Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 2008 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

It's that bittersweet time of year once again, when frost could be here just about anytime. Very little is blooming here now other than the annual and tender plants. The ones that will be overwintered in our basement 'greenhouse' are gradually making their way inside, with only a few left to go. Some last-minute clearance perennials have been added to the garden in the last several weeks, and several perennials have been moved or divided.

New additions this fall include pink wood sorrel, bluebeard, lady's mantle, a Japanese anemone (trying this one for the second time. . . wish me luck,) Heuchera 'Autumn bride,' Nepeta 'blue wonder,' and Tricyrtis 'Lemon Twist.' The garden is winding down, and soon leaf duty will the primary weekend activity around here, as the garden begins it's long winter slumber.

Oxalis 'Rosea' - Pink Wood Sorrel, was a clearance plant I ran into at the end of August. I'm dubious about its hardiness and won't be surprised if it croaks over the winter. I couldn't resist this pretty, prolific bloomer though, planted it in a shady, sheltered spot in well-draining soil under an overgrown juniper bough, and I've got my fingers crossed hoping to see these sweet little blooms again next spring.

Variegated begonia in a hanging basket will be coming inside soon to overwinter in the basement.

Cuphea hyssopifolia - Mexican Heather, is on it's way to the basement too.

Double Impatiens in baskets will be brought in to overwinter. I'll be taking cuttings for new plants for next year.

Browallia -Amethyst Flower will be gone with the frost.

Sweet Potato Vine - A nice side benefit of overwintering them is that they bloomed in their second year. They didn't bloom at all last year.

This tropical hibiscus has already been brought inside, and will be overwintered in a sunny window in the living room. I didn't have the heart to remove the buds, and am enjoying the blooms indoors.

Fuchsia 'blackie' - after taking this shot, I pruned the fuchsia hard and moved it to its winter home in the basement. I must have cut off 30 or 40 buds and blooms. The fuchsia was one of the most popular blooms for the hummingbirds all summer. I left it outside until the hummingbirds disappeared. I haven't seen a hummingbird for over a week now.

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is one of few perennials still blooming.

Hemerocallis - Happy Returns is another.

The cell pack dahlias brightened containers all summer.

The mama Heliotrope was pruned back after taking this shot, and is now resting comfortably in its winter home in the basement after being transplanted into a larger container. Heliotropes have a sweet, light scent. They're loved by bees and butterflies, and by me. This plant is two years old, and several cuttings have been taken from her. The babies will stay outside and get hit by frost, and the mama will be the source of more cuttings for next spring.

Thank you Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Hop on over to Carol's blog to check out more bloom day posts!


  1. Garden Girl ... You garden is still so beautiful. I hope the sorrel makes it through winter for you .. I lost mine when I tried it .. and you have "Lemon Twist" !! I so wanted that one but it didn't come to Kingston yet. We haven't had a real frost yet either .. I'm sure it won't be long now.
    Great pictures of a still very pretty garden !

  2. Hiya garden girl,

    Can't quite make out whereabouts you are, but are you sure you can't plant your fuchsias out? Take a look at mine, which overwinter happily. (On my GBBD page today).

    It needs some courage to cut down the lonicera. I have never been lucky with them coming back. Unlike you, I adore them and their heavely scent for months on end. Summer nights with the windows wide open and the scent drifting in.. I shall miss that. They still have a perfume at the moment, but not for much longer.

    Your basement will be a lovely place to visit with all those 'resting' plants. ;-)

  3. Linda,

    I love your blooms, but am feeling real basement envy right now! As I read your post and you began listing all the lovelies moving in to the basement, I was sighing! I love basements, they are rare in Nashville! Except the older city neighborhoods. Wait a minute! This is about Bloom Day, Not Basement Envy Day!

    It is quite amazing that a simple little cell pack of Dahlias or any plant can bring such color into the garden all summer long! The Browallia is lovely and the Sweet Potato Vine flower is a delightful surprise! I hope the Oxalis over winters in your garden, it is a lovely little flower. Mine does but we are now Zone 7, so many plants will over winter that hadn't just few years ago.

    Have a lovely day in the garden.


  4. Looking good for October, Lintys. I spent yesterday bringing in some plants as well. I think the beginning of the end of Fall is in sight.

  5. Hi Linda, your garden is still quite inspiring. Glad to see you are still taking advantage of bargain plants too, this is a good way to enrich the diversity. Hope your oxalis makes it to spring! Your basement must be like a second garden with all those wonderful plants there as snowbirds. LOL

  6. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Lots of lovely blooms in your garden still Linda. That variegated begonia has amazing foliage and I've never seen the bloom on a Sweet Potato vine, what a pretty little flower. :) Happy GBBD!

