Crabby about Chrysanthemums

I have nothing against Chrysanthemums but ……it feels to me like the garden industry is pushing these Flowers so hard that nowadays Fall = Chrysanthemums.

I think that is BORING. I also think it is a disservice to the wonderful Flowers that bloom in the fall without having to be imported from Home Depot. I don’t think we need a zillion Chrysanthemums around the place right now. So much is still colorful and blooming in and out of gardens. Fall is a colorful time and not just during “peak foliage”. The clouds are dramatic shades of purple and blue. The fields and gardens are filled with a lot of vibrant Flowers and foliage. Yes, sometimes the annual Flowers are a bit bedraggled by now, but often they are not. The slugs and bugs have had their way, but ultimately have not prevailed.

Really, there is no need to “mummify”.

I thought I would prove my point by going out and taking some pictures of what is blooming right now in our gardens. I didn’t think much about fall when I planted any of the gardens however even without focusing on it, the gardens are a wonderful jumble of fall Flowers. All but the Sunflower pictures and the final shot of the Red Shiso were taken today.

The Sunflowers glory in fall’s clear bright light.


Even a solitary Sunflower makes a big moment of beauty.

The Torchflowers have fall panache as well, and the bumble bees love them.

The Orange Zinnias continue their display in the vegetable garden and now the Cosmos come into their own making a vibrant contrast to the Zinnias.


A few rogue Red Zinnias slipped in amongst the Orange Zinnias and look wonderful against the Red Shiso backdrop.


In the perennial beds, Persian Carpet and Old Mexico Zinnias are zesty against the Sedum “Ruby Glow.”

They also shine all by themselves and don’t stop blooming for a moment.

The Sedum “Autumn Joy” is about to come into its own after filling the gardens with cushions of soft green buds all summer.

The Heliotropes are also at their best right now. They grow so slowly, but reward our patience amply.

Even the Begonias which have done heavy duty service on our front porch all summer still look lovely.


Out in the Rose garden, a few Roses throw off a second bloom for us.

And those Roses that don’t give us the glory of their Rose hips.

The Asters or Michaelmas Daisies begin to fill the hedgerows, fields, and garden beds. They make a colorful counterpoint to all the Goldenrod.


In the Arbor Garden the Lingularia “Desdemona” blends with Black Eyed Susans.


Overhead, wands of Black Cohosh (Cicimifuga Racemosa), covered with honeybees. give off their heady tropical fragrance.


And if foliage is what you are after, the Red Shiso is looking pretty spectacular. Here it is, just as the sun hits it after one of our recent rains.

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