Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, September 15, 2008

September Bloom Day~Composite Bloomers

                                                    
Members of the the composite family are in evidence at Clay and Limestone during the flowering season, but are especially evident during the late summer and fall. 

Composites or Asteraceae is one of the  largest flower families in the world. There are 322 species found in Tennessee alone.  I have just a few of them! Including an unpleasant fellow...Ragweed, that I discovered hiding near the composting area! 

Earlier in the season you saw natives like,  Western Daisy, Ox-Eye Daisy, Boltonia asteroides, Green and Gold, Coreopsis and Blazing Star.  September flowers are just as lovely.

Still with us, although browning quickly, are The Susans.



To say that Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)  has a strong presence at Clay and Limestone is an understatement.   During the late summer


The Susans reign supreme.   But as you can see, it is getting harder 


to find a patch that isn't  significantly browned.  Soon they will be food for the finches and seed for next season.   


Earlier the Echinaceas held court.   One lone handmaiden appeared recently,
but, she is a sickly gal and will be dispatched to echinacea heaven.  Even diseased you can still appreciate her lovely  purple coloring. 

More native Asteraceae in the garden:



Helianthus  with a non native grass.


Goldenrod (Solidago 'Baby Gold') is  much maligned and blamed for allergy problems.  The real culprit is the flower of Ragweed.  There are several different Goldenrods in this  garden, some quite aggressive that get ripped out frequently. My favorite is Zigzag Goldenrod  (Solidago flexicaulis).  The stems do zig and zag and look good in the winter garden.   It's not yet blooming. 


Cup Plant (Silphium) looking lovely with a pink alpine verbena.

You must enlarge this photo to get a good look at the florets.  Some plants in the aster family have disks and rays.  The Cup Plants  flowering head is made up of a cluster of many small flowers!  Some gardeners don't like the cup plants,  because they can be aggressive.  This one is planted between a rock and a hard place (asphalt driveway)!   But we do keep our eye on them!


Asters! Most of the asters are waiting in the wings until the temperatures are a bit cooler and the days signal true fall.  Next month you'll see the native wild asters in bloom.  But, there was one early bird in the Porch Woodland Garden.

A fantastic color and she will remain nameless, until I find her tag!

Mistflower!

You can see the small rays that make this taxonomically confused gardener help identify this flower as a member of the Asteraceae family.  I say taxonomically confused because this plant is known to me as  Euphatorium incarnatum, but has a new name, Cococlinium coelestinum!  Guess which name I'll remember!

Composite Annuals or Adoration of the Zinnias!

Pineapple Zinnia

I could post photos of Zinnia, my new love, all day.  They are quite possibly the best annual for late summer and early fall!   Who couldn't love these fabulous colorful faces? 

Now,  everyone knows there is no such name as Pineapple Zinnia,  but I  see pineapple in this Mexican native!

Long flowering, easy care, self seeding beautiful pink flowers.

I planted 'Shades of Pink' from Seeds of Change.  I love them!
 


What else is blooming at Clay and Limestone:

Lovely Fairy Shrub Rose
Perilla frutescans
Oregano
Physostegia virgiana
Sedum telephium  and Sedum spectabile:  Autumn Joy, Matrona and Mr Goodbud
Phlox species, P  'David' and P 'Nora Leigh'
Salvia greggii 'Lipstick', 'Rose Pink'  "Wild Things' and 'Cherry Chief'
Salvia azurea
Salvia leucantha
Verbena canadensis
Verbena tenera  'Sissinghurst' 
Verbena bonariensis
Lantana Dallas Red, White and Yellow
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
Gaura pink and white
Plumbago 
Grasses:  Little Bluestem,  River Oats, Miscanthis
Celosia 'Dark Caracus' 
Japanese anemone  'September Charm' 

Thank you for joining in the celebration of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.   Each month Garden Bloggers are invited to post their blooms to share with the blogosphere.  If you want to see more great garden blooms, please  head over to May Dreams Gardens to meet Carol and follow her links.

