Sunflowers & Butterflies
September has been a month full of sunflowers blooming, butterfly sightings and the last of the vegetables ripening. As summer slowly turns into fall, it’s time to reflect on this year's gardening season. My butterfly garden proved to be a big success, not only attracting butterflies, but also dragonflies and so many other beneficial pollinators. I started to really see my hard work pay off this month with many visits from different types of butterflies. My zinnia garden has really taken off, full of different colored blooms. It has been absolutely perfect for cuttings.
Along with all the success, there were also a few things that didn’t work out as planned here in zone 6a New England. I planted cucamelon seeds, and although it heavily vined along my trellis, it didn’t produce any fruit. The vine, in itself, is beautiful, so I am very happy with that. I may have to try planting them in a different location next year and also a little bit earlier in the season. I also had some trouble with my pattypan squash. I enjoyed an abundance of blooms but not very many fruits. Some fruits also fell off the vine before ripening. They were mighty cute though! I’m thinking of picking a sunnier location next year. This year, they seemed to become shaded by my enormous tomato plants.
All in all, it was a wonderful growing season. I alway learn so many new things, and I am definitely already looking forward to next year! This month, I am linking up with Garden Bloggers Bloom Day over at May Dreams Gardens. I invite you to enjoy what’s blooming now in my garden.
Sunflowers add some end of summer cheer!
In the zinnia garden
I've been getting daily visits from the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly.
There are two that seem to travel together all the time.
A video of the Great Spangled Fritillary stopping to sip nectar
from my 'Cut and Come Again' zinnias.
'Purple Prince' zinnia
Here is the Spicebush Swallowtail. If you look closely,
it almost looks like blue glitter is sprinkled upon it's outer wing.
This year, I was lucky enough to be able to trail some fabulous plants from J Berry Nursery. As a cold climate gardener, I have to admit I always tended to stay away from tropical flowers like the hibiscus plant. I feared they would be too difficult to grow here with Massachusetts short growing season. The Patio Party line of hibiscus plants has changed my mind! Not only is it a prolific bloomer, the blooms it produces are show stopping.
'Party Crasher' Hibiscus
'First To Arrive' Hibiscus
These hibiscus plants boast multiple blooms at a time. I haven't gone a day this summer without seeing a spectacular new flower open with ease. The robust plants are perfect for adding a splash of color on a porch or small deck. They have both been growing wonderfully in containers. Since they are in pots, I can easily bring them in during the winter months. That way, they will find a new home on my window ledge safe from frost.
Diamonds, Tiaras & Jewels
Along with the hibiscus plants, J Berry Nursery sent me some Deja Bloom azaleas. When it comes to shrubs, azalea bushes have always been one of my favorites. One thing about azaleas that has always frustrated me is the lack of bloom time. You only get to see the shrubs full splendor for such a short time that if you blink, you may miss it. As soon as I received my 'Red Tiara' azalea bush, it started blooming and hasn't stopped since! Flowers are always reappearing and keeping me absolutely wowed. This azalea is compact, so it can be planted in a container or directly in the garden. I also received a 'Pink Jewel' azalea bush. Although it hasn't bloomed as often as the 'Red Tiara', I have been enjoying it's gorgeous lush foliage.
'Red Tiara' azalea bush puts on a show all season long.
Another plant I am trialling thanks to J Berry Nursery is the Black Diamond crape myrtle. These flowering hedges add some drama to the garden with black foliage and bright neon blooms. The two varieties I received are 'Mystic Magenta' and 'Purely Purple'. Seeing it's gorgeous dark leaves has drawn me to want to learn more about this plant. The rainfall has been sparse this summer, so these drought tolerant plants have held up well in their containers. I am happy I get to enjoy these plants for years to come.
In The Rose Garden
'New Dawn' climbing roses
'Julia Child' floribunda rose
Sweet Autumn Clematis & More
There is truly nothing better than seeing delicious smelling 'Sweet Autumn' clematis bursting with blooms mid September. It is a spectacular flowering vine that I look forward to seeing all year long. It seems to be growing stronger and getting bigger with every year that passes by.
The top of my sweet pea vines surpassing the white trellis.
They did better than ever this year!
Who doesn't love volunteer broom corn?
I can't wait to incorporate this into my fall decor.
I'm hoping for a few more harvests before the end of the growing season. I will be growing a few fall crops and can't wait to see how they do. I will definitely be posting updates on my fall vegetable garden progress here. I'm so happy I have been able to trial and grow different varieties of plants. I am thrilled that I am continuing to expand my garden horizons!
How has your own garden done this summer? I'd love to hear about your garden triumphs in the comment section below. Have you been inspired to grow something different next year? Tell me all about it here or tweet me @thefreckledrose. Wishing everyone a happy September and a fabulous fall!
In Case You Missed It - In The August Garden