Last week was just so busy that I didn’t get a chance to post new pictures. The talk and tour of the garden went well and was sold out. Thanks to everyone who came!
The garden looked fantastic when I got back from vacation. The new mulch did just what it was supposed to do – amazing isn’t it? There were almost no weeds, except in the groundcovers that were not thoroughly weeded before I left! Last Tuesday two of our wonderful volunteers, Susan and Verna Mae, weeded the groundcovers as well. Now the next job is to tackle the rest of the Poa annua between the flagstones in the path.
Late in the summer, perennial gardens sometimes start to look tired; often there just isn’t much in bloom. If you need a little inspiration, here are some of my favourites blooming now.
I have mentioned Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ before, but now it is absolutely covered in flowers. All of the heleniums, or sneezeweeds, are blooming now and add a lot of colour to the late summer garden. This picture also gives a little glimpse of the montane mulch we used.

Helenium 'Mardi Gras'


The three butterfly bushes, Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’ are flowering again this year. This plant appears to be marginally hardy here in Alberta, but obviously in a protected site it can survive. 

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'


My favourite sedum in the trials is Sedum ‘Autumn Charm’. The plants are dense, compact mounds with dark green and ivory/gold foliage. 

Sedum 'Autumn Charm'


False sunflower adds a pop of  bright yellow colour to the late summer garden. Many of them, however, can be just too large for small urban gardens. Heliopsis ‘Tuscan Sun’ is a dwarf form from Proven Winners that was planted last year inthe trials. It is about 65 cm tall this year and the flowers are just as bright and sunny as the larger varieties. 

Heliopsis 'Tuscan Sun'


 Bouteloua gracilis, also called mosquito grass or blue grama grass, is another one of our visitors’ favourites. It is a small fine-textured grass that is native to Alberta. The seeds heads look like eyelashes.  

Bouteloua gracilis


 Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ is  a graduate from 2008. The bright chartreuse foliage is a great contrast to the spikes of the purple flowers. A little warning though – this plant does self-seed, although we haven’t found it to be a huge problem. 

Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'


 The newest ligularia in the trials, Ligularia ‘Osiris Fantaisie’, is flowering for the first time. This is a dwarf ligularia with daisy-like flowers.  The leaves are dark green with dark purple undersides and dark purple stems. 

Ligularia 'Osiris Fantaisie'

Echinacea ‘Coconut Lime’ is looking like it may be a winner. Three plants were put in last year. They emerged early, grew vigorously this year and are now blooming prolifically. Several gardeners in Calgary report that this coneflower has done very well for them over the past few years. 

Echinacea 'Coconut Lime'

 The weather in Calgary is feeling rather autumnal lately. There is even a frost warning for tonight! Let’s hope for a warm and beautiful fall. We certainly haven’t had much warm weather all summer.