Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GBBD: October 2008

(For those of you visiting for ABC Wednesday, scroll down to my earlier post today.)

It's hard to believe a month has passed since the last Bloom Day. My garden looks tired, as though it is ready for a long winter's nap. In fact, I have only one new bloom since the last GBBD, this lavender mum.

No, this is not one of my purchases made two weeks ago; this one is actually growing in my garden, a Walmart refugee I managed to save and plant last year. I didn't expect it to survive the winter, but it did, and I trimmed it back severely in July so that it wouldn't bloom too early.

There are quite a few flowers still blooming right now, but most look rather faded. The sedum "Autumn Joy" has turned from the rosy hue I pictured in September to a russet.

Let's look a little more closely at one flower--what is this clambering over the center? What else, but another praying mantis! I apologize for all my photos this time--my photo editing program was being cranky, so none of these photos have been cropped or edited in any way. Of course, the blurriness of this little guy is the fault of the photographer, not the computer.

Not everything is fading, though. This Knockout rose is full of blooms once again--if you enlarge the picture, you'll see more buds on either side of the flowers. Tea roses are much more beautiful and have heady fragrances, but this is the rose for those of you like me who don't want to have to fuss too much with plants. These roses have survived traumatic transplantings, severe prunings, drought, and onslaughts by Japanese beetles, and yet they continue to grow and bloom right up until a hard frost.

By this time of year my container plantings usually look pretty pathetic. I admit some of them are looking rather straggly right now, but many of the annuals are still blooming up a storm due no doubt to our unseasonably warm weather--this past weekend the temperatures were in the low to mid 80's. The pink zonal geraniums look as good as they did in June.

While some of you are busy cleaning out your containers and putting them away for the winter, I just can't bring myself to do that yet. I'm going to enjoy the annuals for as long as they last.

Of course, the real show right now is not the flowers, but the leaves. The leaves are just beginning to turn; we are probably another week away from seeing their full fall glory.

You can see this in my maple tree, half of which is covered with leaves of this bright orange hue, while the other half is still green.

I passed by the maple tree on my way down the lane to the roadside garden to show you a few blooms there. Look what I found hiding behind the dried coneflowers?

Apparently this little flower didn't know she was supposed to bloom in July like all the other coneflowers. She must have been a new seedling this year; next year she'll know to join the rest of the family in mid-summer. But I like pleasant surprises like this, don't you?

I've left the rest of the coneflowers in their wilted state so the birds can feast on them, but they don't look as bad with the bright flowers of the salvia "Victoria Blue" hiding them somewhat.

I've shown this salvia several times here, but I can't repeat often enough how much I like this annual. It's another flower that will bloom right up until frost. Once winter sets in, the blooms turn a frosty silver that adds a perfect touch to the winter garden.

And then there are the zinnias! When I planted a packet of seeds here, I just wanted something tall as a backdrop for my "Oranges and Lemons" gaillardia. I had no idea they would become the focal point of this area this fall. Many of them are 4-5 feet tall, and I love the bright mix of colors.

The best part is they show no signs of letting up, as evidenced by this emerging bloom or the bud below.

Finally, I wanted to show you the burning bushes behind the roadside flowerbed. They've begun to turn into a blaze of crimson. No doubt I will be showing more of these bushes when their transformation is complete.

While taking these photos I suddenly noticed the berries on these bushes, which you can see in greater detail below. I should have looked a little harder when I did my short post on berries a few weeks ago--there are more berries in my garden than I realized!

As always, I enjoy the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day--it makes me look a little closer at all of the garden to see blooms and details I might otherwise miss. And I enjoy seeing what is blooming in everyone else's garden. For more Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Note: This is a first for me--two posts in one day! I always join in the Bloom Day posts, but I also wanted to participate in ABC Wednesday today, as I occasionally do, just to show off another mantis photo:) Today, though, is another special day in Blog Land as many people are joining in a Blog Action Day and posting about poverty. I would really recommend you visit a local blogging friend, Joyce, who has written an excellent post today. It will only take a minute to read, but it will make you stop to think and appreciate that you have a garden to work in and the time to appreciate its beauty.--Rose


  1. Finally ready then madam?
    I've been knocking on your door for hours!

    You will not believe me if I tell you that the geranium is my favourite plant. I have about a dozen of them round the house, still in their plug pack. They have been there for 18 months now and I water them three times a year. I am not having you on.

    When everything outside looks dreary, these plants cheer me up and I pick the flowers. They last and last in a vase. Weeks.

    Actually, the rest you show is very nice too. Worth waiting for.

  2. I think we're finally at peak autumn color here. I mean in the area, not in my garden. My Burning Bush is nowhere near as far along as yours. It has only a few red leaves. (Weird, huh?) Aren't bargain plants that exceed expectations fun?

  3. Rose,

    The Zinnia is a knockout color, as is the Knockout Rose! But Zinnias continue to be my favorite annual to add zip and color to a garden.

    The maple is a stunning color! I love Maple Trees, they have fantastic fall color....we don't have many in our neighborhood and none in the garden. It's way too dry for most of them. Your Burning Bush is also stunning, you can't beat them for brilliant reds.

