September Surprises and long-awaited prizes

Roses are regrouping, an iris is reblooming, and a couple of surprise blossoms are gracing the garden. Iris ‘Immortality’ is beautiful in June, but stunning in September. It’s been a consistent rebloomer  in at least two out of three years. Its stems are slightly shorter the second time around, but the flowers are just as large and fragrant. The single rose, ‘Pink Home Run’ from Proven Winners Color Choice starts out nearly red and fades slightly to a wonderful medium pink.

It’s been a long circuitous route toward the first bloom on my Oyama magnolia – Magnolia sieboldii. I’ve had it for at least six years, starting it out in a sunny position and moving it twice because of its hatred for heat and penchant for dropping leaves with the onset of mid-summer temps. So it’s been in the woods for a few years, becoming leggy and gangly. Yesterday I spotted something white at the tip of one of its branches. In order to avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I cut it and photographed it in a vase. I don’t know when it started to open but it’s a little brown around the edges. Was it worth it? Maybe. I’ll do a bit of pruning and feeding next spring and give it supplemental water during drought—things I hadn’t bothered with in the last couple of years.

Primula in September? Primula vialii, or orchid primrose, has a look all its own, with a thick reddish “drumstick” accented by pale blue florets at its base.

I planted three of these primroses last fall and they bloomed a bit in spring. What's surprising about it blooming now in the midst of a dry spell is just that--this species is reported to do best in a very moist situation--even in a bog! That's what's so cool about gardening--it's always full of surprises.

1 comment: