The fall “Show Stopper” bites the dust

Just a few days ago- the swamp sunflower was reaching for the sky-10′ tall and flowering profusely

There was some thunder and rain last night, nothing too extreme but this morning when I looked out my window, my  Hellanthus simulans  (the swamp sunflower)  was sprawled over the garden path.

This morning, the plant was blown over, the  small and shallow roots were pulled out of the ground, causing the whole plant to topple over

This native sunflower from Niche Gardens was planted last year and I was astounded at it’s rapid growth. I would have been totally distraught at losing it-had there not been another seedling growing deeper in the bed, a tenth of the size, completely untouched by the storm. Next year, I will prune this seedling to keep it smaller, and bushier.

The fall Show Stopper and it’s supporting cast of plants

The Swamp sunflower is a Show- Stopper, ( or should I say- was a Show- Stopper) that needs a lot of space both vertically and horizontally. The bright golden yellow is a perfect foil and complimentary color for the blooms and berries of fall in purples and blues; the lilac ‘Raydon’s favorite’ aster, the deep purple fuzzy Mexican sage, the dark indigo blue ‘black and blue’ salvia,  violet blue Mexican petunias, powdery blue hardy ageratum, and  the magenta purple American beautyberry.

Bold red, orange, pink and yellow zinnia and deep rich red dahlias spice up the collection of blues and purples and snuggle at the foot of the 10′ sunflower stalks. The feathery texture of Amsonia hubrichtii  grows alongside the beautyberry with an airy Gaura ‘Siskiyou Pink’ at their feet.

While the swamp sunflowers take center stage, in the other parts of the bed  the yellow is repeated in  a soft, lemon shade with ‘Gethsemene moonlight’ chrysanthemum and some ‘blue bedder’ salvia.  ‘Prince Henry’ Japanese anemone adds a touch of deep cerise. Beside the Amsonia and the beautyberry,  ‘soulful feast’ chrysanthemum  picks up the magenta in the beautyberry, and the pink in the ‘Siskiyou Pink’ Gaura

A very large bouquet and an abundance of thick stalks, getting ready to be chopped up for the compost piles.
‘Soulful feast’ chrysanthemums-purple buds open to a raspberry pink.
Add the soft yellow of ‘Gethsemene Moonlight’ with the lighter blue salvia “Blue Bedder


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