These thick stems of warm copper couldn't be more welcome as Fall deepens and darkens to Winter. Six feet tall and more, they were only inches tall in May. Perhaps a coppice of willow, Siberian dogwood, or boxelder?
Nope. These are stems of a perennial whose shameless and glad-to-see-you blooms are among the largest of any plant hardy north of Miami. When in flower in Summer, swamp mallow is automatically one of the garden's peaks. Leafless and flower-free after several hard frosts, it is still a peak. How many other perennials can say the same?