Sunday, September 6, 2009

Houston - We have had Frosts - What is Blooming Now

Above is "iron weed" or veronia noveboracensis. I don't remember where I got this plant and I always forget about it until the fall when I am desperate for cut flowers and this one is perfect. The dark blue/violet goes nicely with mums and it is long lasting in bouquets.

Summer phlox can be problematic. Deer find it tasty and some years powdery mildew takes it down. This particular phlox is 'Laura' and it seems to be both disease resistant and long lasting in bouquets - and ... very fragrant.

Cimicifuga (white plumed flowers above in foreground) provide a dramatic fall statement. The common name is 'bugbane'. The horticultural folks have decided to reclassify the plant and now it is 'Actaea racemosa', but I finally got comfortable pronouncing cimicifuga - and so it will remain at Amanda's Greenhouse and Perennials. I don't care for the species as it spreads and becomes rather sparse, but cimicifuga ramosa atropurpurea forms a huge vase-shaped specimen plant that always delivers in September and October.

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpreum) is another guaranteed fall bloomer. It's a "weed" only in the sense that it is a wild plant in north America. It's an OK cut flower and I'm told it can be dried. 'Little Joe' is a new shorter introduction, and I'll be able to report next year on how well it does, as the native Joe Pye can easily be 6 feet tall.

Step away very slowly from this plant, (macleaya cordata or 'plume poppy'.) It is mightily invasive. I might recommend it for the edge of a pond or background in a very wild setting, as it really is lovely in its own overbearing way. I unknowingly planted it among other perennials in a row and have been fighting it back the last ten years. Right now a woodchuck has a happy home in its center. (Plant seen above and below).

I love artemesia lactiflora (white mugwort) for its late blooms and the fact that it is non-invasive, unlike many other artemesias.

Above is sanguisorba canadensis, another very late bloomer that I use extensively in my fall bouquets. The common name is 'Canadian burnet' and when not blooming it has pretty serrated foliage. This one is vigorous, but controllable.

Now I have to figure out how to make my photographs larger for this blog. And I am already ordering for next year!