Saturday, September 24, 2016

More late September surprises!

The lycoris is the ultimate pop-up plant. For most of the year, you'll be like, "What lycoris?" And then one day, voila! There it is.
Fall-blooming lycoris beside a few remnant blooms of fairy rose

They usually come up during our Indian Summer, those Bermuda highs that hit at the tail-end of our first fall nor-easter, when sargassum seaweed and the biting flies take over the beach and the last of the sulfur butterflies are leaving this area (don't ask me for where, as all the ones I've seen are inexplicably heading north). The lycoris' fiery red petals are especially welcome at this, the season of DYCs (Damn Yellow Composites: tickseed, goldenrod, etc., etc.)
Along the roadsides, you'll see plenty of DYCs along with duck potato, the last of the dotted horsemint, marsh mallows, hot pink meadow beauties, morning glories, and the furry-looking blooms of baccharis.
The sun during this time of year performs some marvelous light-play, especially during the dawn and dusk.

In a few weeks, if it stays sunny and dry, it'll be a good time to collect ripened flower seeds, things like moonflower, clownflower, sweetpea, and horsemint.

Now I'll show you a plant that isn't much of a surprise. You can ignore it, pull it up, trample it, curse at it, and still, about this time of year, you'll have to just respect its tenacity and yield to it.

So here's the latest conversation with this stuff.
Me: I'd love to plant some sweet potato, cilantro, maybe clary sage in this garden.
Ageratum:  Nothing doing. This is my spot.
Me: Tell you what, I'll give you this corner over here to grow up and bloom, plenty of sun and fresh air...whaddaya say?
Ageratum: Sure thing.
Me, months later: What do you think you're DOING?! I gave you THAT corner and that corner, only!
Ageratum: Chillax! You don't have time to tend a veggie garden, anyway.
Ageratum:       Huh? Haaaah?? Come on, call me beautiful. You know you want to.
                       Besides, guess who loves me.

Every year, the ageratum wins until about February when, with the highest of hope and ambition, I clear it to start that dream vegetable garden...again.

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