As October moves forward, some changes are finally occuring in the South Border.
The usual view looks largely the same (picture taken after the shadows began to fall eastward). It is easy to note how much better the Perovskia is blooming now. Tucked in behind the Pennisetum, it has become a mass of purple bloom.
If one looks more closely, there are a number of new sights: plenty of blooms on the miniature roses...
...and between them, the porcelin white and pink of the successfully transplanted Salvia "Summer Jewels".
Still hiding among the more noticeable autumn-blooming plants, the irises I planted last month are putting up some new leaves. Three tall bearded irises went into the South Border as well as a smaller, white arilbred down in the corner. In the photo below is "Carry Me Home", name still neatly written on a leaf.
Lagerstroemia indica "Rhapsody in Pink" has continued summer bloom though I expected it to finish last month.
And on the other hand, one can find a couple of flower sprays from Muhlenbergia capillaris "Regal Mist", the first plumes just beginning to open. In the small, sunny garden, this means autumn has arrived!
It looks as though there will be a lot of bloom season overlap between the Muhlenbergia and the Pennisetum further down the border.
Invisible beyond the Pennisetum, there is one more exciting new source of bloom. This is Salvia leucantha "Santa Barbara", which though planted last spring has done nothing more than survive through the summer. It is at last growing a bit and now has a few spikes of fuzzy lavender-colored blooms. I used one in yesterday's vase.
I planted with the expectation of it becoming another strong structural element. Its slow start has postponed that, and in the meantime Eremophila "Valentine" has sent out a burst of growth in all directions, nearly overtaking the young Salvia planted in front. The trials of a gardener who still has no idea what to expect from her plants...
As you can see, the Salvia's foliage is more like culinary sage than many of the garden varieties, though more slender and, so far, not so white.
And lastly, there is the always beautiful Eremophila hygrophana to finish off this week's garden view with Cathy at Words and Herbs. Thanks, Cathy!
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 94 F (34 C)/Low: 65 F (18 C); Humidity: 11%-44%
Cathy (Wednesday, 12 October 2016 01:29)
That last photo is lovely Amy! Good to see your Perovskia flowering well, and the Muhly grass just starting to flower too. Mine also has one spike about to unfold and I am waiting with bated breath! I think your light is softer again this week too. :)
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 12 October 2016 14:14)
I do hope your Muhly grass thrives for you, Cathy; it is so spectacular in full bloom! I think you are right about the light ;-) I had to photograph later in the day as my usual time was taken up with the farrier's arrival. I think the shadows actually look a little different now too!
Diana Studer (Wednesday, 12 October 2016 15:52)
Our indigenous sages can be used for cooking, but I tried one and found it too fiercely medicinal to appeal. And yours?
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 12 October 2016 23:38)
Diana - The short answer is "no". The longer answer is like this: Salvia leucantha is the most like culinary sage I've grown yet, and it still has few leaves to spare. Of the others, S. greggii varieties have a lovely scent, something between sage and mint, but I never think it smells edible and haven't tried it. S. reptans smells like gasoline so I would think it would be ghastly in cooking (a delightful plant nevertheless!). S. farinacea doesn't have as much scent. S. alpina is said by one source to be useful in cooking, but I've not grown it so far... I suspect it would be the same as yours -- too medicinal. Fortunately I do have a nice clump of good Salvia officinalis, and it grows beautifully here :)
Kris P (Thursday, 13 October 2016)
That Salvia is doing better in your garden than mine, Amy - I don't know if it doesn't appreciate the crowd of plants around it or it simply doesn't like SoCal. My Eremophila hygrophana is also VERY slow growing but at least it seems more likely to survive.
Amy@Smallsunnygarden (Thursday, 13 October 2016 23:39)
The Salvia just sat and looked pathetic all summer, Kris. Nothing cheered it up until temperatures dropped a little. But it survived summer, the reviews on it are good, and it's listed for sunset zone 12, so I'm hoping this winter will see it establish well. I agree about Eremophila hygrophana; a bit of a slow grower, and I think mine took a year to really settle in anyway.