Friday, September 10, 2010

Early September Color

This time of year there is plenty of color in the garden.  The Pentas lanceolata provide dots of color in red, pink, purple and white. 

The view from the backporch is always filled with butterflies sipping from the clusters of blossoms.

Pinecone ginger,  Zingiber zerumbet, blooms are turning red now and soon will be incorporated in arrangements for Thanksgiving and Christmas get togethers.

Lots of color greets anyone coming through the entryway garden.   The Caladiums are still growing well and the Impatiens have just exploded with growth.

The cranberry colored Pentas that are part of the new front flower bed are butterfly magnets.  The grandkids and I watch dancing butterflies from the front windows.  I enjoy the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' which has been producing purple plumes since Spring but the butterflies don't pay any attention to them.   

While the red shrimp plants,  Justicia brandegeana, are making me wait for blooms, the Justicia brandegeana 'Fruit Cocktail' are bursting with buds.  They are another butterfly favorite especially of the Giant Swallowtail.

When the light is just right, green can be bright and beautiful.  The normally shady back corner glows in the sunlight of early morning.

Without a doubt, the showiest flower of the season is the Red Firespike, Odontonema strictum.  This cold sensitive shrub is killed to the ground every winter but grows back by summer to a height of six feet.  The many large spikes of tiny trumpet shaped flowers are very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. 

There is a lot of color in early September here at My Garden Path.  New buds are forming on many plants promising color will continue for months to come.


  1. Your garden is beautiful, NanaK, and swimming in butterflies! They do seem to be drawn to the pentas, don't they? Our gardens are as good as a butterfly conservatory, aren't they? They just seem to flutter all day long. I remember the first 12 months I lived here, I groaned and moaned to Husband that we would never see a butterfly or bird. What a different a few years and a few dozen plants make!

    You have so many plants I'm not growing...oh, I need more room! I'd love to have some Mona lavender and a firespike. I grew pinecone ginger in my first ever garden back in my 20's. It was a passalong. I need to find it again. Got it from Mom, but I don't think I've seen it in her garden since moving back. Hmmm.... She must have pulled it out.

  2. Kay,
    A very colorful garden indeed. And so many butterflies to enjoy. I've noticed I've kind of narrowed down my pentas to red only. I used to have all the colors but somehow I've gotten away from the pinks. I sure do like seeing them though.

    I'm so excited about finally having red firespike. Maybe it won't be so cold this winter? Fingers crossed. I've noticed ,too, that butterflies don't pay any attention to the mona lavender. I wonder why. They are so showy right now full with blooms. Love your morning light photo... I just love that bright green!

  3. Kay-Your garden is lovely. I especially like the pinecone ginger. I didn't realize it would last until December. I'm praying that this winter is a "true" Florida winter--no freezing temps. I just learned to like pentas this summer. They really are spectacular. While I like all of them, and have pinks, whites, and reds, I have to agree with Meems. To me, the reds are showstoppers. They are so bright, and they really draw the butterflies.

    I'm going to nurse this cold a bit longer, so I can enjoy the Florida humidity again. Happy photo snapping along the path.

  4. I didn't know that about pinecone ginger.I certainly hope mine last untl then.That would be great!
    I love the cranberry pentas,too,but the butterflies seem to prefer our pink and whites.But I don't care,as long as they come.

  5. Floridagirl - I do have a lot of butterflies and I love sitting on the back porch and watching them, along with my ONE hummingbird who comes by at least twice a day now. Next time you come to the "big city" to shop you'll have to e-mail me to let me know and stop by for some pinecone ginger:)

    Meems - I've read that the red pentas are the butterfly and hummingbird favorite, but honestly, I have just as many on the pink and cranberry. The purple and the white are not as busy with nectar gatherers. I'm loving my Monas right now.

    Brando - Hope you are feeling better soon. Maybe my pinecone gingers were just weird last year in keeping those cones at the end of the year. I don't remember when they started blooming as I didn't keep up with that sort of thing before blogging.

    ChrisC - I'm sure hoping my pinecones stay for the Holiday Season this year. Like I said in the comment above, I don't know when they started blooming last year but they were definitely around between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now I'm wondering if that was just because it was the first year I had them planted.

  6. Kay: Your sepetember garden is so beautiful. This is the time that we gardeners forgot all about winter brown sticks :) I am so jealous of your Giant Swallowtail!

  7. Very nice, my firespike is blooming now too, hooray! I believe your first butterfly photo may be the Zebra Longwing, if so, that's our state (FL) butterfly.

  8. Ami - It really is amazing isn't it how our gardens have grown since the "brown stick" days. I have to remember this when winter comes again.

    Darla - I love the red firespike and it propagates so easily. I think you're right about the butterfly being a Zebra Longwing.

  9. Kay, your pinecone ginger is AWESOME!!!! I planted some, but it's still young. Your garden is so lush and that photo of the sunlit foliage!!


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.