Late Summer at Chickadee Gardens

Late summer is certainly one of my favorite times of year. Plants that have given their all start to slow down, seed heads appear and birds visit more frequently. The changes in the garden are welcome as I prepare for next year and do some evaluating of what stays and what goes. To mark the changes in season I took a few moments this past week to photograph a few plants and so thought we could go for a tour of the September garden. 

Let's begin in the back.

The skies certainly change ... this is one of those orange-colored evenings. The eco roof which I blogged about a few weeks ago is filling in nicely and looks good in orange, don't you think?

Sedum 'Matrona' and Echinacea 'White Swan' have an extra pink to them in this light.

One of my few roses, from Heirloom Roses in St. Paul, Oregon, 'Jude the Obscure'. If you ever wanted a flower for its scent, this is it. Heaven.

Eco roof in regular ol' evening light...still nice, I do love that backlit glowy goodness!

I planted a whole packet of these giant (9' high) sunflower seeds (Mammoth Russian), I got ONE bloom. I blame the squirrels.

I wonder if the cats realize the Fall rains are on the way and milling around in the backyard will be a thing of memory (do cats have memories?). For anyone concerned about outdoor cats, they are indoor only with a completely fenced-in space and are only allowed out "supervised" as Hobbes, the giant one, can leap 6' straight up. No joke.

Phormium (a Fred Meyer "save me" sale, unknown variety) and Pineapple sage.

Pineapple sage, a baby agave from my mom's plant (unknown variety), sedum spathulifolium 'purpureum' and Cotyledon 'Happy Young Lady.'

Bronze Phormium, Chocolate cosmos, Nicotiana ... in the chocolate-bronze-reddish-brownish garden.


Abutilon megapotamium 'Red' from Cistus Tough Love sale last year. It's a monster this year, well worth the $2.

Mimulus aurantiacus ... another red variety. Native to SW Oregon and California, a great pick for hot areas.

I love these silver and deep purple/black combinations. This is Convolvulus cneorum 'Xera Sphere' (Xera Plants) and Sweet Potato Vine 'Blackie'.

Same combination with Hebe 'Quicksilver'.

Hebe 'Champion'.

The shed planting ... the salvias are about finished blooming, the grass (Orange sedge) and orange plants, Zauschneria (California Fuchsia) are just getting going. The hummingbirds love the orange tube-shaped plants, and also the salvias.

Evening in the back garden; I savor every moment.

Podophyllum, hosta (unknown variety), Adiantum aleuticum - Maidenhair fern (native to the Pacific Northwest), Japanese Painted fern in the shade garden.

Carex conica 'Snowline, Astilbes and their seed heads and sedums. The shade garden is showing signs of slowing down, too.

Heuchera 'Marmalade', Uncinia rubra, Carex testacea are all going strong!

The last of the apples, the Lady Fern in the foreground (left) is starting to yellow a bit, but still pretty lovely. The Echinops (in front of the blue shed) are all done but the seed heads are great so I leave them.

Sedum 'Matrona' looking gorgeous...I love her soft colors. She really shines in the soft suns of September.

The Echinaceas are starting to fade, but these few are holding on. Pretty soon the Pine Siskins and Goldfinches will be all over these seed heads. Very entertaining!

My lone 9' sunflower! The petals are all gone as of today ... the Canary Creeper vine (Tropaeolum perigrinum) in the background is gone, aphids had their way with it but it was fun while it lasted.

Good old-fashioned Zinnias in the veggie bed. I had never grown them before, decided to try some seeds this year and they did well. I like to think they are happy.

Now we leave the back garden and head out to the front.

Unknown Pittosporum from Cistus Tough Love sale last year. Anyone? It was, I thought, dead. It proved me wrong. It's finally leafing out nearly a year later, but worth it. Lovely.

Spiky variety to greet guests. David's little oak tree in the container took a beating those few super hot days, crispy leaves ... but new growth is still coming!

Some Hakonechola 'Aurea", Carex, native Oxalis. The dark purple shrub was here when we moved in, Loropetalum chinense or Razzleberry. Kind of a cool shrub, takes a beating and David's pruning! You know it's tough.

The Crape Myrtle sends out a late summer snow shower every year ... kind of nice!

Moody sunflowers in the hell strip. I've grown these for, yes, the fun flowers, but also for the birds.

Aaah, the Echinacea are starting to go. These too are for the pollinators and the birds. I love the cools seed heads, they certainly have winter interest and provide food for wildlife.

David's happy sunflower.

More "Crape Myrtle snow".

Hakenochola street! Also Phygelius 'Moonraker'. This is going away in 2 weeks, too big for its britches. Too bad, the hummingbirds love it and it blooms forever. But ... right plant, right place ... right? Anyone want it?

And that concludes our late summer tour of Chickadee Gardens. I think next time I'll post about the native plants in the garden and see how they fare over the changing seasons. Until next time, thank you for reading and your comments! Cheers, here's to the birds.


  1. fifi la fontaine11:44 AM PDT

    Looks fabulous, T! I am inspired by all the flowers and will try pumping up the petal factor in my yard next year.

    1. Thanks Fifi! I'd love to see your garden sometime!

  2. Your garden is enchanting. I loved the shot with the apples and your happy little shed.

    1. Thank you so much! Thanks for visiting my blog, too! I like that shot also, with my happy little "Frida Kahlo" shed - one needs a bit of color in the gray months of winter around Portland!

  3. Anonymous11:29 PM PDT

    Test...great blog Tam!!


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