  7. Hello from southern Wisconsin! Lots of lovely things happening in your garden for GBBD.

    Liked your post about cutting back. We have those yews and arborvitae of which you speak. Have been working on controlling and removing them for a dozen years.

    We have the landscape plan (and bill) from when our house was built in 1954 which is kind of fun!

  8. Linda, I keep trying to imagine what it must be like to know my garden is facing certain demise with an impending frost ahead... Especially while it looks so lush like yours. I suppose you get used to it in certain climes but after living here all my life I'm not sure I would have the heart for it. :-)

    I'm seeing impatiens and that midnight(?) taro(in the background), mexican heather, sweet potato vine, and hibiscus looks familiar but the others are to be enjoyed in your photos only.That begonia is marvelous. Did your fuschia bloom since spring? It is still magnificent or I guess I should say 'was' before you did your pruning.

    Always a pleasure to see what's blooming in your pretty garden. I've got the 2.5 yr old all week and not sure if I can get my post up. It's a little easier to drag my laptop around and leave comments. (can't be sure anything I write is sensible though- lots of interruptions) lol

  9. Your garden looks lovely, Linda, even though you have been very busy bringing so many plants indoors. I haven't got the heart to bring mine in yet; I'm enjoying them outside in this warm weather.
    I can see why you like the pink sorrel; I do hope it lasts the winter for you. I didn't know sweet potato vines would bloom; I'm going to follow all your instructions for over-wintering plants, so maybe I'll be lucky next year and get some blooms, too:)

  10. I also used the word "bittersweet" in this month's Bloom Day post. Autumn color is now at peak here, and I know it will never look this beautiful again until April. In spite of all the beautiful blooms you've posted, like Meems, I want to know about that gorgeous dark-leaved thing. It makes anything paired with it look great.

  11. I forgot to mention that I wish I had known that you wanted Lady's Mantle. I could have given you some. I always have too much, at it seeds about the paths and into the lawn. It should do very well for you, as mine has thrived in the dry shade for years.

  12. Yep, soon the frost will kill all but we have a few more good weeks to go yet. Hard to believe since they are hanging up the Christmas lights in downtown and a bit early if you ask me. You must have a huge basement to be able to store all your beauty's. I would love to have such a winter storage spot. Maybe one day...

  13. I didn't know sweet potato vine would bloom! All your flowers are so lovely and lush. I wish I had a basement to overwinter plants. It doesn't get very cold here, and my garden home is fairly protected. But I know I could have a larger variety then.

  14. Geez, your garden looks great compared to mine. I've got about two plants, no three blooming right now. I forgot about bloom day with my hectic life right now. I suppose I could have made the mushrooms be my bloom day post now that I think about it though.

  15. Thanks Joy! I'll be pleasantly surprised if the sorrel makes it. I'm looking forward to seeing the toad lily bloom next fall! It sure looks better now that it's been rescued - in fact it even got big enough to divide it a few weeks ago, so now I have two. Hopefully it will be available in your area soon!

    Hi and welcome Jaco, I'm in the Chicago area - zone 5, and unfortunately the fuchsia's not hardy here. Maybe I'll change my mind about the honeysuckles after seeing how pretty the berries looked in your arrangement! I would definitely like them better if they weren't planted in such a dumb spot!

    Hi Gail! I had basement envy a couple of houses ago, and resolved after a tornado that got too close for comfort that I'd never buy a house without one again as long as I'm living in tornado alley! Having a spot to overwinter stuff is a nice plus.

    I'd never tried dahlias here, and was pleased to see how well they bloomed even with not much sun.

    Officially we're still zone 5, but the last two or three winters were more like zone 6. I hope the oxalis makes it, but I'm not holding my breath!

    Thank you Carolyn! It's kind of sad bringing in the tender stuff. I've been procrastinating on it due to denial that frost could actually be here just about any time. Now I'm having to force myself to admit summer is really over. I'm glad you have a spot to overwinter some of your tender plants!

    Thanks Frances! I think I'm about at the end of getting more bargain plants now - it's probably getting a little late here now to put much else in without risking it heaving later. I do enjoy visiting the basement to play with the plants over the winter!

    Hi Racquel, thank you! I like the foliage on the begonia as much as the blooms. I was really pleased to see the blooms on the sweet potato vines! I didn't know they bloomed either. The first one I saw, I thought it was an impatiens that dropped on it and had to take a closer look.

    Hi and welcome, Ms. Wis! I was in the southwest area of your beautiful state last weekend visiting my mom. The fall foliage was absolutely breathtaking.

