As the growing season draws to a close, it’s worth contemplating the moments of sheer joy the garden has offered over the year, times when it was impossible to do anything but step back and revel in the glory and give thanks for the privilege of being in this world.
First, the plants for sun.
Right now, I’m still enjoying the various species of Ironweed (Vernonia
) I've planted around the place, this tall beauty being my latest passion, even though the deep purple florets are beginning to go brown and turn to seed. One Ironweed clump grows in front of the house by the Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens
). I wouldn’t have thought to combine the bright orange and red flowers of the Honeysuckle with the Ironweed purple, but the vibrant colours play off each other and require contemplation whenever the eye chances that way.
A plant that started being arresting in August is Spotted, or Dotted Beebalm or Horsemint (Monarda punctata
). The dots are purple, on creamy whorls of small orchid-like flowers that surround the reddish-purple stem. Showtime comes with the development of lavender-pink bracts under the flowers - bracts are modified leaves, which on the pointsettia for instance are red. These Beebalm bracts, now fading to a pale green, seem to catch the light and make the plant an absolute stand-out. Read more