African Garden + work

Bloom Day: October 2008

It's that time again, when at the request of garden blogging doyenne (can I use that word?) Carol of May Dreams Gardens requests that we post about what's in bloom today in our gardens. October Bloom Day is bittersweet for those of us who garden in the Midwest. This might be our last chance to participate until March or April. The garden is winding down in anticipation of its long winter sleep. But there are still lots of blooms in the garden, including the Japanese Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson,' which is the flower behind the header of this blog. Also in full bloom is the other one, the floppiest of the floppies, Anemone x hybrida 'Party Dress.'

From this angle is looks quite fetching. Don't be fooled, it's leaning way over.

The Coneflowers are nearly done blooming.

They usually are done blooming by now.

And now the most ironic blooms in the garden, the pristine, large flowers of the dark-leaved Dahlia 'Bishop of Canterbury.'* (Yes, I'm aware that there is no "Bishop of Canterbury," that it is, in fact, the "Archbishop of Canterbury," but I'm not the one who named this plant.)

(Click on any photo to enlarge.) The irony is that these blooms have been plagued by Earwigs & Japanese beetles all year, leaving the flowers shredded and unsightly. Finally, with the threat of frost imminent, they look perfect.
This mystery Sedum was one of the few plants on the property when I acquired it.

It's relegated to life in the shade garden, but somehow, no matter how much I abuse and neglect it, it still manages to bloom. I don't hate it, I don't love it, I just don't have any feelings about it whatsoever. I suppose I should appreciate it for having the latest blooms of any of the Sedums here.
Another abused and neglected plant that has been in bloom continuously since spring and even manages to throw a couple of blooms during warm spells in winter is the lowly Lamium maculatum.

It takes foot traffic (don't ask), and, as is obvious from the photo, the bees love it. The pink seems to bloom more freely than 'White Nancy.'
Between the three plants of Heuchera 'Raspberry Ice,' there have always been blooms all summer.

There are no buds waiting in the wings now.
Although not a flower, the showy bracts of Heptacodium miconiodes are at their peak.

The tree still has two flowers and a bud, so the show will continue for quite some time.
The New England Aster 'Honeysong Pink' (Symphyotrichum novae-anglia), always the first of the big fall Asters to bloom, is past peak now,

but its companion here, S. laeve var. purpureum 'Bluebird,' will continue blooming for several more weeks.
The Toad Lilies continue to dazzle in the Woodland Garden.

On the left is Tricyrtis 'Tojen,' a veritable blooming machine, and on the right, the smaller and more elegant T. 'Gilt Edge.'
Then there's that Energizer Bunny of perennials, Geranium nodosum 'Svelte Lilac'

continuing to churn out blooms even as its foliage begins to turn red. This is the longest continuously blooming plant I have.

Giving 'Svelte Lilac' a run for its money this year is Phlox pan. 'Nicky.'

This plant isn't just lingering with a single bloom, oh no. It has several bloom clusters and quite a few more buds. Turning from the old to the new, on the right is a mystery Monkshood (Aconitum species). Its a big plant, with deep, dark blue flowers. I wish I could say I loved this plant, but it has two problems. The first, and most serious, is that it has a wilt problem, where entire stems wither and die. The second problem is that not all of it stands up straight. If I can find a better Monkshood that blooms in October, these Monkshoods will be replaced. I'd love to hear any recommendations.
I can't understand how I forgot all summer to post a photo of any of the Malva Zebrinas.

Maybe it's because they are only a step above weeds in the faux-Prairie Garden, and I'm constantly yanking out seedlings. It's too pretty to eliminate completely.
This may be my last chance to post a photo of the blooms of Heuchera 'Palace Purple.'

I'm such a bad gardener. I rudely ignore these poor plants simply because the flowers aren't big and flashy like those of H. 'Raspberry Ice' or 'Hollywood.' It's just kept quietly blooming and now its foliage is beginning to show its autumnal tints.
Also starting to show autumnal tints but still throwing out a few blooms is everybody's favorite Geranium, 'Rozanne.'

It has slowed down and shows indications that the party is almost over.
Sorry, but I just have to post more photos of Asters and Symphyotrichums. At least these photos each have an added element.

This photo of Aster tataricus includes the wild grape leaves showing their autumnal color. All summer I've been trying for a photo of a Painted Lady.

I had to wait until October to get this one on S. n-a 'Hella Lacey.'
And now, from the "Dazed and Confused" file:

on the left Forsythia and on the right a wild Violet. I haven't had the heart to tell them that it isn't spring yet.

Finally, just to prove that I have one and it's not pink, purple, yellow or white:

it's a peach Chrysanthumum (with Ceratostigma plumbaginoides). This mum is the very last plant to start blooming at Squirrelhaven, signalling that the end (of both the gardening season and this post) is near.

To say that the weather in the Midwest is unpredictable is a gross understatement. It could snow next week, or the warm weather could continue on into December. This could be the last Squirrelhaven Bloom Day post for a long time, or not. I'm not going to worry about that. I'm too busy enjoying the fabulous weather of mid-October. Happy Bloom Day!

New Blooms: Aconitum species, Aster tataricus, Chrysanthumum/Dendranthema (?) species
Taking a break, but with buds again: Campanula 'Samantha,' Campanula 'Sarastro'
In full bloom: Sweet Alyssum, Anemones 'Andrea Atkinson' and 'Party Dress,' Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Dahlia 'Bishop of Canterbury,' Symphyotricum purpurea leave 'Bluebird' and S. n.a. 'Hella Lacey,' Sedum species, Tricyrtis 'Tojen' and 'Gilt Edge'
On the way out: Echinacea purpurea, Eurybia divaricatus, Geranium 'Rozanne,' Geranium nodosum 'Svelte Lilac,' Heptacodium miconiodes, Heucheras 'Palace Purple' and 'Raspberry Ice,' Lamium maculatum, Lobelia 'Sparkle DeVine,' Malva Zebrina, Phlox paniculata 'Nicky,' Solidago 'Fireworks, Aster/Symph. 'Snow Flurry'

*edit. 1/09 This is not Dahlia 'Bishop of Canterbury,' it is actually Dahlia 'Bishop of Leicester.'

art, autumn, better, blog, blogging, blooming, favorite, flowers, garden, Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, gardening, geranium, love, money, plants, Spring, summer, time, and more:

Bloom Day: October 2008 + work