It's well into early fall, and we've had our first frost, along with some very cool wet weather. Parts of the garden are looking bedraggled. But there are still some great, bright flowers, attracting lots of bees and a few butterflies. Here are a few in bloom in mid-September.
These first two are a Helenium, one of about 40 species, related to the asters. I thought the late afternoon sun shining through this was amazing, highlighting the mixture of orange and yellow colours in the bloom.
The centre of the flower is just as amazing. Some of this group are known as sneezeweeds, not because they make you sneeze, but because the dried leaves were formerly used in making snuff.
This large plant is Ligularia, with bright orange coloured flowers has very large leaves (one variety is known as 'Elephant Ears'), with something of a purplish colour to them. The flowers look a little ragged to me, but when you look closely, it's very striking. It spreads easily too, and there are numerous horticultural varieties.
These are the florets of a Buddleia, or Butterfly Bush, and it does attract butterflies, bees and other insects. It's a large bush, well over 6 feet tall, but just makes it into bloom at the end of the summer.
And this last one is a deep brilliant orange Tithonia, adding another splash of bright colour to the garden in late summer. Notice the spirals in the centre. I'm trying to understand the Fibonacci numbers that many spirals in nature correspond to; if I figure it out I'll let you know.