“The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown,
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.”
–Helen Hunt Jackson
Seaside Goldenrod In My Garden
(Click to Zoom on any Picture)
Well, they tell me fall is fast approaching. In some parts of the country, it’s actually getting cooler. Hard for me to believe either of those things when the mercury is still topping out at 93 degrees each day around here. It’s a shame, too, because autumn is really my favorite time of year. I love everything about it, especially when I’m lucky enough to spend a week or two in the mountains. Crisp, cool mornings, with the smell of apples and frosted pumpkins in the air. *sigh* Bliss!!
However, Florida does have the advantage of offering year-round gardening, with some annuals and vegetables that actually perform better in the winter than at any other time. So I guess you take the good with the bad. And this time of year, we do have some fall bloomers that begin to perform well. I have several that I really enjoy, but probably my favorite of all is goldenrod. I love it! And there are so many wonderful varieties to enjoy, with different shapes to the bloom heads, different heights, and different leaves. But as far as I know, they all sport glorious sunny yellow flowers that attract bees.
Roadside Goldenrod (Unknown species)
My personal favorite is seaside goldenrod, shown at the top of the page, which has low growing basal rosettes of large, leathery leaves, but sends up 6 and 7 foot tall bloom spikes that are covered in bumblebees for weeks. It self-seeds in my garden, though not in an invasive way at all, and I wouldn’t be without it.
Close Up of Goldenrod with Beetle
Photo from Backyard Biology (Thank you, Sue!)
Check out Sue’s post featuring the picture above and a whole series of wonderful goldenrod and prairie pictures. They’re great! And by the way, don’t worry about goldenrod causing allergy problems. They have gotten a false rap all these years. Turns out their pollen is too heavy to float on the breeze, and they’ve been getting the blame for problems caused by ragweed. Ragweed blooms are inconspicuous and often share the same field with the showier goldenrod. People go, “I’m sneezing. Look at all those yellow flowers over there. They must be the cause.” But trust me. You can grow all the goldenrod you want with impunity! If you haven’t added any to your wildflower or butterfly garden, you really should try it.
What fall flowers do YOU love to grow? I’d love to hear from you!