Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buttonbush [Cephalanthus occidentalis]

This plant ‘labors in obscurity’ says Dr. Dirr in his Hardy Trees and Shrubs manual; which may be why I wasn’t able to readily identify it when a friend asked me what it was last month. Except for these strange, creamy white flowers that appear in August, this large native shrub remains fairly anonymous. Its habit and texture remind me of Viburnum.

The temperatures are falling and the days are getting shorter. The garden is growing well and we received some much needed rain last week. Unfortunately that wind and rain bent over my smaller butterfly bush and I had to cut it back several feet. I still have blooms in the garden, but they are growing fewer. It’s time to think about fall annuals and select spring bulbs.

I’m turning my attention to planning and possible garden renovations this fall. I’ve decided to grow fewer tomatoes and increase my pepper varieties next year. I’ll remove some of the sedum and ultimately have more room for perennials. I’d like to include cut flowers and increase wildlife/pollinator habitat/food sources where possible.

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