September 2018 blooms

Autumn is in the air! Today we heard the first rustling of dry leaves as our Gleditsia are losing their leaves already and blowing in the breeze. Summer always seems to fly by but at least the gardens are still lush with summer blooming flowers.
For those planning a visit soon, the trip up the drive to the parking lot is delightful as the road winds along the meadows. The first meadows are reaching their Fall peak now as the grasses are producing tall brown seedheads and the goldenrods are continuing to bloom a bright, warm, yellow. The seed from the wildflowers in the meadow has been especially attractive to Eastern Goldfinches this year and we’ve had record numbers using the meadow as habitat. (Photo of goldenrod)
Further up the drive, the Vernonia is in bloom! Another classic native plant that provides nectar for pollinators late in the season. Our newly established pollinator plants near the stone cottage are currently home to hungry monarch caterpillars on Asclepias incarnata. Soon they’ll begin their migration and use late-blooming plants like Vernonia for fuel. (Photo of Monarch Caterpillar). This week we saw both Monarch and Viceroy butterflies on the Vernonia. The viceroy was kind enough to rest with his wings open we were able to see the distinct horizontal black line across its wings.
Another popular plant has been our cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis. In the Cornus mas bed near the Tubbs House is a large clump of these flowers that have been in bloom for several weeks. Most days we can spot a hummingbird visiting the flowers then darting away to rest in the branches of the Cornus mas. They are drawn to the tubular red flowers, which perform beautifully in the garden once established (Cardinal Flower photo)
Nearby in the Cottage Garden, we have a show-stopping Hibiscus on display. Hibiscus ‘Raspberry Rose’ is a stunning shade of deep pink and gracefully towers over the sweeping masses of Phlox paniculata below. Annual flowers, such as our Zinnias, are still in full bloom as well, blissfully ignorant of impending frosts. Our panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ is also showing off spectacular blooms around the corner in front of the propagation greenhouse.
The Rosarie has been through significant changes this season as we’ve introduced an array of new plantings. One such new feature is Lagerstroemia ‘Lipan’, one of three crape myrtles planted in the Mediterranean Garden. It has prolific soft pink blooms that are doing exceptionally well during its first season in the garden. Throughout the Rosarie are also seasonal installations of Agave and Dahlias which will be on display until the cold weather forces them indoors for the winter. Be sure to take a look before the first frost! (Crape Myrtle photo, Dahlia photo)

September 8, 2018 Bloom Report