African Garden + things

After the Freeze -October Bloom Day

Come into the garden, where there are a surprising number of things still blooming after the hard freeze, including the Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson' in the photo above. Do you notice a change in the quality and color of the light? Everything seems gilded and glowing. The Anemone has been upstaged this month by a new star, the Monkshood (Aconitum charmichaelii), which is in full bloom.

It can almost make me forget (if it wasn't for the shivering) that I'm stuck in the middle of the fourth coldest October since records have been kept in Chicago. It feels more like the end of November, with highs only in the 40sF/50sC.

The Monkshood is one of those plants I find myself thinking about ripping out every spring. And then October arrives, and I admire them anew. The other plants are this mystery Sedum,

the only Sedum still in bloom, the Geranium nodosum 'Svelte Lilac,'

which just doesn't look right where it is, and the Malva zebrinus,

which is a particular favorite of the Japanese Beetles and self-sows like a weed. But all is forgiven of plants still blooming after a freeze.
I even forgive Anemone 'Party Dress' for drooping.

It has a kind of grace to it, and actually does look like the skirt of a ballgown like this, as the girl recently pointed out to me. There has to be a way to site this plant where the drooping habit can be shown to advantage. I'm open to suggestions.
The Toadlilies have barely survived the freeze. Tricyrtis 'Gilt Edge' has only a few blooms not ruined,

while 'Gilty Pleasure' got completely zapped. 'Tojen' has fared the best.

It's such a robust plant.In the miniprairie out front, the last of the Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) is nearly ready for the big sleep.

It is surrounded by half-eaten seedheads, some adorned with bird poop. (I'll spare your sensitive feelings and not include a photo of that.) I'm so surprised that Phlox 'David' is still blooming and was not damaged by the freeze.

Its companions in the above photo, Symphyotrichum oblongifolius 'October Skies' and Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritma), are still churning out blooms.
In one of the front porch containers is another surprise: still going strong is a Free trial Proven Winners Petunia*, whose name eludes me and I can't find the tag anymore. (It's the same one all the Spring Flingers got in June.) I have never deadheaded it, and, in truth, pretty much ignored it all summer.

I had to pull out a Coleus that failed to survive the second freeze and replace it with a thing next to the Pennesetum and behind the Petunia. I don't know if the thing is a pumpkin or a gourd.
Most of the "Asters" still think it's great to be alive. Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird' with Sweet Alyssum and Prairie Dropseed

New England Asters (Sym. novae-angliae) 'Honeysong Pink' and seedling from 'Hella Lacey'

The towering Aster tataricus

hides the back fence.
This silly Wallflower (Erysimum) waited until the freeze to start blooming again after spending August and September comatose.

I guess it likes moisture and cool temperatures. It's been in a container since spring, and I need to get it into the ground for the winter.

Just starting to open is the ultimate plant, the very last to bloom, the latest, if not the greatest, the mystery Korean Mum.

Yes, I am aware of its orangish propensity, but the flowers are peachy-pink when they open fully. When I said I didn't have any orange flowers, I meant during the normal growing season and winter. This is a limited engagement, a very special exception because it is, in fact, the very last plant to open its first blooms in my garden. I wish it were white, or yellow, or just about any other color. But it's not. This is a passalong plant from my mom's garden, so, rather than look a gift plant in the mouth (so to speak), I accept that this is the best I'm likely to get for lush blooms in November. Beggars can't be choosers, or the truly hungry will eat anything, or something like that. It's a sign of seasonal desperation. Yes, even orange is forgiven after a freeze.
I don't usually include annuals I've just stuffed into the ground, but I couldn't resist these yellow Pansies with the amazing Geranium 'Blogold' (Bluesunrise).

I planted it this spring, and I've been wowed by it all season. It might just give Geranium 'Gerwat' (Rozanne) a run for its money as the Energizer Bunny of perennials.

Rozanne's autumn foliage is usually bright red, but conditions for fall color have been sub par recently.
Other plants still blooming: This confused Helleborus x hybridus 'Pink Lady' never went out of bloom. It has more buds now than in the middle of summer, but still - it's a freak!

I wonder when, or if, it will stop blooming.I apologize for this next one. It's been featured in Bloom Day posts since August, and in several posts recently, but it is nearly done blooming.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
It's hard to believe that the Heptacodium miconiodes is still blooming.

But these blooms are pretty much an afterthought in the presence of the bracts.

Who needs flowers?
How about these bracts?

I bought this Caryopteris 'Jason' (Sunshine Blue) on an impulse at the Boy Scouts' sale. I had no idea I would like it so well. I tried to propagate it, but the squirrels dug up the just-rooted cuttings. I'm hoping for a major El Nino effect this winter, so this Caryopteris will survive to do its thing next year, and I can try my hand again at propagation.

(Edit. 10/15/09) Oops! I forgot one.

Campanula persicifolia 'Alba'
Also blooming, but not pictured:Echinacea 'Emily Saul' (Twilight) (just 1 bloom)Symphiotrichum laterifolius 'Snow Flurry'Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Hella Lacey,' another purple flowered one and a magenta flowered one
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you buy Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Visit her to see what's blooming now in Indiana and the rest of the world. Tell 'em I sent you.
*Thanks to Leslie of Growing a Garden in Davis, we have a Petunia ID - Supertunia Vista Silverberry (Petunia 'USTUN160-01M')

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After the Freeze -October Bloom Day + things