Have a wonderful day.  Thank you for joining me!
Gail

Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors.
Mary Cantwell

82 comments:

  1. Yellows always please me, no matter the season. You have a lovely selection of this happy color in your garden, Gail.

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  2. Gail, love the susans even if they are starting to turn. Their bright cheery yellows with the dark brown centers make me smile. As for the zinnias, they are my new loves too! Why did I ever quit planting these wonderful continually blooming lovelies?! O have several colors of teh 'pineapple' ones, and am trying to save their seeds.

    A lot still blooming at your place-I am impressed. Not much here and only mums to look forward to.

    What is the orange butterfly called. He fits right in with the fall colors. :)

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  3. Gail - what a great assortment you have of those Rudbeckias and Zinnias. I can't believe it's already GBBD! Fall will be right around the corner...

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  4. Pam

    Hi, I like the yellows, too, which is a good thing, yes! I have so many.

    Gail

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  5. beckie,

    I think it's a Gulf Fritillary. There is more blooming then I thought, although, it's here and there in small splotches!

    I will also save the Pineapple Zinnia seeds. They are wonderful to give the garden all the color it need till frost. I can recommend the Seeds of Change I put in this garden.

    So glad you popped over today.

    Gail

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  6. Love the 'composite' view of the Composite/Aster family. They seem to carry September in my garden, as well. And yes, taxonomy can be confusing, and they, those botanists, I guess, do keep changing the names on us. It's fun, sort of, trying to keep up with it all.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  7. diana,

    I bet fall is wonderful in the Austin area! You'll have to post all about it! The rudbeckias and zinnias are helping this garden out a lot this year...glad they grow so easily. Thanks fro stopping by to peak at the flowers.

    Gail

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  8. Carol,

    Yes those taxonomist/biologists...the more they learn about a plant the more they want to give then new names and new plant families. All this learning is good for our brains...

    Composites are a mainstay in many a fall garden. They are lovely plants, except for ragweed. Thanks for popping over to say hi.

    gail

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  9. Very pretty. I love that cup plant! Is it perennial? Where would one find it?

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  10. You have alot going on at Clay and Limestone. I have some of the same flowers you have, the heat here has gotten most of the them. And you nameless Aster, my bloomed early spring?

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  11. Tina,

    You can get the cup plant at Growild, but, I will save seeds and if it gets too big...we will divide and share!
    I am glad you looked at the enlarged photo, isn't it wonderful looking!

    gail

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  12. I love all your wildflowers, Gail. I've been amazed this year when trying to find out the names of some native plants just how many are in the aster family.
    You had me going with the pineapple zinnia--if that's not an official name, then it should be:) I have enjoyed zinnias so much this year, too. Like Beckie, you're going to see more of them in my garden next year!

    I'm sorry I missed your last post--I've been a little under the weather. Such a great post! Like you, I often think I have to have the best photos, the best prose, the "perfect" garden:) There is so much beauty in imperfection, though, too. Your photos are gorgeous and show that. Thanks for saying so well what many of us have thought and experienced.

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  13. I loved this post. The cup plant is interesting to me. I have lots of rocks and hard places so this might be something that would work well.

    You have lots of natives that really come into their own in late summer.

    Your Zinnias are gorgeous. Wonderful color right up to a hard frost. Beautiful photos.
    Marnie

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  14. Marnie,

    Isn't the cup plant fantastic, I often wish for a 'better' camera to get right inside the flower face...the detail is often stunning. It can be a bit aggressive but, I don't mind that too much.
    Hey, it means a lot that you like my photos; if you want to see how blogging has helped me become a better photographer...check out my earlier posts! Practice, practice, practice! Good advice (your post) to read the instructions that come with the camera...for the non technical...even they are hard to comprehend!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Gail

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  15. It is VERY cool, and I've never even heard of it before. I like it very much.

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  16. It looks great Gail! The asters are sure blooming up a storm. Such a valuable family of plants! Our rudbeckias are slowly fading but still maintaining their blooms.

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  17. Beautiful blooms Gail!

    Hope you're feeling better.

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  18. Your September blooms are looking great Gail! I love the variety of Composites you have in your garden. My susans are past their prime now & are basically just birdfood. :)

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  19. Gail, you amaze me with your knowledge. At my country home for years with flowers surrounding home and fields - I just called them all simple names. Now many have been transplanted to this small city garden. But guess I will just dig, plant, water, and begin to take images and continue calling them by my old fashion names. I love your site and your gardens.

