Monday, October 15, 2012

October Bloom Day


Blooms around here in October are getting fewer, and further between.   We haven't had frost yet, and there's still some color in our garden.  

These mums were planted in spring three years ago, and they've returned each year.  Planting them in spring helps with hardiness.  Their roots get established and they're less likely to heave in winter.  We think it helps not cutting them back in the fall too.  Stems cut back in fall tend to hollow out and soak in moisture that can rot the roots.  In our garden most things don't get cut back until spring.  Fallen leaves tend to collect around the stems this way too, and that helps insulate and protect them until spring.  That's calamint blooming behind the mums.


Our mini-rose has been blooming continuously all summer.  It's never done that before.  A couple of years ago it even bloomed through an early-December snow.



'Rozanne' has slowed down some, but she keeps blooming until frost gets her.


Gomphrena 'Fireworks' is still going.


Next year the lowly wax begonia will likely replace impatiens here.  I'm tired of watering impatiens, and most of them succumbed to downy mildew this year  - not only in our yard, but all around the area - both the singles and the doubles.


They're not flowers anymore, but the brown balls Previously Known as Coneflowers will make good food for the critters around here well into late fall.  It's not unusual for squirrels to bite them off and carry them away.



You may be able to see the work of critters here  on these mums.  Most years rabbits eventually eat all the mum blooms.


This group of sedums gets just a little afternoon sun.  If I didn't pinch them early in they season they'd be flopping all over, but don't let anyone tell you sedums are just for full sun.  They're great in dry shade,  and pollinators love them in our garden.  This is a spot where many other plants, both natives and cultivars, have been tried and failed.  Here, the roots of silver maples, a serviceberry, and a hedge of mature arborvitaes all come together, and this spot is dry, dry, dry.  But the sedums don't mind at all.




More wax begonias still going strong long after the impatiens bit the dust.


I'm not sure which asters these are.  I do know pinching them a couple of times in late spring and early summer helps keep them from getting leggy and floppy.


This bunch of  'Autumn Joy' sedums got pinched too, even though they get a little more sun than the others. Pinching back tall sedums once or twice early in the season really does help with floppiness.   Another NOID aster mingling with the sedums is just about to bloom.  This one has teeny white blooms too, but it's got a slightly different form from the one pictured earlier, and it blooms later.


The last hardy cyclamen left is blooming, but not as prolifically as in previous years.  The other two seem to have dissapeared.  


Every two or three days since late spring, I've been enjoying a little handful of these heirloom French strawberries.  I started them from seeds from Renee's Garden two springs ago.  The flowers are cute, the berries are delicious, and the plants form pretty mounds.  They can be divided, but there are no runners on these strawberries.  They produce a nice little crop all season long, even in just part sun.


Heuchera villosa 'Mocha' blooms all season.


This is the latest I can remember still seeing phlox blooms around here.  This one's a NOID from a fellow Master Gardener.  Chocolate Joe Pye weed was also blooming in our garden, until something stepped on it last week and broke the stems.

After a very hot, very dry summer, October's been chilly.  It feels more like November than early October.  While we haven't had a frost or freeze yet, all the tender plants came in last weekend just to be safe.  I'm always glad when that task is done!

In spite of the drought, fall colors have beautiful.  And this weekend we had the first substantial rain here    since early August.

Happy Bloom Day all, and to see more October blooms, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

26 comments:

  1. It may be October, but you have nice blooms happening. I also noticed that my hardy cyclamen was less floriferous than previous years. Hoping it makes a comeback next year! Happiest of days to you Linda.

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    1. I hope the cyclamen make a comeback next year too, Gail. Hope you're enjoying some cooler temps and some rain this month!

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  2. I had never heard of sedum in dry shade! Thanks for the info - I have a spot where I'm going to give them a try! You have a lot of beautiful blooms. I especially like your sedum mixed with the asters, and the mum with the catmint.

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    1. I'm a little surprised how well they've done in that very dry, shady spot, Holley. I know they don't mind dry, but didn't think they'd thrive in all that shade, and even bloom. I like those textural contrasts of the finer foliage and tiny blooms with the larger ones!

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  3. I have my begonias, as yours-red and white, are still blooming, despite of +2C. I've never knew that sedum needs to be pinched, now I will know! Do you dig up the cyclamens or you stay them in soil?

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    1. I find the tall sedums are much less floppy if they're pinched, Nadezda. (I pinch the mums, too!) These are hardy cyclamen, so they stay in the ground all year. They bloom in fall, the foliage emerges while they're blooming, stays green all winter and through spring, and they go dormant in late spring or early summer.

