September is the final month of summer, and its autumnal equinox ushers in the fall season. In our region, September doesn’t always feel like summer is coming to an end––it’s often still swelteringly hot even as the month draws to a close. But this year, September has seen its fair share of the crisp, chilly nights and warm days that characterize fall. Here at the Garden, there has been a flurry of activity from bugs, birds, spiders, and squirrels as they begin to prepare for the cooler months ahead. Late-summer bloomers like zinnias, cockscomb, and asters show off with brilliant color. Roses see a second peak as the weather grows milder. The smell of fresh herbs fills the air when the sun warms them in the late afternoon. There’s still an abundance of green in the landscape, but a keen eye will see that the growing has slowed, and the first hints of fall color are beginning to creep in.
Fruiting papaya trees, warm marigolds, and ornamental peppers light up the landscape for a final show of summer color in the Kemper Center’s Bank of America Family Vegetable Garden. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Lanterns dot the scenery in the Japanese Garden. Although the Japanese Festival could not take place this year in its usual form, some festivities, including candlelit walks, were still possible. Photo by Erik S. Anderson.
An aerial view of the Carver Garden shows off the water lily display. September was the last month to view our expansive water lily collection. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Ducks can often be spotted flocking to food at the Koi Bridge or hiding away in the English Woodland Garden. Photo by Erik S. Anderson.
A hybrid tea rose, Rosa ‘Korvioros’ SAVANNAH SUNBELT, blooms in the Gladney Rose Garden. September sees a second peak for rose blooms, which prefer the mild weather of early fall to the stress of St. Louis summer heat. Photo by Tom Incrocci.
Popcorn Cassia blooms on the west side of the Linnean House. The Linnean House is currently undergoing renovations including tuck-pointing, window maintenance, and a doorway that will allow entry from the new Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center upon its completion. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Cockscomb blooms in the Herb Garden. Cockscombs feature large-crested flower heads, with each flower head somewhat resembling the comb of a rooster. These brightly-colored flowers will bloom throughout summer into fall––sometimes sticking around until the first frost. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
Brightly-colored zinnias bloom in the Kemper Center Vegetable Garden. Zinnias are a favorite of many gardeners for their continuous summer to fall bloom. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
The Kemper Home Gardening Center and its Demonstration Gardens are always bursting with new growing experiments and plant inspiration for home gardeners . Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Dragonflies are a common Garden visitor that can often be spotted hovering around the water lily displays. Photo by Erik S. Anderson.
A fountain of water arcs over blooming lavender. The Boxwood Garden features leaping fountains that jet into the air and bound over the paths. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
An eastern carpenter bee visits Michaelmas daisies. These flowers are a type of aster. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
A dahlia blooms on a cloudy day in the Boxwood Garden. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
A daylily, Mascara Snake, blooms in the Jenkins Daylily Garden. Most daylilies bloom from late June to early September, but a few varieties, including this one, have been bred to bloom later in the year. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
A monarch caterpillar visits a swamp milkweed plant. September saw flocks of monarch caterpillars and butterflies passing through the Garden. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Beautyberry plants have begun to put out their fruits. These berries will deepen in color and stick around for months to come; they provide a splash of pinkish color in the winter landscape. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
Okra grows in the Kemper Center’s Vegetable Garden. This beautiful blushing variety is called ‘Hill Country Heirloom Red.’ Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
A visitor enjoys annual displays in the Kemper Center’s Demonstration Gardens. His presence provides some scale to show the impressive height that the banana plants have reached in just this one growing season. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
Peppers grow from a hanging basket in the Kemper Center. Horticulturists are experimenting with growing several different kinds of plants from hanging baskets this year, including strawberries, tomatoes, and more. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Blazing star grows in the Butterfly Garden. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Monarch butterflies visit blooming blazing star. Photo by Erik S. Anderson.
Autumn crocus takes over in the field adjacent to the English Woodland Garden. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
The gazebo in Boxwood Garden glows in the soft light of late afternoon. As the days grow shorter, golden hour comes earlier each day. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
The Chihuly glass sculptures are a fixture of the garden. Here, they decorate the trellises of the Gladney Rose Garden. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Goldenrod blooms in the Glade Garden. Although goldenrod is often wrongly blamed for fall allergies, it is actually harmless to humans and great for pollinators; ragweed is the real culprit with which goldenrod is so often confused. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Blue cardinal flower blooms from late summer into fall. Photo by Erik S. Anderson.
Winged sumac changes to red in the Kemper Center Gardens. Sumac is usually one of the first plants to change color. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
Fountain grass adds color and dimension to a display in the Kemper Center Member Entry Court. Photo by Cassidy Moody.
By the end of September, the first hint of fall color is starting to show its face in the Boxwood Garden. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
White Autumn Crocus blooms in the Boxwood Garden. The first appearance of crocus is often interpreted as a sure sign that fall has arrived. Photo by Kristina Schall DeYong.
Kristina Schall DeYong
Digital Media Specialist