The first photo above is of the Late Aster-Aster patens. Though this 4 ft aster is at the rear of my dry garden, it was a volunteer and in our current severe drought, it has had only the rain the sky gave it. The second photo is of the Rough Leaved goldenrod in the moist field across the road from where I live.
The third, smaller plant is the gray leaved, or Old field Goldenrod. This plant is in dry gravel on the side of a road.
Not one of these plants is weedy, not one would be out of place in a sunny New England garden. In the nursery trade one can find Solidago “Fireworks”, which is a cultivar of the Rough goldenrod.
Being autumnal myself, I have long preferred the late summer and autumn garden and its fiery colors. From now till freeze the tender salvias, spurred on by the short days, will bloom more enthusiastically. The magnificent marigold “Queen Sophia” will shine in the cool mornings.
This is the white goldenrod, the Solidaster. There are several robust plants that came into my dry garden before I made it a garden.
This is Ageratum “Dondo”, which I raised from seed. It has long stems and is used in the florist trade.
Salvia Windwalker, a floppy, but reliable bloom. In the driest, most sharply drained part of a sunny Zone 5B garden it will survive. My sister, who lives on a hill south of Concord, has one that lived through last winter.
Salvia “Amistad” may not be hardy, but it is the best and easiest salvia in my garden. Early blooming with an elegant bush like form, it will continue till freeze. It is not a dry garden plant, and it likes a bit of water and a bit of shade. It is a mystery to me why garden centers do not sell it.
Another four to five weeks and there will be only the hardiest of asters blooming. I saw the harbingers when I walked down along the Piscataguog today.