Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Sunday, September 15, 2019

What's Blooming in September

Eventually it will cool down. Eventually it will rain. This is what I have been telling myself for the past month as we set record breaking temperatures, almost daily. Our temperatures have been in the high 90s for more than a month and not a drop of rain. It is so sad to see the plants turning brown prematurely and shriveling up due to our dry conditions. Then yesterday evening a storm rolled in bringing two inches of rain. What a relief!

I thought I would be hard pressed to find flowers to share for bloom day but the garden is surprisingly resilient and colorful. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster) is the earliest aster to bloom in our garden. This lovely tolerates our clay soil and also does well in moist conditions, which our winter months often bring.


The buzz of our native bumble bees are constant. They seek nectar from the yellow flowers while collecting pollen on their hind legs. Asters are an important source of food for insects late in the season and I'll have more to share in the months to come.

bumble bee on New England aster
Nearby is Salvia Amistead from High Country Gardens. It's a tall growing sage with gorgeous violet-purple flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. We can view this plant from our back deck and enjoy watching the ruby throat hummers frequently visiting.

Ruby Throat Hummingbird visiting Salvia Amistead
It is also loaded with cloudless sulphur butterflies. A cloud of yellow periodically bursts into the sky whenever a hummer arrives and tells them to bugger off. At this time of year there are so many hummers that their visits to blooms are fleeting. Males are patrolling their food sources and racing around the garden. At least this allows the butterflies to hastily settle in again.  

cloudless Sulphur butterfly
Several skipper butterflies frequent the blooms too, reaching their proboscis to the back of the tube to reach the nectar.

skipper butterfly on sage
September is also time for solidago to bloom. From a distance the bright yellow blooms cheer up the otherwise crispy garden conditions. A closer look reveals lots of activity.

pollinating fly on goldenrod flowers

paper wasp visiting goldenrod
Not only are pollinators frequent visitors but there are other insects lurking in the blooms, like this green lynx spider who has a big egg sac to protect. Mama spider will hug the egg sac for two weeks until the baby spiders hatch. This is all the love they'll get because they hatch as fully functioning spiders and have to fend for themselves.

green lynx spider with 
Helianthus porteri (Stone Mountain Daisy), a reseeding annual, is abundant in September. Every year it finds more space in our garden to spread.

native bumble bee on Stone Mountain Daisy

skipper butterfly with Helianthus porteri flower
It think it is lovely paired with little blue stem grass.

Stone Mountain daisy with little blue stem grass
It's amazing what a little rain can do for a parched garden. As long as there are still flowers for the pollinators to take them through the end of the season, we're all good. 

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens

21 comments:

  1. Beautiful blooms! And I love seeing all the pollinators!
    Great to catch the Hummingbird in action. We still have a few here, but most have already left on their journey south.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Pollinators are what we are all about. They are fascinating!

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  2. Lovely shots of all pollinators...Hummingbirds are a great spectacle in every garden.Happy blogger blooms day.

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    1. Thanks! The hummers definitely bring an energy to the garden.

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  3. We are thirsting for rain here, too. It's been a few years since we've seen it this dry.

    Lovely fall blooms!

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    1. High heat and dry are not good combinations. Too often we take rain for granted. I just read that we've had 77 straight days of over 90 degrees. I think y'all are experiencing even worse conditions.

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  4. The asters have just started blooming here too Karin. How I wish we had humming birds visiting the garden - you are lucky :)

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    1. The hummers do bring lots of excitement to the garden. We have so many right now since they are migrating southward. I will miss them when they depart.

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  5. Your blooms are lovely. Wish we could get a little of your rain here also. Happy GBBD
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Rain is in short commodity right now. Hope that will change for you soon.

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    2. Stopped by again to browse your blog. We still haven't had any rain so I decided to look at your flowers! Mine are too depressing.
      Jeannie

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  6. Great post and so nice to share types of flowers still blooming.

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  7. Stunning blooms and photos, as always, Karin! This is the time of year when our blooms are on the same schedule. While I don't have most of these blooming in my own garden (lack of sun), they are blooming in gardens and prairies around me. The hummingbirds and monarchs are migrating through now, and they're loving the goldenrod and asters! I'm so glad you got some needed rain and relief!

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    1. Its always a blessing when blooms and migration coordinate properly. The drought has everything stressed and some of the trees are dropping their leaves early.

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  8. I like that wild annual sunflower - I would happily let it self-sow through my garden. Great shots of the hummingbirds.

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    1. Its a great annual and I love that it spreads and shows up wherever. I found some at the back of our property and wonder how it got there.

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  9. I'm so glad that you finally received some good, drenching rain! The New England asters and goldenrod are lighting up my garden as well and I have seen SO many hummingbirds lately! It's always a "stop what you are doing" moment, isn't it.

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    1. I could watch the hummingbirds for hours. It is definitely a source of entertainment.

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  10. Glad you got some rain, Karin! Our conditions here are similar, but so far no rain and none predicted for the next week. I had some Amistead salvia one year, and it was wonderful. Unfortunately it proved to be an annual for me. I want to plant some goldenrod this year, but it is too hot and dry to plant anything right now. Surely October will bring a change!

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    1. September and October are our driest months so going into them in drought seems disheartening. Definitely reevaluating planting sites for some of my areas.

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One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin