Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


September Blooms

Verbena bonariensis and Maximilian Sunflower

Verbena bonariensis and Maximilian Sunflower

I haven’t posted anything about our own garden in a couple of months, not since before I went out to the eastside, and yet it was great to see the garden after a month away. Really nice to come back to it. Though the garden’s looking a bit tired this month, to be honest. A few of the natives like the blue flax, the poppies, the foothill penstemons, and the woolly blue curls have a few token blooms, but they are basically hunkered down, waiting for the rains. This past weekend’s rain was a welcome surprise. Photos of plants, some native and some not, that are in bloom are below.

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives, Lobelia, Celery

Indigo Bush, Indigofera heterantha

Indigo Bush, Indigofera heterantha

Indigo Shrub, Indigofera heterantha

Indigo Bush, Indigofera heterantha

Our indigofera has been blooming nicely for a couple of months, but now it’s getting aphids on the flowers, probably from drought stress. Some of the aphids are winged now, signaling that the population is preparing to spread, so we’ll have to spray them with a hose the next few days. I think the indigofera got aphids last year about this time, too.

Indigofera with Aphids

Indigofera Bloom with Aphids


Aster chilensis Purple Haze

The coast aster is going full out. This one, Aster chilensis “Purple Haze,” got a little too close to the lawn sprinklers in a client’s garden and ran amok — our plant is actually from a piece that we yanked out of that garden — but it has behaved itself in our garden so far. I’m usually a fan of Hendrix names for cultivars, but I think they probably should have bred a little more purple into it before calling it “Purple Haze.” Though I guess it does have marginally more color than the seed-grown coastal asters in out yard.

Seed-Grown Coast Aster, Aster chilensis

Coast Aster, Aster chilensis

California Fuchsia, Epilobium canum

California Fuchsia, Epilobium canum

Our California Fuchsias are only pretty along the last four inches of each branch, otherwise they’re mostly tumbleweed. This is a newish planting and their first full year in the ground; next year they’ll get the springtime haircut that everyone recommends.

California Fuchsia

California Fuchsia

Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa

Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa

One of our Coyote Mints (Monardella villosa) has some late blooms because I cut it back late. I drank tea made from Mountain Pennyroyal (Monardella odoratisima) a few times last month. Pretty good, better than M. villosa, I found.



A client wants a brugmansia, so the big guy in a pot by our door is probably on its last bloom for us before it goes to a new home. It has been really good, blooming several times a year in full shade. Not sure what we’ll replace it with.

Meadowfoam and Basil

Meadowfoam and Basil

This is the second round of meadowfoam (Limnanthes dougalsii) in the vegi garden this year. They were cotyledons when I left and already blooming when I came back a month later, definite fans of the good soil and regular water they’re getting. I like them for the vegi garden because they attract hoverflies and their big seeds don’t spread far unless I help them.

Maximilian Sunflower, Helianthus maximiliani

Maximilian Sunflower, Helianthus maximilianii

Our best fall bloomer right now is the Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximilianii) I planted across the street in our neighbor’s yard, our unofficial garden annex. Not sure why these aren’t planted more in the Bay Area. On the one hand, I guess, annual sunflowers are already extremely cheap and easy and common, so why plant a perennial one, but on the other…a perennial sunflower!

Deer Grass and Maximilian Sunflower

Deer Grass, Buckwheat, and Maximilian Sunflower

Thanks to Carol at MayDreamsGardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Click over for lots of bloom action.


8 Responses to “September Blooms”

  1. September 15th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Liisa says:

    What an amazing garden you have. The flowers on that indigo bush are something else (not so much with those dastardly aphids, though!). I am in complete jealousy!

  2. September 15th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Town Mouse says:

    Yes, it’s a tired time of year in the garden, though I love that aster, purple or not.

    BTW, I cut back my Cal Fuchsia in December, down to 1 inch.
    And it’s been a bad year for them, I think. some fungus or something. Maybe next year they’ll be more green.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  3. September 15th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Susie says:

    Beautiful shots…I love that Monardella!

  4. September 15th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    chuck b. says:

    Darn it, I meant to start a second round of Meadowfoam and forgot to.

  5. September 15th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Mary Delle says:

    I love those California natives, as well as the others. What a nice garden!

  6. September 16th, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Country Mouse says:

    Glad to see some flowering natives if only in the wild (along the coast) and in your garden – I need to work on my fall garden look!

  7. September 19th, 2009 at 4:42 am

    Sylvana says:

    I love your fist shot. I don’t have much experience with verbena, but I’ve never seen it in that form before.

  8. October 1st, 2009 at 12:55 am

    BeWaterWise Rep says:

    Great to see your garden! The variety of plants in your garden delights me! The California Friendly Garden combines the beauty of native plants and water saving techniques. You can find water-wise gardening tips at http://j.mp/6LykS

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