Late Summer Purple Haze

Butterfly tree, or Clerodendrum trichotomum, transformed for autumn as its seeds ripen.

Butterfly tree, or Clerodendrum trichotomum, transformed for autumn as its seeds ripen.

We’re a week into September, and finished with the holidays of summer.   Everyone is back in school, from the kids at the College to the home schoolers.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

You can almost here the hum of brain activity between the diesel rumblings of the school busses each morning and afternoon.

Ajuga with Lantana

Ajuga with Lantana

Our  mornings are cool and brisk, with a hint of mist in the air.

Purple Pentas, still going strong since spring, ae a favorite nectar plant.

Purple Pentas, still going strong since spring, are a favorite nectar plant.

Somehow, the world smells different, fresher, cleaner than it has for a long time now.

African Blue Basil, now a small shrub, is covered with flowers more purple than blue.

African Blue Basil, now a small shrub, is covered with flowers more purple than blue.

I’m watching for the first jugs of apple cider to show up at the grocery.

Annual Ageratum, only about eight inches tall, growing with Vinca under a Camellia bush.

Annual Ageratum, only about eight inches tall, growing with Vinca under a Camellia bush.

The few autumn magazines I’ve seen are filled with shades of brown, cream and gold, punctuated with a little mahogany and red.  This seems to be the palette of Autumn 2013 as decided by London and New York. August 28 2013 garden 022 But my garden begs to differ.  It has grown a purple haze.

Oxalis with Hydrangea, Coleus and Lenten Roses surround the pot.

Oxalis with Hydrangea; Coleus, Creeping Jenny, ferns, and Lenten Roses surround the pot.

We’re surrounded by the most gorgeous shades from pale lavender to deep, wine purple. August 28 2013 garden 016 It’s popping out on the beauty berry bushes as their berries ripen.

The berries on Beauty Berry bush have begun to ripen luring in the cardinals to enjoy a rich buffet.

The berries on Beauty Berry bush, Callicarpa dichotoma, have begun to ripen.

We’ve noticed pairs of cardinals descending on the bushes and dining together on their lavish buffet.

"Rosalie Figge" reblooming iris, has bloomed this week.

“Rosalie Figge” reblooming Iris, has bloomed this week.

Purple Hibiscus crop up in unexpected places, and the “Rosalie Figge” iris have begun to bloom again.

Rose of Sharon blossom poking through the branches of a Beauty Berry bush.

Rose of Sharon blossom poking through the branches of a Beauty Berry bush.

And then, there is this amazing wildflower we discovered during our first autumn here.

Hardy Ageratum growing with Lantana and Lamb's Ears.

Hardy Ageratum growing with Lantana and Lamb’s Ears.

It looks like a weed through most of the summer, but if you’re patient, and leave it to grow, it just explodes in September with beautiful, airy, lavender blue blossoms for weeks and weeks.

Hardy Ageratum, or Eupatorium coelestinum , has finally bloomed.

Hardy Ageratum, or Eupatorium coelestinum , has finally bloomed.  It is growing here with Rosemary and Black Eyed Susans.

September 7 garden 018

Hardy Ageratum growing through Pineapple Mint.

I love this flower, and watch for it now in early summer, to make sure its left to grow.  It is a perennial Ageratum, Eupatorium coelestinum, and it has spread from one end of the garden to the other.September 7 garden 027  A native perennial, considered a weed here along the East coast, it spreads by underground rhizome and by seeds.  Hardy Ageratum, also called “Mist Flower”, enjoys full to partial sun, and prefers moist soil. September 7 garden 022 Like so many of our native wildflowers, it will grow in a wide range of conditions and isn’t terribly picky about soil.  As you might guess, bees, butterflies, and other nectar loving insects enjoy it, especially since it continues to bloom through October, when many other flowers have already given up for the season.  All of my hardy Ageratum is a similiar shade, but seeds are available in various shades of purple, blue, and white.

Oxalis

Oxalis

I love the contrast of purple with green, and at the moment my garden is full of it.

Salvia, with lavender

Perennial Salvia, with Lavender, “Otto Quast”

There are black eyed Susans and Lantana to offer a little punch of  yellow and orange, but the purples definitely steal the show.September 3, 2013 garden 026

All photos by Woodland GnomeSeptember 7 garden 003

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Late Summer Purple Haze

  1. Pingback: A Beautiful Day For Ducks, Ferns and Flowers | Forest Garden

  2. Pingback: Savoring the Sweetness | Forest Garden

  3. Pingback: “Shopping” The Garden For Flowers | Forest Garden

  4. Pingback: September All-Stars, Part 2 | The Garden Diaries

  5. NIce garden pictures, it’s always nice to see the late summer flowers!

  6. Forest So Green

    Your garden looks great. I really like the purples.

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