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  20. Another really informative posting, Gail--I always learn so much. I love the cup flowers, too, and as I've said before, I have a different attitude toward thuggish plants than many do because I have so much space to (someday) fill. Happy Bloom Day!

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  21. Wow, you sure do have a lot of bloomers! I see the pineapple also and think that is what I would call her as well...

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  22. Hi Gail, your educational posts make us learn something rather than just droll over lovely flower pix, in spite of ourselves. My favorite is the zinnias. They are always happy to put on their best smiling face for the camera, in any light. Why is that? Some of the flowers won't cooperate no matter how sweetly we urge them to *work it!* Wonderful post and well captioned.

    Frances

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  23. Those Susans are just so happy there and I learned lots of names from your post - the taxonomy seems to roll off your keyboard so easily. I must develop some skills in that department!

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  24. So much still in bloom in TN. I do have the susans also although that school bus yellow....well, better from far away! They do make me smile and remember my childhood though and yours are still sunny.

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  25. Rose,

    I am so sorry you have been sick with the crud that is going around! My doctor said it was 'bad'!

    I look forward to seeing the Zinnias that you and Beckie will have in your gardens! They are perfect, not as perfect as PPPP but pretty perfect Pineapple Zinnias! ;-)

    Thank you for your very kind comments about the previous post. Isn't it funny when we get sideswiped by a lesson we were pretty sure we already learned! Most of the time I don't waste my energy comparing myself to another!

    One good outcome of the whole business was my taking some time to look at earlier posts! What an interesting and positive experience. My photos are so much better!

    So glad you are feeling better!

    gail

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  26. darla, Good morning! I think the aster is a New York Aster...at one time I had her name! Maybe Alma something or other. The composite family has a lot of great looking plants... and I can see after viewing your bloom day post that we have many of the same plants! Don't you love celosia!

    gail

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  27. Marnie,

    I am going to try to save cup plant's seeds. She is new to me so I am not sure if she propagates easily from seed. Would you care for some?
    I love natives and were there enough that met all my requirements (I am demanding) I would probably have fewer exotics! But let me be honest here...I love some of the exotics! Zinnia is an exotic!

    I am really enjoying photography. I miss my slr Olympus. It was so much fun and I could adjust for distance, speed and light, but the instant gratification from digital is astonishing! I meant it when I said I loved your post on photo improvement! My dream camera is out of my price range at this time.
    gail

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  28. Tina,

    Yes they are way cool!

    gail

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  29. Dave, A very valuable plant family...I was astonished to read that lettuce is a member of the aster family! I bet you knew that;)

    Gail

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  30. gardengirl,
    Thank you, I am pretty happy with the blooms right know, too.
    Gail

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  31. PLG,

    Bird food is good! It's cheap and before they provide food, they give us a good show! The Susans and her cousins the other Rudbeckias are so valuable to a southern garden. That is why I praise her so much!
    I will be over in just a bit to see your post!

    gail

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  32. Ernestine,

    Your country garden sounds beautiful...do you ever post photos of it? We were in your neighborhood the other day at a new restaurant, Miel. Have you been yet?

    Gail

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  33. layanee,

    So you won't be wanting me to bring you screaming yellow flowers when I visit! They are quite bright! I try to tone them down with white and then I turn them up again with pinks and lavenders! The garden is rugged here! Doesn't that sound like some mountain setting!
    The conditions are bad soil, plenty of rock, very wet in the winters and drought in the summers. So rudbeckia and other natives are easy to grow....and some not very picky Zinnias!

    I am glad you popped over!

    gail

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  34. Cosmo,

    I feel that way too. We have difficult space and if the rudbeckias and other plants are aggressive it is fine with me. Cheaper, too! A very nice compliment you've give me! I am glad I could give you new info! Happy Bloom Day to you!
    gail

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  35. Frances,

    The Zinnias are so easy to photograph and they always look stellar. On the other hand I cannot take a decent photo of Salvia to save my life! Their faces completely disappear! Gaura, too. I am thinking that they have no real contrast in their faces, just a few lines..no character to capture.

    Hey, glad you like the info and post...