    It must be fun having that vintage landscape plan! I had the blueprints for my last house, a vintage Georgean built in the mid 1940's. I had them framed and hung them on a wall, but left them for the new owner after going back and forth about whether or not to keep them. Sometimes I wish I'd kept them - they were very cool!

    Hi Meems, I'm not sure I'll ever quite get used to it. It's always hard to say goodbye to the garden for the winter.

    Yep, that's a Taro. I love the dark foliage. I'm a sucker for just about any purple foliage plant! The fuchsia started blooming in late May or early June, and bloomed all summer and fall. I was tempted to bring it in without pruning it like I did with the hibiscus, but it would have taken up too much room.

    Have fun with your grandson! I'm envious, as my daughter moved back to the east coast with my grandson a few weeks ago. I miss them so much!

    Thank you Rose! It's beginning to look a bit sparse to me. Once it's all cleaned up I enjoy the clean look for a couple of weeks, then I really start missing all the color.

    I might try overwintering just the tubers on some of the sweet potato vines. I haven't always had the best of luck storing tubers, so I'll probably leave some of them in their pots and experiment with just tubers with some of them. We'll see how that goes! Good luck overwintering your tender plants! I hope your sweet potato vines bloom for you next year. It was a pleasant surprise for me to see blooms this year.

    Hi MMD, it sure is a bittersweet time of year. I love October's cool, crisp days and beautiful fall colors, but sure will miss the flowers and all the green.

    That purple plant is Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic,' a/k/a Taro, a/k/a elephant ear. I like the huge green elephant ears, but really love the purple foliage on Black Magic. It makes a nice backdrop for about anything I've put in front of it. There aren't many purple foliage plants I've come across that I can resist.

    Little by little I'm re-collecting old favorites left behind at my last house. I sold it in February - not a good month for a gardener to move! I've always had lady's mantle in previous shade gardens, and am glad to have it back again. I hope they seed freely around here - I got two of them.

    p.s. the two Black Jack sedums you gave me are settling in nicely. Thank you!

    Hi Skeeter, I suspect the lights and Christmas decorations will be going up soon in our town too. It's easier to put all that stuff up before it gets really cold.

    The basement's pretty big, but I just have a small corner about 8'10" set up for plants. They don't take up too much space when they're all crammed together!

    Enjoy your last few weeks in the garden - we will be done here about any day now - Oct. 15th is the lst average frost date around here, so we're now on borrowed time.

    Hi Brenda, thank you. I was pleasantly surprised to see blooms on the sweet potatoes.

    I'll probably be overwintering stuff inside that you can leave out all winter!

    Hey, I've been looking for you blog. Did you move it? I miss reading it!

    Hi Cinj, I'll bet it's a bit chillier up there in your neck of the woods than it is here. The annuals here will be gonners any day now, and then there will be no blooms left except a few inside. . . sigh! You've got some very cool mushrooms 'blooming' in your garden!

  16. Hi Garden Girl,
    I am new to blogging, but not to gardening. I am in Nebraska, zone 5b. I enjoyed looking at your blooms. We are supposed to get down to 31 tonight, so DH and I brought in lots of plants. I've never tried to keep some of the annuals you do, though. I may try some of those next year, but if we are spared the frost, maybe I'll try some of them.

  17. Hello Linda

    I think that is the prettiest view you have shown us yet of your garden.

    That Dahlia is extraordinary.

    Do white versions of the wood sorrel exist? If so, I think I'll track some down here.

    By the way, it's nice to see your picture popping up in the followers lists. It's encouraging - and it's a quick and easy route through to here too.


  18. Stuart9:01 AM

    Gorgeous blooms Linda - much nicer than my garden at the end of summer. I'm dead-set envious of your heliotrope, they don't seem to like my garden but yours looks beautiful. All the best with the winterizing.

  19. Hi Linda, one of the nicest things that happened to me this last week was discovering your blog site! Thanks to you, I am going to try to overwinter my annuals, and I can hope for my sweet potato plant to flower next year :) Have you overwintered mums? I was successful one season, however, they never came up the third year. Thanks again for your amazing stories, information, and photos.

  20. Its amazing how many people have started their GBBD posts saying there isnt much flowering and then have put up lots of photos of gorgeous flowers. I think we get spoilt by the abundance of summer. I have heard that Oxalis can become abit invasive but I suppose it will depend on how hardy it is where you are!

  21. Garden girl there is certainly a variety of blooms this Oct. dayin your garden! I did not know that the dl. impatiens
    overwinter! I did not plant any this year as I was away for a month but now that I see yours for sure next year!I find they last until the first frost..last year right up until NOV.!! My Bloom day is up too.
    Enjoy these last blossoms!

