Six on Saturday – 19/09/2020 – Summer Finale

It’s two degrees celsius right now, about 36 fahrenheit – a fitting temperature for the final Saturday of summer. Areas around us have had frost already, but our temperatures are expected to rebound a bit in the coming weeks. And it will reach the mid teens this afternoon, warm enough for me to add a coat of paint to the outside window trim, and warm enough for these late summer blossoms to open once again. Although I love autumn colours and temperatures, and it’s a bit of a relief not to have to keep monitoring and watering tomatoes, mid September usually sees the last of the 150 or so flowering plant species I have come into bloom. They’re part of my Six today – to see six things in gardens around the world, check out The Propagator’s site.

Late summer and autumn in Canada and much of the U.S. means gardeners buy Chrysanthemums. Here in the north, we generally think of them as annuals – if we’re lucky and spend some time preparing a winter spot for them they may come back next year. I love this bright red one I have in a pot just in front of a patch of annual Salvia.

My one and only artichoke! After spending an inordinate amount of time growing twelve plants from seed (starting them on February 2), I actually have a flower bud! Half of my plants were promptly eaten after I planted them, either by rabbits or bugs – I’ll never know… I gave one to a friend and she reports it has no leaves left but a flower stalk. The other four in my garden have nice big leaves but no sign of flowering. With our cool but not freezing temperatures, I expect this one will grow – a stalk will appear and I’ll either eat it in a few weeks or, more likely, let it flower.

I brought my purple pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa) outside this summer – left it on the back porch where it received a few hours of sunshine every morning, and also watered it well – often every day. It has rewarded me with these lovely tall flower spikes.

I love this aster so much – Sky Blue Aster – Symphyotrichum oolentangiense – there’s just one spot in the yard where it grows – I need to search it out every year. Yup, still there!

These white asters, on the other hand, are everywhere! Billowy blooms mixed in with purple New England asters and yellow goldenrod – a perfect welcome to autumn!


    1. I wish we had more of a selection here – basically it’s al the same looking flower, in various colours. I was at a public conservatory last year where they had obviously grown their own – dozens of shapes and sizes!

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  1. Pretty flowers! I have not had any mums in Florida, I suspect they would fry, so I enjoyed seeing yours! And the Artichoke, is that a Cardoon or something else? It is 86 F here and remarkably humid. Too hot to garden still though I have a lot of seeds started. Happy Fall!

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    1. Even here the Mum needs to be watered every day – it’s a very thirsty plant! That’s a globe artichoke – foliage and flower similar to cardoon but not the same; this variety is Imperial Star, and it’s SUPPOSED to be a cool weather artichoke (usually they grow in California) that will bloom in our short growing season.

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    1. I was very pleasantly surprised when this one started to show such a rich red – it wasn’t open at all when I bought it, and I thought it would be one of the more traditional rusty orange-red ones.


  2. Autumn crocus (or their substitutes) seem to be all the rage at the moment. They did not do well here . . . or more accurately, they did not bloom in autumn. Instead, they bloomed in spring with the rest of the crocus. They did the same the following year. (By that time, they crocus that bloom in spring were gone. They are not reliably perennial here.) They look just like they are supposed to, but do not bloom when they were supposed to. I do not know what happened, but I suspect that they were not really autumn crocus. I do not mind. They are delightful whenever they bloom.

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  3. Lots to enjoy in your six. First, the colour combination of the chrysanthemums and salvias which is beautiful. Next, the artichoke. I have one in my garden, but I’m not sure whether it’s an artichoke or a cardoon. And the Eucomis. I’d love to grow one of those: such an interesting, sculptural plant.

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  4. I noticed chrysanthemums for sale at the grocery store this morning. They’re still only tight little buds, but if I suspected any were this gorgeous red rather than the pedestrian yellow and orange that’s usually for sale, I’d snap one up in a minute. Of course, I’d have to persuade a neighbor with sunshine to let me put it ‘there’ rather than ‘here,’ but she might be willing.

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  5. The colour of those chrysanthemum flowers is very warming. Your Eucomis is doing very well based on the healthy looking leaves. The leaves of my plants tend to look a little worse for wear come autumn. I like to looser flower head; the ones I grow seem to be more compact (cant remember the species name of them offhand). Love those white asters!

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