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Cape May Garden Journal: Late Bloomers

By Jane Kashlak
Cape May Times Garden Columnist

Tatarian Asters in meadowOctober 4, 2004 - I'm amazed at how much color we still have in our Cape May garden.

It's all thanks to those late bloomers that have been saving up their energy since spring.

When I'm talking about late bloomers, I'm not talking about flowers, like boltonia and caryopteris, that bloom at the end of August.

I'm talking about flowers that don't even think about blooming in Cape May until the end of September or early October.

Just when most of the New England asters are starting to fade, the Tatarian Aster starts sending billows of soft lilac flowers six or eight feet into the air. I saw a gorgeous stand of them this weekend in my friend Ro's meadow. (above)

One Monarch was happily nectaring on the flowers. (above left)

At the same time, bright white Montauk Daisies are popping open around town.

Autumn SageOur Montauk Daisies are planted next to a patch of Salvia Greggi - Autumn Sage. This little sage is well named - even though it's October, the plant's covered with pink flowers .

Then there are the soft, billowy cushions of white snakeroot - the late blooming eupatorium related to the more familiar Joe Pye Weed. If you have a somewhat shady spot on the east or north side of the house, snakeroot would be very happy there.

Our hybrid goldenrods are done by now, but our wild field and seaside goldenrods are in full tilt boogy.

New England AsterAnd although many of our New England asters are already forming seed heads, some still have fresh flowers that are drawing in the butterflies.

Which is why gardening in Cape May is so wonderful.

Hard to believe by the looks of things right now that, in just a few weeks, we'll be counting the weeks until spring.

 

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Tatarian Aster

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