The Tuesday View September 19

September 19, 2017

Triggered by cooler than normal temperatures in August and early September, the garden is heading towards dormancy as the trees behind it attest.

Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’

The tall Sunflowers along the back have gone to seed with a few Morning Glories clambering up them, taking advantage of their height. Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’ has finally joined I. purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’ in blossoming. I was beginning to wonder if it ever would bloom!

Cosmos ‘Sensation’

To the left, Helianthus annuus ‘Lemon Queen,’ ‘Italian White’ and ‘Pro-cut’ continue to provide flowers for vases. To the right, a clump of pink self-sown Cosmos ‘Sensation’ put out the last of its flowers. I’ve left the seed for the goldfinches and next year’s seedlings. Orange and yellow Calendula officinalis and white Nicotiana alata are scattered about, giving the garden some lasting color, along with a clump of Zinnia elegans ‘Cactus’ and several ‘Mixed Sprite.’

Far left, Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is on its third harvest, I hope with one to go before frost, and Orca beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), soon will be picked for drying.

Two mounds of purple Heart-leaved Asters (Symphyotrichum cordifolium), far left rear and in the middle, have been a delight. I pruned them back in June, which has resulted in denser, less floppy stems. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has faded to mauve, its prickly heads full of seeds. I need to deadhead them soon before they self-sow all over. I leave the cut heads in the field for the birds. If they self-sow there, all the better. White and pink Phlox paniculata are about done.

Along the front, Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina), a few hot pink Zinnia angustifolia x elegans ‘Double Cherry Profusion,’ Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica) surrounded by Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) seed heads and a few more clumps of white Nicotiana at the end.

Dahlia ‘Voodoo’

Worthy of mention, now in its second season, Dahlia ‘Voodoo’ is putting on a spectacular show in a bed to the left of the main garden. Because of its success, I will have extra tubers to share with a few admirers.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting The Tuesday View, a meme showing the view of one or more of our gardens over the course of a growing season. Visit to see links to other garden views from around the world.

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In A Vase On Monday – New Vase

This week my sister sent me a fluted Lenox glass vase in the most beautiful shade of amethyst.  I’ve filled it in complimentary colors with the tallest flowers I currently have blooming.

Lavender Heart-leaved Asters (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) and spikes of Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) offset Dahlia ‘Voodoo,’ which is flowering abundantly.

Fluffy white and pink Phlox (P. paniculata), light and dark pink Cosmos ‘Sensation’ and ‘Lemon Queen’ Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) add a bit of contrast. Arching heads of Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) and green blades of Iris ensata finish the arrangement.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

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Silent Sunday


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White Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

IMG_4990These caterpillars seem to be everywhere at this time of year. While they are not poisonous, they can cause a stinging rash. Best to look, not touch!


“The hairs on the caterpillar are long and bristle-like and spread out in tufts down the sides. Two long, sharp, black pencil-like hairs protrude near the front and rear of the creature, and these hairs are connected to poison glands, which excrete venom on contact.

Contact with the venom does not generally cause too much of a problem. A nettle or poison ivy-type rash often occurs, which can range from mild with slight reddening of the skin, to burning, swelling and pain, none of which should keep you away from your gardening duties for too long. Hypersensitive individuals may, of course, experience more severe symptoms that could include swelling and nausea. Washing the infected area with soap and water, taking antihistamines, or using ammonia, calamine lotion, or an ice pack can help to alleviate most minor symptoms fairly quickly. People who do experience more severe reactions, however, should seek expert medical advice as soon as possible.”

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In A Vase On Monday – Variety

To feature more of my vase collection, I’m offering two vases for today’s IAVOM.

The first, in an orange Blenko vase sporting autumn colors (that are showing around here in the trees faster than I’d like), are Dahlia ‘Tiki Torch’ with gold, salmon and lemon Zinnia ‘Sprite’ blooms. White Phlox (P. paniculata), yellow Calendula officinalis and Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) finish the arrangement.

For the second, I used a vintage, heirloom lead frog, with spiky nails to hold the stems. As you can imagine, it is quite heavy and topple-free.

Filled with velvety Dahlia ‘Voodoo’ blossoms, ‘Lemon Queen’ Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), bright pink Zinnia ‘Sprite’ and light pink Cosmos ‘Sensation’ blooms.

Accents are lavender-blue Heart-leaved Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium), Nigella damascena seed pods and a few Ladybells (Adenophora confusa). Greens are Hosta leaves and fronds of Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides).

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

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Silent Sunday


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Latest Hatch

Male monarch 9/5/17

Male Monarch Butterfly

Following up on my “It’s a Girl!” post from three weeks ago, my last two Monarch butterflies emerged from their chrysalises. Yesterday, a male (mid-rib vein dots on lower wing) and today, a female. They are beautiful and healthy, off into the world!

Female Monarch butterfly 9/6/17

Female Monarch butterfly

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