Farewell to Summer

Zinnias add a splash of color and charm to the garden

A Kansas Country Garden

September 2015

We bid farewell to summer with a mixture of relief and regret. It was a wonderful summer, but I should have gotten a few more projects done. Leaving blistering temperatures behind is easier than knowing that the relaxed summer schedule is coming to an end.  But I have to admit that the approaching autumn is a delightful time of the year. 

This Rose of Sharon shrub continues to grow and mature in the shrub border.
For me the arrival of September means the arrival of fall. Technically autumn doesn't begin until September 21, but we have already made the transition to a school schedule and sometimes we get to enjoy some cooler temperatures before that date. 

Garlic chives produce an edible flower. 
The garden is in transition this time of year as well. Many perennials are done, exhausted from an intense summer. The gardener too is a bit weary and spends less time weeding and watering. 

Welcome back, dear Heritage rose!

However, there is a whole new flush of blooms arriving now. The rose bush, flowerless during the heat of summer, suddenly puts out a bloom or two. It's far less than the lush spring flush, but still so lovely to see. 

Every Kansas garden should have Sweet Autumn clematis. (I think!)

Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora, arrives with a delightful scent and billows of soft white flowers.  It always blooms sometime toward the end of August. Because this vine does have a proclivity to reseed and plants pop up here and there, I have placed it in several areas in the garden (and I always have plants to share - just ask me!). 
Sweet Autumn clematis trails up and over the arbor along with a few morning glories.

Strawberry Fields gomphrena return each year from seed sown by last year's plants.

Many annuals are finally coming into their prime. It takes a while for seeds planted outside in the spring to sprout and mature.  

Purslane is my favorite annual. It is right at home with my succulent plants. 
That's especially true of those "free plants" who owe their existence to seeds dropped in previous years. The timing of rains and warm temperatures affects germination and they always lag behind purchased annual plants. 

This rose gomphrena does well in dry conditions and often self-seeds.
There are still months left to enjoy the garden.  There is no reason to rush. Autumn is not an ending, at least not yet. Cooler days, renewed energy and a little garden loveliness are still ahead. We must remember to pause and cherish it. 

Sometimes a sunflower just decides it going pop up in the garden. It's a genuine wildflower.

It's important to remove the seedheads from Garlic chives or you will have far more than desired.

Zinnias grow easily from seed.

These exotic flowers are Castor Bean flowers.  This plant came up from seeds dropped by last year's plants.

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