Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Late, I'm Late, For a Very Important Date

Last week was chilly and soggy - too wet for the camera. This morning it's cold, sunny, and dry enough to venture out for some quick shots of what's still blooming in the shade garden in October.

Not fancy, ubiquitous wax begonias bloomed all season, requiring no fuss and no watering, while adding spots of color here and there.

While most of the Chicago area had frost last week, we haven't been hit yet. The yellow mini-rose is blooming again, and the red one is budding. They've been happier this season than most, and weren't bothered by black spot, for a change.

Autumn Joy sedums started from cuttings late last fall, though small, are blooming.

Herbstsonne Rudbeckia has been in bloom since July.

Calamint has been blooming since July too. Easy to start from cuttings, there was initially one of these. Now there are three.

'Rozanne,' blooming since May, will continue until frost. This one's a bit ragged, playing host to a small caterpillar. Please hurry into your cocoon little one - you don't have much time left.

And there are still a few Susans blooming. A deep pink mum, Autumn Bride heuchera, impatiens and other annuals are still blooming. Tender plants that will be overwintered were brought in last Saturday.

Although we weren't hit by last Saturday night's freeze, I'm glad that chore is done. By this time next month, the basement greenhouse will likely be the only place to see anything blooming here.

For more Bloom Day posts, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who hosts this popular garden bloggers' event each month. Thank you Carol!


  1. Kakdah has a few Begonias in pots. But yours look healthier and really colourful! ~bangchik

  2. Our family members in Chicagoland were already hit with frost- how'd you manage to delay being frozen until after GBBD, Garden Girl? Herbestonne was one of my favorites in Illinois - how nice to see it thumbing its nose at winter in your post!

    Happy GBBD

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Love begonias! I'm bringing in as many as possible for winter bloom, they never stop. You'd think begonias were a prize, the way I am hoarding them. Well, maybe they are.

  4. I managed to pretty much escape the frost(s) that hit us, except for about a 3X3 patch in the garden and it only killed some Zinnias and slightly damaged my climbing nasturtiums.

    Yay, microclimates!

    I should have planted more summer annuals.

  5. I didn't realize "Herbstsonne" bloomed so long--what a fantastic flower! Good to see you still have some Susans as well. I think last night's freeze finished off most of my garden; most of what I had to show on Bloom Day is now wilting. Looking forward to days in the 60's this week!

  6. Bangchik, The fancier begonias I had earlier in the season were drowned by our torrential spring rains. One survived but it never recovered. I like the showier begonias, but even moving them inside after a couple of days of heavy rains didn't save them. I don't think I'll bother with them again - too much fuss for my liking, especially with our crazy weather the last couple of years. Wax begonias took a licking and kept on ticking!

    Hi Annie, it didn't get as cold in the south 'burbs as it did further north, and the garden's still pretty protected with our heavy silver maple canopy. Some leaves are falling, but these trees hold onto most of their leaves until late November, staving off frost in our yard later than some of our neighbors. I'm not a fan of silver maples, but besides the shade they give us, I do like the microclimate they create.

    Nell Jean, I've never really been a fan of wax begonias, or impatiens for that matter, but they really thrive here and they've grown on me in the last few years since moving here. I love the extra color they bring to the garden, and not many other annuals bloom well here with all shade we have. I tried wax begonias this year because I got tired of all the watering impatiens require. The begonias were so easy, I give them 1st prize for shade-blooming annuals! I like that they're so inexpensive too.

    MBT, Yay microclimates - I agree! I'm glad your microclimate kept the garden going longer. It probably won't be much longer before we get hit, so enjoy it while you can!

    There's always next year for more annuals. That's one of my gardening mantras. . . there's always next year.

  7. Hi Rose, I'm smitten with Herbstsonne. I'm glad I was talked into them a couple of years ago. I really love that they do so well here with so little sun too.

    Boo on the frost! Wish we had a longer growing season.

  8. I bet you're glad to have missed that first frost. I just planted 'Rozanne' recently after reading how long it blooms. I love your Rudbeckias, I'm going to try to find some more like these next summer. I really like the centers.

  9. It's great that you avoided the frost! It's nice to still have so much color in the garden!

  10. I am glad Catherine. I know it's inevitable, but winters are long here. The longer the gardening season continues, the better!

    I think so too Rose. I hope frost holds out for the Cimicifuga racemosa (renamed Actaea racemosa, otherwise known as bugbane,) to bloom. It's budding, but it's a late bloomer in our garden. Last year it bloomed in November. This is its third year. I hope as it establishes it may bloom earlier, since most years we have frost before November. I enjoyed it so much last year, thanks to our late frost.

  11. Still looking nice and sunny at your place. Especially that Herbstsonne. It is simply splendid.

  12. You're lucky to have an other week or so of blooms. We have had several hard freezes (Rockford) with temps in the 20's. Still, a few very hardy plants keep blooming. Got to love those.

  13. Anonymous1:36 PM

    Add me as another admirer of Herbstsonne - my various Rudbeckia have been nothing but goldfinch food for weeks now. Not that I need more Rudbeckia in the garden, but more color in October would be a wonderful thing!

  14. Tina, I'm so happy with Herbstsonne. What a great plant - long-blooming, lots of blooms, and even does well here with little sun.

    Hi Marnie, definitely gotta love anything that keeps blooming after a hard freeze!

    I agree LCS - the first few years of this garden, nothing was in bloom past mid-September. I'd still like more late bloomers, but am happy for the ones added in the last couple of years.

    Herbstsonnes have been here two full seasons, and this year they really put on a show. I hope they continue to be such wonderful late bloomers!

  15. Your header makes me suffer from Autumn envy.


  16. Your blooms look as freash as if it were spring. Great colors yet, especially the yellows and the blues. But I fear they are soon to say goodbye. Enjoy them while you can.

  17. I wish it looked like that here Esther! It's so pretty in Wisconsin in the fall.

  18. Herbstsonne is great and I love its name as we could all do with a bit of sunshine in Fall. Not bad your blooms in October, Garden Girl!

  19. Hi Beckie, Still no frost. I'm sure it won't be long. . . we're on borrowed time. But I'll enjoy it while it lasts. Today has been another beautiful day here - sunny and almost 70 degrees. I'm glad we didn't receive the predicted rain!

    Thank you Yolanda! Until the last few days, Herbstsonne was about the only sunny thing around here this month! Monday's and today's sunshine have been most welcome.

  20. Lucky you with the Herbstsonne; I cut mine down weeks ago. I have the Rozanne too, which I THINK may have stopped blooming. Everything looks great!

  21. Elizabeth, I hope Herbstsonne bloom this long every year now that they're getting well-established. I was very pleased with all the side shoots - didn't have those the first year, and didn't have as many, or blooms this long last year.

    Rozanne's slowing down here, but still hasn't stopped. It doesn't have the best form of the geranium family, but I do love it for it's non-stop bloom. It's in a class by itself among perennials.

  22. Nice blooms. I used to be very very good about remembering dates for things--never even had to keep a day planner. Now I have the thing and still forget things--I wish I'd remember Bloom Day, for example!

  23. Thanks Monica!

    Considering my memory challenges, I don't know why I don't forget Bloom Day. Our weather didn't cooperate this month, and I wasn't about to go out there in the rain with the camera.

    For most dates and appointments though, I'd be lost without a calendar and post-it reminders. (just have to remember to write them down! ;)


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