August 31, 2022

Wordless Wednesday: Late August Fen

late summer with insets
Late August Fen
[Insets, L to R: Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum),
Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), Sweet Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)]

midsummer insets
July Fen
[Insets, L to R: Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Sawtooth Sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus),
Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum), Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya)]

spring insets
May Fen
[Insets, L to R: Wood Betony (Pedicularis canadensis), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea)]

January Fen

August 24, 2022

Wild Senna for Wildflower Wednesday


It's Wildflower Wednesday--the fourth Wednesday of the month--when gardeners around the world share information about some of their favorite wildflowers. This month, my pick is Wild Senna (S. hebecarpa).

As the ferns begin to senesce, and the brown and mustard shades of foliage begin to settle into the back garden, the Wild Senna brightens the landscape. This plant is definitely the focal point this time of year, under the central Oak and framed by the ferns, the Pachysandra, and the potted Oxalis 'Zinfandel' (O. vulcanicola), and Fuchsia 'Autumnale.'

flowers and buds

The buds are bright (this photo was taken about a week ago), and the flowers of Wild Senna are buttery yellow, open, and inviting to pollinators. Later in the season, the seedpods form, which I'll try to remember to highlight in a future post.


Some of the benefits of this plant, in addition to its beauty:
  • I almost always find bumblebees enjoying its pollen and nectar;
  • It seems to be rabbit-resistant, unlike so many native plants I've tried to establish in this shady garden;
  • It's hardy in USDA garden zones 4 to 8.
  • Some sources say it needs full sun, but it's thriving here in dappled shade, with late afternoon sun;
  • It stands tall, providing an anchor to the plants around it;
  • A horizontal root system protects it from heavy wind damage;
  • It's a host plant for various sulphur butterflies and other species; and
  • It attracts hummingbirds.

I could go on; I really enjoy and appreciate this plant, especially this time of year.


Actually, I enjoy it for most of the mid to late growing season, as the foliage of Wild Senna is nearly as fun as the flowers.


It's a great native plant to add to just about any Eastern North American garden. Its range extends from Ontario east to Maine, and south from Alabama through Georgia and the Carolinas. It's a bright spot, even in partial shade, in the late-summer landscape.

Thanks to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday. Head on over to her blog to learn about wildflowers from around the world.

August 15, 2022

August Bloom Day: Pots, Perennials, and Pollinators

Potted Mix

Like most gardeners at this time of year, I have many luscious blooms and plantings to celebrate. I'm linking in today to Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens. In addition to the colorful potted flowers and foliage above, I'm enjoying many other garden goodies. Here are just a few.

Allium Summer Beauty

The 'Summer Beauty' Alliums (A. angulosum) I planted around the mailbox last year are settling in this summer. I have them in other spots in the garden, too, but I think this sunny location will be perfect for them.

Fuchsia Marinka

I've overwintered Fuchsia 'Marinka' for many years now. The plants always get set back a bit with seasonal change, but they readjust and thrive in the garden from May through early October, when I bring them in before the first frost.

Fuchsia Dark Eyes

Fuchsia 'Dark Eyes' is another favorite. I've never overwintered it, but maybe I'll try this year.


Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is still going strong, with new blooms, buds, and foliage, as host plant food for late-season monarch caterpillars.


This patch of Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) also blooms for most of the summer and into the fall, until the first hard freeze. It's always covered with honey bees and bumblebees.

Coleus Black Dragon

Who doesn't love the variegated foliage of Coleus (C. scutellarioides)? But the flowers are worthy of praise, too. I always buy several cultivars for my potted arrangements. This one is 'Black Dragon.'

NG Impatiens

'Magnum Purple' New Guinea Impatiens (I. hawkeri) is rich with color and lush health.

Blue Vervain

Native Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) is another pollinator favorite. The tall branches blew over during a windy storm, but I have them staked a bit and they're still vital and available for the pollinators.

Rubeckia Gold Rush

'American Gold Rush' Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbecka fulgida), also at the base of the mailbox, took time to reappear and bloom this year. I'm happy to see it's back and happy.

Angelonia Alonia Big Blue

And 'Alonia Big Blue' Angelonia (A. angustifolia) is definitely a dramatic bloomer. It's especially lovely splashed with dew and rainfall.

I'm very thankful for a great growing season this year in my USDA zone 5a garden. We've had just enough rain and plenty of warmth for the plants to thrive.

Happy Bloom Day! Head on over to May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming in gardens around the world.

August 01, 2022

Cut Flowers Aplenty

arrangement 1

While I could spend hours arranging cut flowers, indecision and abundance are guiding me toward "quick creativity" lately. Not as "perfect" as it could be, but this arrangement serves the purpose for a happy display.


In addition to Hydrangea foliage, I included yellow and orange Gladiolus...


Various shades of Zinnias...


Bright pink Cosmos, and...


Spikes of Liatris.

arrangement 2

About a week ago, I used similar flowers in this arrangement, also featuring Rudbeckia branches and Hosta flowers.

So many cut flowers; I feel rich with options. Have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at "Rambling in the Garden."