Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adelphi Front Bed 8/12

The late-summer garden is a blowsy affair. The plants of summer have an uncontrolled aspect, they lean, they lodge, they sprawl then become vertical again with a smattering of new flowers. The plants look old; there are yellow leaves here and there, and brown. I don't deadhead a lot of summer plants, leaving the seeds to lure goldfinches but that adds to the general aspect of untidiness.

Grasses flower, some have beautiful inflorescences, and begin to color. Crape myrtles are wonderful but the weight of their blooms pulls their branches down oddly, and the architectural structure that was so spectacular in winter is only a thing of memory. Following a significant rainfall new flowers will appear on what are obviously plants that have been through the wringer. Just the odd blossoms here and there so that you have to seek them out and appreciate them for themselves and not as part of a powerful floral display.

Some plants are coming on though, goldenrods among other composites are just beginning to flower; asters will come later. Sunflowers are great cheerful plants; many have been flowering a while, others are starting now. Verbena bonariensis, is not a native, but is a great plant to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and even goldfinches to its seeds, continues. This may be the longest flowering perennial in the garden. The SW salvias continue to push flowers at the top of wispy stalks. And you know what? It's nice out there....not too hot so we can spend time outside when we might not want to in a normal summer.

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