Last Blooms Standing

The last bouquet: Zinnias, Dahlias, Asters, Hedychium (ginger).

It's the most wonderful time of the year. For gardeners, anyway. Yes, the days are getting shorter and summer has come to an end. I think of spring and fall as the best part of summer. It's like flirting--more exciting than the actual relationship--spring and fall are about anticipation and the last hurrah.

Actaea is a fragrant late-bloomer that keeps company with Lespedeza and Japanese anemone.

Spring definitely is about looking forward. It's the start of something we've been waiting for all winter, after all. But fall, with its accompanying change in the air and characteristic light, is also about looking forward. I look forward to the last bloomers.

Tall stems of Actaea are about to turn into fragrant, fuzzy white bottlebrushes. I love the cultivars with dark leaves, so I've planted 'Chocoholic', 'Hillside Black Beauty', 'Brunette' and 'Pink Spike'.

Honestly, there is so much planted among my Actaea, I've lost touch with which is which, but none of them are doing poorly, so I would have to declare they are all winners.

For the latest-blooming Allium, plant this little cutie, 'Medusa'.

A new ornamental onion, Allium 'Medusa' blooms incredibaly late--after the more typical 'Millenium', which, in my garden, has finished blooming. 'Medusa' is just getting started, and is blooming near the big white Dahlia 'Tsuki Yori no Shisha' (translation: Messenger from the Moon).

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