I ran across this image recently as I filed my photos from this year. Taken at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, this combination (in a container) includes the dark maroon leaves of calico plant (Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight') and a neat vine called Spanish flag (Mina lobata). I love this vine which a morning glory relative. The newest blooms open red and age to orange, yellow, then white. The bloom clusters look like little puffs of flame and grown as a typical vine, it will grow very quickly during the growing season. It's commonly available in seed catalogs although the calico plant is easier found as a plant in spring. I took a shot today of the white wood aster (Aster divaricata 'Raiche Form') which is in full bloom in a partly shaded portion of our woodland walk garden. This plant in native to Eastern North America, particularly in the Appalachians. We planted a large colony and are rewarded every year with a haze of blooms. This plant will even flower decently in shade. Here's a good example of a plant that botanists have decide to reclassify. The new name replaces Aster with Eurybia. So when people say that they like that white aster, I'll reply, "Oh, do you mean the Eurybia?" I'll sound so cool.
We had another productive day with Marianne running the plant sale and Marv and Terry accomplishing edging work, planting and other duties. They are a good team and collectively seem to get more work done in a day than I would ever think possible for two people. Hal and Doris planted mums in their area and continue to do a great job in a high profile area of the gardens. Jerry was all over pruning, collecting debris and helping me with two large crews of volunteers that came for the United Way "Day of Caring". I had 20 people today that did a great job raking and cleaning up our mounting mountains of leaves! The flood guys kept busy and shifted from path work to more tree removal. Tomorrow they tackle a 60' tall Siberian elm with a 30" diameter trunk. They've always been up for a challenge though.... Below is the variegated giant reed grass (Arundo donax 'Versicolor'). This seasonal, non-hardy grass will grow up to 5-7' tall in one season and has such an interesting, bright look. One of my favorites for sure.