September is a big month in this garden…the equivalent of a king’s tide (the highest full-moon tide that temporarily erases local beaches).
But this is no act of nature. Big, tall plants have always been a preference. Still, the height and fullness of September is startling.
Even so there are some low-key incidents, like this quiet corner that is one of my favorites to visit at the moment. I’ve shown a couple of these plants before but not as a group portrait, and that’s how they really shine. The constituent plants are so thinly built that I’ll need to show closeups.
Unlike Joe-Pye weed and miscanthus and the dahlias and helianthus that read from a distance, each of these plants is so fizzy and ethereal that a group portrait is like a Seurat painting without the people and parasols. The three are a verbascum, a linaria, and a verbena, all started from seed this year. It’s sheer happenstance that they are all blooming together in a small protected area that seemed a safe bet for cosseting new baby plants. Apart from the linaria, multiples of these same plants are dotted throughout the garden, but they’ve reached their best potential in this little patch. Reseeding of any or all would be most welcome!
And other than reseeding, it’s uncertain whether any of these plants will return next year, just as there will never be precisely this version of a September garden again.
A very absorbing, quiet corner in person, but as a photo it’s not very compelling with the delicate spatial relationships rendered flat. (Don’t you want to settle a potted agave in the midst of the planting?)
Good public gardens are full of examples of planting that is easily legible by a general audience. Some strong planting was seen at the Bellevue Botanic Garden we visited recently in late August.
Near the entrance the planting was emphatic and clearly legible.
Deeper into BBG, the planting did become looser, more free form.
This. The false hemp backlit by late afternoon sun — I’d love to see this at home in a future September garden.