    Gail

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  36. Skeeter,

    I think it should be Pineapple Zinnia and from now on I will call her that. We are the Queens of our gardens we can do what we want! We still have bloom...we had a bit more rain then you and I did water!

    gail

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  37. jgh,

    I love using the common names of plants but after years of reading gardening books the latin names started stick! Now I try to identify both; common names are sometime very local and it is easier to find a plant if I know the latin name! But as you have seen I make names up for fun. So glad you stopped by and left a comment!

    gail

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  38. I love the look of Helianthus & the Silphiums, but I must admit that I'm afraid of both. That's a pretty New England Aster. Did you buy it as a named cultivar? My purple one is 'Hella Lacy.' Ring any bells? I've always known Mistflower as Eupatorium coelestinum. I'll have to make a note of the new name. Next year will be the year of the Zinnia in my garden. I will definitely be ordering seeds.

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  39. MMD, I've just had a most interesting conversation with my son, Matt, who is educating me about all things in the Evolutionary Biology field. Today was on taxonomy and diversity! Remember that how we teach our kids comes back to bite us in the behind! He is actually quite a good instructor and loves teaching.

    I know it's a New England Aster but that name is not familiar, I will search the 'records' and let you know!

    There will be more Zinnia's here next year, too.


    Gail

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  40. What a stunning garden you must have, Gail! So many lovely blooms. I particularly liked your Pineapple Zinnia - both the flower and its name!
    /Katarina

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  41. Katarina,

    I like it, too. It shall be that from now on! I hope your Bloom Day post is up, I want to pop by and see it!

    Gail

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  42. Your composites are really nice Gail. I "need" some of those "shades of pink" zinnias ~ I love them! and they look so nice combined with yellow. I don't know about your cup flowers?? I'll have to read up on them. I am a sufferer of ragweed allergies so I could absolutely do without that around!

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  43. I like the term "happy garden." Gail, that describes you! :-) Beautiful photographs... especially like that nose-tickling milkweed puff on your zinnia!

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  44. kathleen,

    My plan with the Shades of Pink is to save them, let some fall and order more! They are the best plants and have now grown taller than coneflowers! Ragwed is a problem for lots of us! It surprised me to find it growing so well in the healthiest soil! It is quite possibly the ugliest plant I have seen. What place does it hold in the micro-climate?

    The cup plants are really great looking but I hear aggressive! I am so glad to see you here in the garden!

    Gail

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Most of my susans are kaput too Gail. I leave a lot of the seed heads for the birds. It is so much fun seeing the Goldfinches feeding on the seeds. I just love yellow in the garden. It sure pops as it can been seen in your garden, simply lovely.

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  47. Gail .... what can I say .. I have a comment for every flower but obviously I can't do that here .. my memory goes "Duh?" haha
    Your pictures are beautiful .. especially the buttefly on the "Susan" ... those pinks are so vivid .. verbena is amazing and that pineapple zinnia ... well I love it to bits : )
    Lovely as usual !

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  48. shady,

    The milkweed seeds are blowing all over the garden, hopefully some will settle in and grow. maybe someday the monarch butterfly and her caterpillar will visit here. I think happy garden works, too...Thank you my dear!

    gail

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  49. Lisa,

    I have totally enjoyed the Susans! The Gold fInches are an added treat...mine are quite shy and I haven't been able to capture of photo of them! I like yellow...I'm not sure there is a color I don't like. Glad you stopped by to visit.

    Gail

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  50. joy,

    ...The Pineapple Zinnia is a keeper isn't it! Pinks, lavenders and golds really are a big part of this garden...with occasional blues! The Verbena was a lucky find and it looks much better then I imagined with the cup plant...aren't happy accidents fun? The Fritillary is an especially sweet butterfly and since I have lots of Passionflower vine she is happy to spend time here. As always it is a joy when you visit, seriously!

    Gail

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  51. Wow - so much beauty today. I have to smile about your zinnias. I have come to them late, too, and I wonder why I haven't always loved them. There is much to love as we've both discovered.

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  52. Wow, your garden is quite a busy place, isn't it? What's with that echinacea? Those Zinnias a re quite lovely, I love the detail.

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  53. Great pictures! I must admit I'm a bit jealous---the butterflies won't stay long enough for me to grab the camera and get a good shot!

