Tithonia rotundifolia 'Torch'

Late Summer Heat

This post is a follow-up to last week’s ‘Late Summer Colour’. In it, I mentioned that I’d seen several especially striking orange flowers during my visit to Fullers Mill Garden and that I’d save them for their own post.

I’ve also included a couple of flowers from my own garden. The first is Tithonia rotundifolia ‘Torch’, which is so brilliant in the sunshine that the colours almost shimmer. And the other is the vibrant red-orange echinacea in the final photo. (I couldn’t resist buying this one, as a change from the pink echinaceas that I’ve grown in the past.)

Left: Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’ (aka montbretia).  Right: Kniphofia (‘red-hot pokers’).

So, back to the flowers at Fullers Mill… Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’ was particularly showy, with larger flowers than any of the other crocosmias that I’ve seen before. The richness of the orange, with the deep red markings and the glow from the light shining through the crocosmia’s petals made me think of a sumptuous silk.

Near the crocosmias were the bold flowers of red hot pokers (kniphofias), looking like fizzing orange rockets spurting up from the ground. (Which makes me wonder if it would be possible to plant a border to suggest fireworks. That could be fun!)

Crocosmia Emily Mackenzie 2916
Flower of Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’

A little calmer than the dazzling oranges of the crocosmias  and kniphofias were the bi-coloured flowers of the heleniums. The helenium is certainly less flamboyant than the others. Even so, the golden-yellow and reddish-orange of its petals are vibrant, and they have a warmth that is typical of many of our late summer flowers.

Heleniums 2888
Helenium flowers (aka sneezeweed) radiate warmth.

Earlier in the summer the gardens in this area had a lot of the cooler colours in them – reds and pinks that contain some purple, magenta, lavender, blue and white. (We probably choose these colours because we want to create a suggestion of coolness to offset hot temperatures.)

But now, as the season gets closer to its end and the temperatures have dropped, the late-summer flowers are creating a feeling of warmth through their hot colours. (Which are enhanced by the warmer light towards the end of the day.) So these radiant orange flowers help us to hang on to the idea of summer for a bit longer – and I hope they continue to do so for a good while yet!

Orange Echinacea-2494
Another flower from my garden – a brilliant echinacea daisy.

30 thoughts on “Late Summer Heat

    1. Thank you Deeksha! I’m glad you enjoyed the orange flowers. Although it’s called the ‘Mexican Sunflower’, the tithonia is really a different plant to the usual sunflowers…plant names are often confusing!! But they are wonderful. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Liz! I hadn’t tried to grow tithonia before but a generous friend gave me several young plants – and they’ve grown huge! Now they look like a big orange-flowered bush! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Indira! I was amazed by how vivid the tithonia looked in the sunshine – never had anything as bright in the garden before! πŸ™‚


  1. Wow Ann! What an interesting group of orange blooms – I had no idea there were so many. I really like the “red hot pokers” – they are very different looking. And to think that orange is such a traditional fall color. Great pix!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful images as usual! I think I’ve decided this year that the late summer/ early autumn flowers are my favourites, especially in a well planted border. A couple of years ago I visited a local NT property to take photographs specifically of orange flowers for a project I was working on. The images were nowhere near as good as yours, but I was thrilled by the wonderful range of orange blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Stephanie! I love the late summer flowers because they stave off the end of summer for a little while. BTW, I have your ‘Stitched Textiles: Nature’ and it’s a wonderful source of inspiration for collage…so when the winter comes, it will help to keep me busy… πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks Steve! πŸ™‚ I usually try to save one of my favourite shots for the end because that’s what automatically shows up on Facebook and Twitter. (I’ve no idea why it’s the last shot instead of the first.)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The camera I’m using now is a Canon 5D mk4 with the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and I’m very pleased with it. The lens has good close focusing and is very sharp. For macro I’ll be using my Mamiya 120mm macro lens from my old Mamiya 645 film camera (with an adaptor). I also have an older Canon 50D that I mostly use with a Tamron 90mm macro. (And I have several old film cameras tucked away…)

      Liked by 1 person

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