Late summer blues

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Agastache feoniculum (lavender hyssop) is a relatively new plant to my garden, and like almost everything, it’s looking spectacular this year. Here you see it surrounded by two species of Rudbeckia, little bluestem, and young Monarda didyma (bergamot). This plant has a wonderful licorice scent, and the flowers are delicious in salads. It loves a dry, sunny site and seems to have no cultural problems. Its only drawback is that it doesn’t seem to be truly perennial. I suspect it’s a self-seeding annual or biennial, although plant catalogs list it as perennial. In my garden, it comes up in different places from year to year, not always in the same place like a true perennial.

Another plant for late-summer blues is great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). This plant is in full bloom right now, and the flowers are almost startlingly blue. You can see them across the yard. Great blue lobelia is extremely adaptable, from full sun to almost full shade, and although it would probably prefer a slightly wetter site, it does very well in my dry, sandy soil. This spring I divided one large clump and spread it all over the backyard, and we are enjoying it very much. This one, at the edge of my forest, is in almost total shade.

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