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  54. Could your aster be Aster novae-angliae 'Andenken an Alma Pötschke'? I think that would translate to Souvenir of Alma Pötschke, wouldn't it. Alma was a passalong plant in my old IL garden but didn't come to Texas. MMD's 'Hella Lacy' aster was my favorite in IL - named after the wife of garden writer Allen Lacy. A neighbor used to stop by and photograph it every year because it was so beautiful - you should add Hella to your collection!

    I'm glad you love the composite flowers, Gail - they get respect rather than love from me, because they're so sturdy and useful. But show me a purple or white monocot and I'm gone, baby, gone.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  55. cinj,

    Hi, the Coneflower has some disease that is similar to a virus and is spread by leaf hoppers! I have to destroy i and there is nothing else one can do! The Pineapple Zinnia is a fabulous looking flower...and easy to grow, too. More next year for sure!

    Gail

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  56. I love black eyed Susans for thier vigor and how long they bloom for us. We have a wild type that grows along the roadsides here. I just love them. It is the first flower I can remember picking for my Mama when I was a child.
    You have so much still blooming. i am about out of flowers but all my tropical grasses are reaching peak right now. The bloom, just not flowers.

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  57. Kim,

    It took looking around at other gardens for me to get the message that Zinnias had a great deal going for them..ease, beauty and a variety of colors and bloom types. Blogging has exposed me to so many new and exciting plants, many I can't grow here, but admirable none the less! I already have my order for more! Do you!

    Gail

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  58. Annie,

    Oh you are good, it is Alma Potschke! I was looking at it again and realized that it's 'pinker' in the garden then it photographed. I didn't think to correct the color. I do like the Hella Lacy and might add it to the growing collection of plants recommended by bloggers or seen on their bloom day posts! Big list.

    Well, I like a good monocot myself! I have been looking for my Spider Lily and it appears to have disappeared! It is so pretty with it's whiskery red face! Too bad!

    Glad you stopped by and visited for a bit!

    gail

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  59. some very wonderful blooms indeed!
    i love the rename of pineapple zinnias. it sure looks like a fruit inside that bloom.

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  60. Kristy,

    I left a comment at your site about shooting photos of butterfly but marnie at roses and lilacs is more knowledgeable about both butterflies and photography than I am. Mine are just so used to me chasing them around the beds that they stop and pose.

    gail

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  61. marmee,

    hello and welcome back to town! Your trip sounded delightful. I feel so lucky to have blooms, we had a dry summer here in Middle Tennessee. Thanks for stopping over for a visit.

    Gail

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  62. Gail, your garden does indeed look very happy! I'm glad you have so many lovelies to enjoy as you head into fall.

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  63. I can't believe your Susans are still blooming, Gail. I've just cut mine back and thinned them out because in my small urban garden they tend to take over.

    You have a lovely array of flowers blooming this September.

    Have you gotten a lot of rain this year ? Earlier this year when I traveled through Tennessee it was still suffering from the drought.

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  64. Hi Gail!
    I'm a bit behind in posting/visiting lately (as you probably noticed), so my apologies ... work is crazy again. (so what else is new?)

    You still have quite the flowering going on despite the encroaching fall times ... I'm so glad you've gotten hooked on Zinnias! There are some fantastic colors and mixes out there these days (we love that 'State Fair Mix' we find at Target every year in their Sean Cunningham collection).

    Isn't it amazing how many asteraceae there are? Seems like when I research a certain plant I don't know well, it often ends up being in that family! Gotta love those composite blooms, eh?

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  65. Gail,
    I forgot to ask/comment on the Zinnia seeds ... have you saved and replanted before? We don't do that anymore because they never seem to come back true to the parents and are usually much smaller and generally just pale pinkish, not exactly attractive to our fiery tastes. Besides they're so cheap to buy we just start from new seeds every year. Speaking of seeds, I'm almost done collecting yours! I just keep finding more things to add, lol!

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  66. Wonderful colours in your garden - I am enchanted by the Pineapple Zinnia
    Karen

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  67. You have some gorgeous flowers and a very interesting blog!

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  68. Beautiful as always Gail! You have lots of yellow flowers in your garden and they are all lovely. I like the little goldenrod. I have the larger variety.

