September is Still Summer

Late summer here extends  into September and October. Plants love it. This is the best time of year for gardens in the south. I like to garden visit now, everything is full and flowing, purple and orange, dripping with the weight of summer growth and buzzing with moths and the energy of life.

Here are few favorite summer plants and some plants that like to be planted now. Keep reading below the pictures though!  You’ll find more about the spectacular garden of and artist and plantswoman, where it all connects; creativity, flowers, animals, reverence and a wicked sense of humor.

But in this late heat, it’s also time to plan for spring. The most simple but almost forgotten way to have masses of spring flowers is to sow seeds now!  Stick with simple tried and true things like larkspur, toadflax, scarlet frill mustard and oats.

Almost as easy, fall planted bulbs that are carefully selected and spread and you’ll have flowers for years.  My go-to bulbs, ones I plant thousands of for different clients every year include these plants pictured below: Allium ‘Ambasador’, Jonquil ‘Hillstar’, Crinum ‘Aurora Glorialis’, and on the lower row, toadflax, Mexican marigold, Leucojum ‘Gravetey Giant’ and Crinum ‘Jubilee’.

In my friend Mary Alice’s garden, you feel powerful summer energy everywhere. She’s an artist, the energy flows from her, connecting her art, fish, birds, trees, pitcher plants, even dirt and moss. This is her motherland. Great stuff and great plants. I can’t think of one time I’ve ever seen this whole entire garden in one trip. There are too many secret spots, winding paths and changing sculptures. The place is unique and visiting takes me back to my student days when I hung with a crew of outdoor artist in Seattle. (keep reading after pics)

Mary Alice and her husband Bear share the garden with guest; it’s a gathering place for family, friends and bus tours. Soon, it will be featured in the first national book about landscape and garden design using palms — using them as a part of a garden instead of a thing that stands out.  That’s the magic of this garden, everything flows, fits and weaves it together into one magical journey.  This cool garden is full of art, architecture, engineering, animals and even an amazing pizza oven.





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