Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Garden's Softer Side

This past spring, I planted a Mexican bush sage in the sunny island bed.  What I didn't realize at the time was that she wasn't going to mind her manners...that she was going to infringe on her neighbors...which have become lost beneath her big, beautiful, bushy flowering spikes.
She's made sure that no other plants would spoil her debut in the island bed.

But, she's putting on such a spectacular autumn display that I have forgiven her for being somewhat obtrusive.

She definitely likes taking center stage in the front yard, so this past weekend I moved some of the plants hidden beneath her skirt. Her bulging size was a good excuse...I mean reason...to expand this garden bed, as I needed the space to move everything a little bit forward.

 Here's a closer look at her spectacular purple flower spikes.
Who can resist the gray-green foliage and the soft, velvety flower spikes...absolutely lovely!

Ahhh, while she IS the most dominant force in the island bed this fall...she does have some competition in beauty and softness.
The red fountain grass is giving her a run for her money.
Don't they make a wonderful couple?

The soft, magenta-colored, furry tassels on the fountain grass scream (elegantly, of course) autumn as they flow to and fro in the breeze.

So, what a wonderful surprise it was when these two plants...that have spent the summer maturing into a grand size...burst into bloom this month.

It's a good thing they'll both need a severe trim after winter, since other plants will vie for their chance at being shining stars in the island bed in upcoming seasons.


Antique ART Garden said...

Beautiful sage, I have some but it is not nearly as happy as yours. beautiful photos too, Gina

Meems said...

Hi Susan,
Mexican Bush Sage is a show-stopper and I truly love it. Even when not in bloom the blue-ish foliage is a favorite. And always a fan of the purple fountain grass when sited properly. Yours does complement the sage and makes for a wonderful autumn display.

My sage is blooming but falling over. I'm quite convinced it needs a few more hours of sunshine than this garden has to offer. *sigh*

I know you must be enjoying that planting bed... it is lovely.

ChrisC said...

I love the puple fountain grass.A true show stopper,in my mind.
You reminded me about all the trimming,etc. we Florida gardeners have in the future.Oh well....it's all worth it.

FLGardenGuy said...

Really? You're pushing the other plants forward, but you know what's gonna happen, right? They're just gonna get swolled again. I say, just giver her the room she wants.

Floridagirl said...

That is an awesome specimen! And yes, the fountain-grass combo is perfect. I'm wanting a Mexican Bush Sage now.... Wish they weren't so big.

NanaK said...

What a lovely combo with the Mexican Sage and the Red Fountain grass. You seem to have all the seasons covered very well in that island bed. I can learn much from that concept. Mostly, I know I need to move my Mexican Sage to a sunnier spot and enlarge a certain sunny flowerbed!

Susan said...

Hi Gina...My sage is probably very happy because the ground stays damp most of the summer...even the drought-tolerant plants seem to thrive better with constant moisture.

Hi Meems...I got lucky with the autumn display. Sometimes things work out great without any intervention from me other than planting them in the ground.

Hi Chris...Sorry to remind you of the trimming in late winter. Certainly, we can't have another winter like last year...can we?

FlGardenGuy...You are probably right about that. It's so hard to know how big a plant is actually going to get. Oh well, I can always move them again.

FloridaGirl...Hey, I'm surprised you don't have a bush sage. It is a really neat plant.

Hi Kay...It's a bit of a challenge to get the bed looking right in all 4 seasons. Spring is the best. I've got to work on summer a bit more, and add another specimen that goes along with these two for autumn and winter...well we will see

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