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

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 2013 GBBD: I love the rough and tumble wildflowers of early Autumn!

It's rough and tumble wildflower time in my garden. The take care of themselves Autumn beauties are beginning to shine.
Verbesina virginica
Rough and tumble wildflowers are simple wildflowers most with no known pedigree, that bloom their hearts out and require the easiest of care.
Helenium autumnale
 Some even resent fertile, rich soil and many aren't even on a list to be hybridized, even if they should be!
unknown Solidago
Familiarity has never bred contempt when it comes to wildflowers. In fact, the more I see them, the more I appreciate their charms.
Vernonia altissima
But, they are so much more than pretty faces. 
Salvia azurea
Each one of these darlings provides more pollen and nectar return on investment than many other flowers combined.
Conoclinium coelestinum
My rough and tumble natives are landing pads of deliciousness for butterflies, bees, wasps and moths.

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Common plants like the Ex-asters bloom just in time for the late arriving pollinators which are making a mad dash to collect as much nectar and pollen for their last brood.

Coreopsis tripteris
Rough and tumble wildflowers are late blooming magnets for all kinds of insects, including some insects that are themselves food for spiders, birds and other insect eating critters.
Lobelia cardinalis
The provide food for migrating birds and they all make me smile.

Physostegia virginiana
 I have a special place in my heart for these wild and rough looking beauties that are often found growing in meadows, prairies and roadside ditches. I appreciate plants that haven't had their best characteristics bred out of them. They're beautiful, they're doing the job nature intended them to do, make a lot of nectar and pollen and bloom for a long time, exactly when the critters need both.

Lobelia siphilitica
They're perfect for this time of year, perfect for the resident critters and perfect for this garden.


It's September 15 and you know what that means! Garden bloggers all over the blogasphere are celebrating Bloom Day. You can see more gardens then you can imagine in one day if you stop by Carol's blog, May Dreams Gardens to take the linky magic carpet ride.

First flower is Ex-aster S patens

Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. Beautiful flowers!
    I love how you have captured the pollinators, too!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Landing pads of deliciousness, I love that phrase, dear Gail. A good return on gardening investment. Your photos are exquisite, as is your garden. Happy GBBD.

  3. Rough and tumble... the perfect way to describe early autumn flowers. Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

  4. The rough & tumble look great. That is about the only things blooming around here. It is still incredibly dry. Happy GBBD.

  5. Love to see what's blooming for you, and which native plants we have in common.

  6. They're wonderful! I'm planning to plant some Conoclinium seeds this fall--hopefully they'll emerge next spring. I love the form and color. All your wildflowers are fantastic, Gail!

  7. I love them all! Still waiting for my ironweed and asters to bloom. The goldenrod sure does make the pollinators happy!

  8. I love all the bumbles and other critters on your "rough and tumble" wildflowers! I can't think of a better argument for planting or encouraging these natives to grow in the garden.

  9. Beautiful shots of the flowers with the bees. I like the obedient plant too. I bought one from a local grower years ago and was afraid it would take over. Instead it is confined to about a 5' x 5' area, competing with grasses which seem to keep it in check. The bees do love the flowers. Thanks for your enjoyable post.

  10. Yes, thank goodness for them. I see so many natives in my garden this time of year. They are quite the sendoff for the pollinators. They make me happy too.~~Dee

  11. I'm working on getting more natives growing, I ordered some plants this year, goldenrods, amsonia, mist flower, the last never grew but 5 tiny seedlings came up in the pot and I transplanted them, they grew to 6" and I planted them outside, so perhaps next year they will bloom. I'm also planting mixes of annual and perennial California native plants this fall so hope they will do great next year and establish themselves. The west coast natives are a lot different from the east coast ones. It's great to see your photos for ideas and encouragement, and I find it hard to take photos of the pollinators so nice to see your close-ups.

  12. I have a wild aster that pops up where it pleases every year. I love it because it requires zero care and looks great every fall. I have several of your favorites in my garden, too. They are popular places for pollinator parties. :o)

  13. Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.comSeptember 18, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    You have such a love for insects, Gail, which I so appreciate! Thank you for showcasing them so lovingly. I'm certain it makes a difference.

  14. Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.comSeptember 18, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    You have such a love for insects, Gail, which I so appreciate! Thank you for showcasing them so lovingly. I'm certain it makes a difference.

  15. Spectacular photos of some really great plants! Larry

  16. Your rough and tumble wildflowers are always so charming. I can't get my hubby on board with wildflower style, he needs almost complete order in his life. So I'll just enjoy yours instead. I am such a fan of wildflowers in meadows or along the roads. There are some tall yellow ones this year that are catching my eyes everywhere. They are so pretty you'd swear someone planted them.

  17. I'm with you Gail. The flowers of autumn are special indeed.

  18. there a tiny yellow spider with the bee on the ex-aster

  19. there a tiny yellow spider with the bee on the ex-aster

  20. Your wildflowers are so plenty and really beautiful! The colors and variations are also plenty. They can even be domesticated as ornamentals, i am sure many just went through that process and became loved, so being a wildflower is already their past!


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson