of its typical summer fade, but a few weeks with minimal rainfall turned several plants for the worse by months’ end. It’s a relief to have rain, even if patches of browned leaves on the Golden Full Moon maple (below) cannot be revived.

I don’t worry much about the oldtimers in this non-irrigated garden, and the few plants that have suffered in recent weeks will be fine. But, I’ve been doing a bit of planting recently, and of course everything looks better after a sip of water.

Sun King aralia is a splendid addition to the partially shaded garden. Its foliage brightens the shade, and a range of pollinators visit its unusual flowers.

The start to meteorological autumn on the first of September coincides with the gardeners’ autumn. While hot, dry summer-like days might extend another few weeks, there is typically a recognizable and welcomed difference in the weather. The days are distinctly shorter, the heat and humidity not so intense, or at least not consistently so.

Snow Fairy caryopteris is one of several bluebeards that flower in early autumn.
Caryopteris ‘Hint of Gold’ was slow to get started. It is shaded by taller shrubs and perennials, so it will probably be moved after flowering.

A number of flowers begin their show in September, a time when my outdoor time increases with more comfortable temperatures. While a new planting project was just completed along the southern border of forest, a few orders of small, fill in plants are soon to be delivered, and a fall bulb order was placed months ago. I haven’t a clue what bulbs were ordered. To make sure I didn’t stumble (again) and neglect to order several bulbs that I’ve wanted but forgot about by the time autumn bulb season was here, I ordered the day the catalog was received. I’m certain there’s a place for everything, and what a pleasant surprise the delivery will be.

The toad lilies (Tricyrtis) are at their peak, flowering now into early October, sometimes until frost.
An unknown rose shows through dense planting along the driveway several times in summer, then it stands back while setting new buds. It receives no care.
Silver Fleece vine (Fallopia baldschuanica ‘Lemon Lace’, above and below) covers two sides of the summerhouse roofline. It requires regular pruning, but the less vigorous, yellow leafed vine is hardly a bother.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Good morning, Dave
    I look forward to your posts, today is no exception. I love the photos of the toad lilies. I tried once, but maybe the area was too wet, and how do they fare with the deer population?
    Your recent garden space creations are lovely!

    1. Dave says:

      I occasionally have problems with deer eating toad lilies, so this is one of the plants that I spray regularly with a repellent. I’ve found the best conditions for toad lilies are average soil, not too wet or dry, with a part day sun. In more shade they grow and flower sparsely and in full sun the leaves burn. I’m leaning towards being pleased with the newly planted areas, though I always say it will be better a year from now.

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