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  4. I didn't know rabbits ate mum blooms. They must have too many other things to eat here because I haven't noticed any blooms missing. I will be on the look out for such now. Happy GBBD.

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    1. We don't have many gardeners living around us Lisa, so they seem to think our garden is their salad bar. I've never lived anywhere where they ate so much of my garden before. We also seem to have an extraordinary number of rabbits here.

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  5. This is my favorite time of year! Your flowers are gorgeous! Love the Sedum. It does pretty well here in pots.

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    1. I love fall too, Rohrerbot. Sedums are great in pots - so easy to care for. I have a client who has them in pots, and never, ever has to water them!

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  6. Lots of color still blooming in your garden, Linda; I also have a NOID phlox that still has a few new blooms on it, which really surprised me. I agree about pinching back the sedum--I forgot to do that on one of mine earlier this summer, and it's a floppy mess this fall.

    I just can't get over the difference in weather between us--we've had frequent rains since the middle of August, including some real downpours, and several frosty mornings including a hard freeze last weekend. Luckily, I brought in a few things before they froze, but I've been pulling out dead annuals from the garden every spare minute I can.

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    1. I was talking to one of our grass farmers who lives just an hour south of us Rose. I asked him how the pastures, and the animals were faring with such dry weather, and he said they'd actually had plenty of rain since August too, and he even was able to cut hay four times this summer. (He's also had frost.) Here in the south 'burbs it's been drier than I can ever remember. Fortunately, we're finally getting some good rain here this week! Glad you were able to rescue a few things before they froze!

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  7. Linda, I know our gardens are giving up the ghost and it is more difficult this year because our summer seemed to never end. We will be different gardeners next year and I agree about the begonias, were great this year.

    Eileen

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    1. It's definitely been a trying year for gardening, Eileen! Fortunately, gardeners are a resilient, hardy bunch, and we'll definitely need to adapt to some new weather realities. Still, I can't help hoping next summer is milder and wetter and this one was.

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  8. You still have gorgeous blooms. I've tried growing 'Rozanne' but it doesn't do well for me, but your picture makes me think I should try it again.

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    1. 'Rozanne' is a big favorite of mine, though I have lost a few of them over the years. Once established they seem to be fine here, but I've had some newly-planted ones unexplainably vanish.

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  9. Lots of great blooms! Here nothing but the few Short's Asters that weren't eaten by rabbits are blooming. Everything is still recovering from the drought, I think. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Wow Rose, our Short's asters have been done for several weeks here. I'm glad your garden is recovering from this tough summer. Happy Bloom Day!

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  10. Still so much beauty in your gardens!

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    1. Thank you Deanne, and thanks for visiting!

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  11. You still have so much blooming! Lovely! Interesting that your strawberries didnt run about. I grew some from seed that were not supposed to send runners, but their genetic code must have gotten rewired because I spent a morning recently trying to keep them in their border!

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    1. Our garden is fairly large, Jayne, and those blooms are definitely getting to be fewer and further between!

      Oh my - sorry about those strawberries. Maybe your supposedly runnerless berry seeds came from plants that ended up cross-pollinating. We've definitely had our share of surprises here from seed packets.

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  12. Hi Gardengirl
    Wow, there are still a lot of flowers in your garden. Mine looks a bit less colorful. I've already cut back the Rozanne which really looked untidy. Our October was rather wet but the last week finally brought the sun back with more warm temperatures... just right for spending some time in the garden.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Alex

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    1. Things are definitely waning here Alex, and we could get a killing frost any day now. Our 'Rozannes' aren't very tidy either, but I just plant them near spring bloomers and let them sprawl all over.

      Glad you're enjoying warm temperatures - enjoy the garden this weekend! We have sun here after a week of rain. It's cool and crisp here - a good day for gardening.

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  13. Nice to see you still have some blooms going. The unidentified aster might be Lady in Black...

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    1. I suspect it is lateriflorus, though probably native rather than cultivar, Victoria. The foliage is green, though it's a lot like 'Lady in Black' in shape and size. I can't remember for sure where this one came from. Gail (Clay and Limestone,) sent me one, but I also found another very similar one growing in the yard that I moved to the garden, and there's another one a Master Gardener friend gave me. They're all very similar, but the others are smaller plants, bloom earlier and the flowers are even tinier than this one. To complicate IDing them even further, they've all been moved from their original spots!

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