  22. Hi Linda, love the colours in your garden. That dahlia looks spectacular! Also love the browallia and the fuchsia! Good luck with the sorrel!

  23. Lovely flowers!The oxalis photo is great and the colour of the Browallia is just stunning.

  24. Your garden looks just beautiful!

  25. Hi Linda, I loved all the pics of your flowers! Heliotrope is one of my favorites! I've got 2 I need to winter over. I loved the hibiscus, I will have to bring ours in the house in November. Thanks for a lovely walk through your garden.

  26. The view in the top photo looks lovely, Linda - and with such nice 'bones' and stone it will still look good even when the tender plants are tucked into the basement. You really do keep a lot over the winter! I used to bring in the double impatiens and make a bunch of new plants over the winter and kept dahlias, cannas and what used to be called acidanthera in the basement, but you're daring to keep fuchsia and heliotrope.

    If the heliotrope does well inside your winter won't be bittersweet - it will smell flower-sweet!

    Happy GBBD ~

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  27. Hi Sue, welcome to garden blogging! I enjoyed checking out your blog, and your first GBBD post.

    I hope you avoided the frost and will get a chance to save more of your plants!

    Hi Lucy, thank you! I do think there is a white-blooming sorrel similar to this pink one.

    I enjoy both your blogs, and of course, Esther's blog too!

    Thank you Stuart! I just love that heliotrope! It's got such a sweet, delicate scent. I hope it's happy in the basement again this year.

    Hi Froggie, aw shucks, what a nice compliment. Thank you!

    Mums have been pretty short-lived perennials for me. I don't have any yet in this garden, but have noticed a few garden bloggers have done posts on hardier mums, so I've been paying attention.

    I used to grow mums, but I don't remember what kind they were. I usually pinched them in May and again in July to keep them from sprawling. I'd stick the cuttings I pinched in May into the soil, and lots of them would root, and they'd be blooming by that fall. Rooting lots of cuttings was how I managed to keep the mums going, as I did lose a lot of them some winters.

    I'd like to have some mums here, but I think I'll be very picky on what variety. One thing I know for sure that helps with mum hardiness is planting them in the spring instead of in the fall.

    Hi PG, I often chuckle about that myself! I'm definitely spoilt by summer, and not ready for winter!

    There are oxalis that are invasive here too, but this one should be fine, if it even survives the winter.

    Hi Naturegirl, I don't like the double impatiens the second year, but I overwinter them so I can take cuttings. They're easy to start from cuttings, and the cuttings turn out great.

    Hi Kanack, thank you! I really enjoyed the dahlias this summer. It's the first time I've tried them.

    Thank you Happymouffetard, I love those little browallias!

    Thank you Kim!

    Hi Sherri, I love the hibiscus too. It was a gift from my husband. I love tropical plants. Heliotropes are among my favorites. I'm so glad they bloom in the part sun of our patio.

    Hey Annie, thank you! I've even decided to keep a few of the large plants upstairs in the sunny living room and dining room windows - mostly tropicals who I think will enjoy the real sunshine.

    This will be the 2nd winter for the fuchsia and heliotrope. I'm waffling now over bringing in a 2nd heliotrope. The two-year-old mama was so pretty this summer, and bloomed more than the one-year-old plants.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  28. A lovely post filled with wonderous memories. Isn't it great having our cameras to fill in our gardening journal? After spending hours today putting the garden to bed (grooming & hauling precious plants indoors), I will fall into my own bed sore but happy, dreaming of next spring.

  29. That red and white dahlia is a real knock-out!

  30. Thank you Joey.

    I'm still in the process of bringing in plants. Just a few more to go!

    Hi Connie, I like these cell pack dahlias. The blooms are simpler than some of the fancier varieties. I might try them again next year.

  31. Your garden is still so amazing, mine is not doing so well...thank you for the garden tour :)

  32. What a beautiful garden. I really like that first picture, how it shows the view of the garden.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  33. Thank you Kathi, soon it will all be toast, as we'll probably be seeing frost about any day now! Every time I go out there to bring in more tender plants and feel the chill in the air, I'm keenly aware of how little time is left.

    Good morning Carol, thank you! I'm enjoying every moment out there, knowing in a matter of days, possibly only hours, I'll be yanking out the remaining annuals and bringing in the last straggling tender plants before they get hit by frost.

  34. The dahlia just made me smile; it's so happy! I agree fall is bittersweet. it's sorry to say goodbye or see you later to all the plants, but at the same time--dagnabbnit (and you don't get to slip that expression into conversation much!)--I'm pooped! I always enjoy switching to crafts and whatnot from November-January, but then I'm ready for spring, but spring isn't ready for me!
    ~ Monica


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