What is happy and still blooming? Not as loud and lively as August except for some isolated patches near the Rudbeckia, the garden tones down to more subdued for September.
Finding plants to stand up to continuous heat, humidity and the run of dry weather is one tough nut to crack. Yesterday, we got a two-minute downpour, typical of how rain has been coming this summer. It did bring temperatures down from a high of 90° earlier this week though.
Many perennials carry their weight in dry conditions, but are usually short blooming. Some like the asters, Perovskia, meadow sage, and Coreopsis are exceptions, blooming for long periods or reblooming.
You just saw my profile of Caryopteris, a small, late-blooming, flowering shrub. It is a perfect choice to carry color into Fall.
Annuals are a real plus to gardens facing dry conditions. Annuals reliably bloom well into Fall if the weather stays warm. Petunia, verbena and Million Bells are wonderful plants for dry areas and will spread the color all season long.
Mixed with perennials, a garden keeps colorfully blooming. Why the push to dismiss annuals in preference to perennials for water conservation and low maintenance? Some annuals have needed little supplemental water unless in hanging baskets.
How do you feel about mixing it up? Just as trees and shrubs are used to span seasons, the annuals help pull a garden through dry spells if chosen well.
Look at the bloom in August and compare it to September. The annuals were in the garden, but so many perennials were in full flower, the annuals were barely noticed.
A few very long blooming perennials…
My garden is small, but mixing it up adds a lot of seasonal and visual interest. Some of the annuals grow from seed every year, like shown above. Each year the Alyssum makes a large patch with a few Ageratum flowers mixed in with volunteer Petunia.
Annuals can be bought early July for pennies, and popping them in where you see a perennial done for the year helps keep a garden blooming. I don’t have many annuals, but it is enough to keep my camera clicking.