Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bloom Day Weedflowers

September Bloom Day ushers in a completely different ambiance to the low spot on a North Carolina mountain top. The mood has shifted. The White Snakeroot, Ageratina altissima is in full bloom now. It actually prefers the shadier parts beneath the trees of the open forest. Next door in the ridge top garden the Ageratina is close to carpet thick.

The ample height of the wild things at this time of year obscures the notion of garden more so than at any other season. Still, the yellow horticultural mum that followed me home this spring is in full bloom and shines through next to some of its wild Asteraceae relatives.

The Asteraceae is a big family. Protected from the wild things with a thick layer of wood chip mulch, the horticultural zinnias continue their months long cheery display. I don't think they could cope out there with their wild relatives.

As long as I have a thick layer of mulch, I have a little more say so in who goes where and what goes next to whom.

Without mulch, you never know what will park itself next to something I planted out there in the garden to be. And around here chances are very good it will be weedflower that we might like.

Or not. I am totally over the New England Aster. They grow five feet tall at least and then proceed to fall to the ground when it is time to bloom. What is the point of getting that big if they are going to do that? Sun, shade, bunched up, all alone, it doesn't matter. They fall over. That is their habit, period. They go on the edit out list.

This White Wood Aster, Eurybia divaricata, has much better compact and upstanding manners.

Seedling Joe Pye are even getting in on the act for September Bloom Day and hinting strongly that they would make a good pairing next to the pink Muhly Grass. I take the hint. The location for both may need to be changed though.

Yea, though I swat my way through the valley of the tallflower meadow,
I will fear no weeding, for a fine garden lies within me.

Thou annointest my head with seeds and burs; the tallflower meadow runneth over.
Surely wildflowers and beauty shall follow me all the days of my life

And I will garden in the land of the tallflower meadow forever.

September Bloom Day ended in a cold drizzling fog. Another sign that the mood has shifted. Around the world many gardens can show many moods. Be sure to visit Bloom Day headquarters in the fantabulous Indianapolis for another hundred takes on weedflowers.


scottweberpdx said...

Hahahaha...I totally agree about the floppy all the Joe Pye seedlings...after 3 years, I just spotted my first JP excited...but yeah, will have to move at some point :-)

Fairegarden said...


Anonymous said...

I have never seen a New England aster, but part of the charm of California asters is the fact that they are prostrate. I don't think they would look very good at all as upright plants. But then, they don't even particularly start out upright the way you describe New England asters doing.