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  69. I'm still trying to make the rounds to the different Bloom Days! My husband and I worked in the garden most of the day yesterday. Anyway...your "blooms" are fabulous! Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)

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  70. What amazing colors your flowers have. I love all of the yellow. It brightens the day.

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  71. It's a beautiful pattern of textures and shades of pink and yellow. I would love to see a bird's eye view of your home.

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  72. Gail--your photographs are beautiful! And so are your flowers! I can't decide which ones I like the best! And I am learning their Latin names both on my own and with a little help from blogs like yours! This was a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Marie

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  73. dp, I do like yellow in the garden, they are a bright spot of color and make me smile when I pull into the driveway.

    Phillip, If you like Goldenrod, you have to look at ZigZag Goldenrod. Solidago flexicaulis. I like it, the flower and the stem, zigs and zags.

    Cameron, I'm glad you stopped by...Bloom Day is a lot of fun but does take me 2 dys to see everyone and even then I don't get around to everybody. I am honored that you stopped here!

    Dee, Gosh I hope you mean it's interesting in a good way;-) Thanks for the nod to the flowers and for stopping by.

    Artist's garden, The Zinnia is fun isn't it! How I could have forgotten them, I haven't a clue! But, what a nice thing to rediscover their charms. So very glad you popped over here for visit!

    Carolyn Gail, We had a drought this year but, not as bad as last years. Is this a trend or aberrant is the question.? It's tough times in the Southeastern USA. ~~ I just started removing some of the Susans. They had taken over the entire front bed, here, as well. ~~ I can't believe Chicago had 8 inches of rain! How is your garden?

    Cindy, Happy is a good word for clay and limestone! All of a sudden I am seeing that guy on PBS, you know the painter of the 'happy little trees'?
    I like having a happy place, it's not a serious garden for sure!

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  74. Anna, So would I! The roof might be the place to go. If I go up there I will take a few photos and post them.
    Or maybe a tall ladder would work! Thank you, I like pink and yellow, they do well together.

    Tilelady, You are very kind! Pretty soon the latin names will just roll off your tongue...you just have to start using them at the nurseries! We have a guy who always corrects my mispronunciations! Cracks me up! Give it a try.

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  75. ivg,

    Well, that is good news and bad news regarding the Zinnias! It's too bad they won't come true. The pink from Shades of Pink is fabulous...meaning I love it! But you are so right, they are cheap! I wonder what the Celosia will look like. Did I tell you mine or over 6 foot tall?

    Seeds for me! I am so excited! I hope I can get them to grow...please send any helpful hints that this propagating challenged gardener would need!

    thank you!

    gail

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  76. Gail,
    I was surprised you didn't include Caracas in this post, but you had so much other lovely stuff, I'll forgive you. :-)

    6 ft huh? Ours is over 5 now and blooming/branching like crazy! Since you don't have any others in your garden (do you?) I bet it will come back fairly true next year. It's when you have multiple varieties around that they get a bit freaky. In fact, later I'm going to post a few of the smaller freaks that have been popping up out front lately.

    I forget if you wanted some of that purple Zebrina mallow? Or are you scared it will take over? I'm going to cut most of the rest of them down this weekend, so I can send plenty of seeds!

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  77. Gorgeous colours. Much as I have complained about autumn seeming to come early this year, who cares when the blooms are as wonderful as yours!

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  78. Hi Gail ~ I'm playing catch up after Ike went through and stole our power for a couple of days.
    Your September blooms are so nice. I think my favorites are the Cup Flower, Asters (I can't wait until next month) and of course Zinnia's.
    Cindy

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  79. I'm late late late with my Bloom Day visits. I still haven't gotten used to the taxonomists changing Compositae to Asteraceae, and now they've changed my Eupatorium coelestinum when I just learned its name.

    I'll look for the zigzag goldenrod - that sounds so interesting. Have you tried Solidago 'Fireworks'? I'm not sure of the species. Mine is just starting to bloom but I can never get a good pictures of the long thin sprays of flowers.

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  80. I love the pink "pineapple" zinnias!
    My coneflowers have the same disease.

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  81. Really beautiful combinations, Gail. I love the yellows and pinks together.

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  82. Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

    ReplyDelete

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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