Saturday, October 01, 2011

Asters and Sunflowers

Today I found out that the exciting new native plant Meg brought back from Jones County NC was not what we thought it was. It was labeled Narrow Leaf Sunflower Helianthus angustifolius. Granted I did not know the Latin name for Swamp Sunflower. Just a while ago I looked it up only to find out Swamp Sunflower has another name Narrow Leaf Sunflower. Our garden has huge clumps of Swamp Sunflower already.
 Above is Swamp Sunflower which I got from a friend many years ago. This clump is 3 foot in diameter, massive and grows to 12 foot tall. Below the the Narrow Leaf Sunflower(aka Swamp Sunflower) just added to the front garden months ago, oops. Who is going to tell Meg?
Meg brought this aster from her place. It grows to over 6 foot tall and the butterflies love it! Best part is it is very hard to kill, most asters crap out on me. Same aster different lighting with a big mosquito on it.  Does anyone know what this is called? 



We bought a 6 pack of sweet potato plants and planted them in the garden. I have not grown sweet potatoes since I was a young man, here is the harvest from 6 plants.
Some news from the garden. This morning was pretty cold in the low 40s, the bees were inside the hive this morning it was the first time since I got them I could not see any bees at the entrance.

We had a Monarch flying about in the yard today, first I've seen here this fall!

Hey I saw a sign along the road today RedDog Nursery was having a plant sale. I followed the signs and found a house with a tent with lots of flowers. Those of you that follow this blog know I'm taken with hellebores. Well they had doubles, 2 year old beautiful doubles for $8 I purchased three of them. These are from Terranova Nursery, the ones I got are Cotton Candy, Painted Doubles and Amber Gem. I'm sure if I'd order any one of these online I'd paid more than $24 with shipping.

Oh and this is my 300th post on this blog, can you believe it?

18 comments:

Andrea said...

Since the asters look like they are different because of the lighting, which one is near the real color. I love it being blue and prolific in flowering. That mosquito looks scary because it looks so big, but i know it is only because of your lens. I am scared of mosquitoes because we have dengue here, I didn't know it also likes nectar, haven't seen them in flowers.

FlowerLady said...

I love those asters every time I see them in someone's blog. The color just zaps me. Your sunflowers are great too.

Enjoy your fall weather and your recent purchase of hellebores.

FlowerLady

Cameron said...

If you want 3-4 more huge clumps of swamp sunflower, just bring a shovel to my place! Mine is 'First Light' so it stays low--you know, only 5 feet high! Come get it! :-)

I've seen just a few Monarchs. Monarch Watch says crossing Oklahoma, Texas and other big drought areas will be devastating to the population as there is nothing growing for them. My son told me yesterday that many ranchers are destroying their livestock because there's no grazing land.

greggo said...

Nice photos, aster are worth the wait.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I don't want to add any confusion, but the second yewllow plant might be native or woodland sunflower (does well in full sun, too), Helianthus divaricatus. If your aster is a cultivar, I can't help you, but judging from its leaves it may be a smooth leaf aster, Symphyotrichum laeve, but those tend to only get 3 feet tall. I've been growing potatoes in plastic bins and I love it!

Patrick's Garden said...

Nice pix. I love that tall blue aster. 6' of it must looked grand. Enjoyed this post.

kanak7 said...

Congrats on your 300th post!! I never knew asters could be that tall. Such a prolific bloomer and that's a nice harvest!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Asters are fantastic!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ah ha!!! I think they're (don't laugh) big asters, Aster tataricus!

LKW said...

Randy, your aster looks a lot like mine, but asters are tricky and variable.

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is one of the most commonly available. Often when you buy them, they've been sheared and shaped, and look compact (like a mum). Then, the following year they're normal height, and floppy!

BTW, there are a couple of different Helianthus species called swamp sunflowers, but they're both enjoyable, especially with some mid-summer pruning. One has much narrower leaves than the other, as you pointed out.

Congrats on 300 posts!
Lisa

tina said...

Congrats on 300 posts. I've enjoyed every single one of your posts.

I have to agree with Monica on the Tartaricus. A favorite native aster growing here that I got by mistake. I did not know narrow leaf sunflower and swamp sunflower were one and the same. There are so many yellow sunflowers-cup plant, helianthus, heliopsis, rudbeckia, bidens, wing tip I think you said, that I can hardly tell them apart. I do have the Helianthus 'Maximillion' and actually really like it alot. They can spread fast though as you know. Maybe it is what Monica said and another type of sunflower. Sure is pretty. Sweet potatoes look great and just in time for Thanksgiving!

Skeeter said...

That Aster is awesome! I cant seem to keep them in my garden either.

Your sweet potatoe crop is reminding me that Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Wow, we love bargains dont we?

As I type, I am watching a bee buzzing around the window by me. I wonder if it is trying to ge inside where it is warmer.

300! Happy Blogging....

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Randy, Great post with all the beautiful native flowers!!

(Scary mosquito - you grow 'em big in the south!) ;-)

Great potatoes - I envy your eating them... and as for the hellebores - YOU struck pay dirt!!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

We have a cousin to your sunflower here, in the same family, but belongs to the Encelia genus. The flowers look very much alike.

Did you see Gail's aster post recently at Clay and Limestone? She just posted about Aster tataricus, looks very similar, and also grows very large. I wonder if it's the same one as yours?

the bees house said...

congratulations on your 300th! Love your photos but then we all know bees love flowers! seriously - great site.

Rebecca said...

Wow! 300 posts! When do you find time to garden???? (Ha, ha!)

Asters- so beautiful. Totally not acquainted with those tall ones AND I hope never to meet a mosquito that size!

Sweet potatoes...I luv them. I don't know you well enough to know if you're bragging or complaining about the size of the crop. (I don't know anything about how they bear, obviously.)

john said...

Oh, come on. That's a mosquito? It looks as big as a hummingbird. You must need to wear armor in the garden...

Kim and Victoria said...

I agree with Monica, probably aster tartaricus, we have some and they're great.