As I write this it is again raining, ruining a second weekend in a row for most outdoor activities. This is not a complaint, but is more an observation. We were blessed this summer with fairly regular rains, at least in the second half, and that fact combined with our normal heat has caused many of my plants to put on some rank growth. Space is always an issue in my small garden, but especially in late summer as the annuals and tropicals are at peak and tend to crowd out the year-round residents. Late September is usually when I start itching for the big fall cut back and begin reaching for a machete.
Here is the arbor leading up my front steps. If I lived in a less laid back neighborhood, I would have long since received a visit from the city's code division with a neighbor's complaint.
Climbing the arbor is a plant I have waited two years to bloom, Millettia reticulata. This plant goes by the common name of Evergreen Wisteria, but it is not a Wisteria, and here, it is not evergreen, but is hardy. This vine should reach about 15' tall and is supposed to bloom in late summer. In this picture it looks as if it is covered in frost, but that is actually a very fine dew.
Another plant I have been waiting to bloom is Ruellia brittoniana, commonly known as Mexican Petunia. Several of my neighbors have it, and for them it has obtained near-weed status, perhaps that will come in time for me.
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage) is another indicator of the season, and mine have just started to bloom.
It rained so hard yesterday that my Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) was beaten down to the point I doubt it will ever stand up.
Also beaten down is my unstaked Dahlia x 'Bishop of York', but Dahlias do not need much of an excuse to flop.
This trio is Golden Jasmine (Jasminum officinale 'Aureum') and two varieties of Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides). The red one is my favorite, Big Red Judy and the variegated one I think is called 'Stained Glass'.
Another sign of late summer in my garden is the fruit fall from my Hardy Orange (Poncirus trifoliata). We were working on a bumper crop, but Irene culled quite a few before they had a chance to ripen. However, there are still plenty more yet to fall, for the neighborhood kids to pick up and throw and for me to step on in the driveway.
I have chosen this second Poncirus image as my entry in Gardening Gone Wild's Picture This Photo Contest. Though not as traditionally pretty as a blooming flower, fruit falling to the ground is one of the things that says "late summer in the garden" to me.