Late September

The rains have returned, the garden and this gardener are relieved. While it is fresher and much less crispy out there, it does feel as if autumn is a little early. I could be imagining this, but the colors feel as if they are shifting earlier than in years past. Of course, all I have to do is go into my archive of photos to determine if my hunch is correct or not, or I could roll with it and present a series of photographs taken in the garden late September. Let's do the latter.

This angle is surprising for me to see in a photograph for it is really a rather sloped garden and you wouldn't know it from this shot. This is the edge of the meadow and gravel gardens, and you can just make out the path that divides the two on the left. The Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' actually showed signs of yellowing a month ago. Now I feel it will be accelerated as the weather continues to cool.

Schizostylis coccinea 'Oregon Sunset' (syn. Hesperantha coccinea) is especially lovely this year with Itea v. 'Henry's Garnet' behind it.

The meadow garden has a long season of interest. Here asters, penstemon, agastache, grasses and Verbena bonariensis intermingle to form a wall of froth.

Where worlds meet: the edge of the orchard with the edge of the labyrinth garden in the distance. This open area was, up until a week ago, brown dirt. Clover that had been dormant is now growing again with the recent rains.

This is a native rose, likely Rosa gymnocarpa, bald hip rose and its gorgeous coloration.

I like the purple asters next to the now flowering Bupleurum fruticosum and inherited peony that I leave there because it's stubborn and really wants to live there.

The view as seen from my shed porch.

Our recently acquired teak chairs from a Craigslist ad. Love them. In the background, the large shrub is actually Hebe parviflora ssp. angustifolia  that has been limbed up a little. The red foliage is Itea v. 'Henry's Garnet' again.

Abutilon 'Mother of Pearl' purchased from work last year. This has been going strong for several weeks now in a pot in a shady area near the front porch.

Aster 'Winston Churchill' is a strikingly vibrant color.

This is essentially the first shot but taken from above looking down.

Edge of the labyrinth with Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn' getting large enough to stand out against its neighbors. It adds some weight and structure to this area.

One of our four olive trees has surprisingly produced a decent crop of olives this year. This happens to be the least damaged of the four from the winter storm of 2016/17.

Solidago 'Fireworks' is amazing for late color and for pollinators. On that note, my next blog post will feature late-season flowers to extend the beauty well into autumn. This is one of those plants. Plus, it's incredibly drought tolerant.

The dogwood tree, Cornus nuttallii in the foreground, has been very active with birds feeding on its orange fruits - northern flickers especially love them.

One of two Yucca rostratas that are very small still but happy. This one is in a sea of Hebe 'Quicksilver'. 

Calluna vulgaris 'Spring Torch' is a very attractive heather. There are several planted nearby and they are beginning to fill in.

Layers of garden from one vantage point. What I appreciate are the dark of the solid Hebe cupressoides with the light Stipa gigantea flowers in the backgound. The spikes, Acanthus mollis, in the center are lovely but the plant is losing its old leaves as new growth emerges from the base so it looks a bit ratty.

Muhlengergia rigens, deer grass, blowing in the wind.

The edge of the labyrinth garden where I have cleaned off dead leaves of the Silphium perfoliatum, cup plant, so that the tall dark verticals of its stems will stand out rather than look ratty. Yucca recurviflora in the foreground.

Hebes, yuccas and a variety of sun-lovers in the gravel garden.

Amsonia hubrichtii at the edge of the meadow beginning to turn its trademark gold color while Nassella tenuissima, Mexican feather grass, blows in the wind.

Arctostaphylos pumila, always lovely.

A grape shifts colors to vibrant reds next to a couple of sunflowers at the edge of the vegetable garden.

Muhlenbergia rigens, deer grass, in the distance.

Cardinal climber making its way up a bean pole in the vegetable garden.

Two small before and afters for fun. Here, pay attention to the crummy looking crocosmia behind the wood post on the right.

It was never happy there, always fried in the hot sun so out it went. In its place are a couple of Canna musafolia and a huge rock I excavated from behind the shed. I like it much better.

The second before and after - this before is the only shot I could find of the old chicken coop that FM removed and gave to a friend who wants chickens. 

That small area of green in the middle of this gravel path is where the old coop was. Although you can't see it in this photo, the whole area is (of course) planted with a myriad of new plants. I can't wait to show it to you all once it fills in a bit better. And oh, how about this view rather than the green cube? Niiiice. Thank you, FM, once again. You are amazing.

There it is, a general tour of the sunnier parts of Chickadee Gardens in late September. Do you feel like autumn is in the air? 

We thank you for tuning in and reading and commenting, happy gardening one and all!


  1. All very nice... but then you end with the chicken coop - wow! Impressive. Also, those new chairs are gorgeous. Wait, I'm supposed to be talking about plants...! : )

    1. Hee hee..sometimes the accessories are the highlight. It's ok.

  2. Rain is magic! I love the colorful asters and the Schizostylis, which I've never grown. I just dug out my native aster, which had exploded in size following the abundant rains we had a couple of years ago only to present a burned out mess this year due to our woefully low rainfall. SoCal is still flirting with autumn off and on but we're officially back in summer mode again now and will probably be stuck there for at least another week. Rain is but a dream...

    1. Rain IS magic. Unbelievable how quickly the clover/"lawn" recovered after being completely dormant in places for months, for example. I am SO crossing my fingers for you for some rain. Pleeease! It makes a world of difference and is frightening when it's at such low levels.

  3. My Sango Kaku also started yellowing really early. I love your chairs! And of course, your garden looks fabulous. Can you believe tomorrow is October 1st? Where did the time go?

    1. Aaah, yours too. Interesting. It started a week or two after heat dome - I am surprised, frankly, that its leaves didn't fry in that event.

      Oh, October here we are! Crazy.

  4. Your garden wears the change of seasons beautifully! The chill and the rain say autumn to me, but my garden still looks like summer. Well, except for the parts of the front garden that are now buried under the neighbor's red and gold dogwood leaves. Ugh.

    You've got me wondering where my Schizostylis coccinea 'Oregon Sunset' is. It's disappeared! Perhaps not enough summer water...

    1. Thank you Danger! Yes, I suppose it's the rain and chill that say autumn. Definitely in the transition zone between full blown autumn and summer.

      Oh, no - if you need a clump of Schizostylis - give me the word, I'll dig a few up for you. It could have fried for you, it is a water lover. I have it planted at the base of a slope so any moisture that does enter the soil makes its way down to it and it's heavy soil, too which is why I think it did ok.

  5. Great score on the chairs! I'm bringing a couple of Hebe 'Quicksilver' to try out in our new little garden in Tillamook -- I learn so much from yours!

    1. Woo hoo! Aren't they cool? Fellow gardener/blogger Patricia of Plant Lust is AMAZING at finding estate sales and Craigslist ads and posts them to share with others on Facebook. I snatched them up as soon as she posted them and am so happy I did. I've wanted nice garden furniture for a while but the budget....well. So glad to have found these.

      Your new garden in Tillamook? Oooh, I will have to find out more! ;) How exciting!


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