    I never tire of the mantis photos...still scouting to see where mine are this year. Keep the photos coming!

    Have a wonderful day Rose!


  4. Rose - you have such a beautiful fall garden with lots of blooms hanging on. I have to say though, I love that burning bush! I can't wait to see it in full red burning glory!

  5. I'm really impressed by the Zinnias! Sedum Autumn Joy is one of my favourites and I always plant Zonal Geraniums. I have a weakness for red ones.

    My garden doesn't have as much interest as yours, at the moment. Some of my annuals are still blooming, my sedum looks pretty and I have a Viburnum (bodnantense Dawn) in flower, very close to the back door, which is providing a lovely perfume. (The Viburnum is perfumed, not the back door!)

  6. Hi Rose, you still do have lots going on for being up north! ;-> I too love the knockouts even though some places overplant them, they are so carefree and generous with the blooms. I love the dark foliage that comes with the colder temps too. I love the little echinacea, I have some very short ones too, just now opening. I never thought they might be seedlings, but hope they are! Lovely color of geranium, and the zinnias are great. Mine are starting to look haggard but continue to put on new buds. Keep posting about the blue salvias, they are choice!

  7. Gosh Rose you still have a lot going on in your garden and your weather in the eighties, amazing....but I have to say it worries me slightly....but that is just me......

    I love the sedums.....I prefer the blooms when they fade......I also like the combination of the salvias with the dry seedheads of the coneflower.......beautiful......

    The little lonesome coneflower must have been a lovely surprise........

  8. It's always so colourful here, and my goodness, 2 posts in one day?!! Have you no gardening to do?! ;)

  9. Autumn looks colorful and lavish in your garden, Rose - I forgot how intense a burning bush can be.

    Good save on the chrysanthemum - it's fun when a plant that we rescued decides to shine! A

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. I am impressed! 2 posts in one day and I'm having trouble cominmg up with one. I can see why though. M -it just had to be about the mantis. As I said the other day when visiting, your gardens are still so lovely. So much going on yet and showing little sign of how late in the season it is. Aren'twe glad Lisa showed us her zinnias from last year-I know we've both enjoyed them so much this year.

  11. So many beautiful blooms Rose. I'm with you on the Victoria Blue. That is a great annual. The Burning Bush is a favorite shrub of mine. It's hard to beat that cherry red color.

  12. Hi Rose!!! all our Autumn Sedum up and died....just that much colder here and yet other yards it seems to take off like a rocket! I love the burning bush....ours is stunning..or at least it was yesterday until the rain came so ....Missed that shot! hard to believe we were both at the same game on Saturday....

  13. Lovely blooms today Rose. I love the russet color that your Sedum Autumn Joy has become. But those Zinnias I think are the star of the show today. Wow that packet of seeds was a great investment for that area of your garden. I bet the butterflies love them! :)

  14. This is my first GBBD, and I am having fun looking at people's flowers. A gal at my church planted some salvias that look like yours, and I brought home a couple dried stems with seeds last week. I want to plant some in the fall, and some in the spring to see which works better. I love those zinnias, too!

  15. Rose, you have some outstanding zinnias. My cone flowers aren't blooming now. I would be surprised if I went out and found one blooming like yours. Salvias are such wonders. They don't stop blooming until a heavy frost takes them. I don't know why i don't grow more of them. The hummers and bees like them so.

  16. Joco, So glad you stopped by! I wasn't able to access your blog for a long time, so I've lost touch. Thanks for visiting. I can't believe you've been able to keep the geraniums in their original pots. They may be old-fashioned flowers, but I love them, too.

    MMD, I think our trees are still a week away from being at peak color. I just hope we don't have a wind storm that blows off the leaves first! I was surprised to see you had coneflowers still blooming.

    Gail, Thanks! The zinnias have been a pleasant surprise this year. The maple and the burning bushes I can't claim credit for, but I certainly enjoy them every fall!

    *****To everyone else, thank you for your comments, and I will reply tomorrow...I am working tomorrow, so I have to get to bed! I need some energy to keep up with teenagers:)

  17. Digital, Thanks!

    Cindy, I will show the burning bush again. Last year it was a beautiful crimson, and it looks like it will be the same color this year.

    Mean Mom, I've been surprised at how much is still blooming this late. A viburnum is a shrub on my "wish list" :)

    Frances, I am guessing the coneflower is a late seedling--I've never had any bloom this late before. Glad you like the salvia--they're favorites of mine.

    Cheryl, The weather has turned cooler today, much more typical of fall. My granddaughter and I have talked about global warming...we had a pleasant summer, not so hot, so I don't know that the weather is changing. Midwest weather is very unpredictable. Glad you like the salvias with the coneflower seeds:)

    Suburbia, It was raining yesterday:) Actually I worked on these two posts here and there over the weekend, because I knew I'd be busy all day Tuesday.

    Annie, The mums I buy each fall usually wilt and get thrown on the compost heap. I was happy this one made it!

    Beckie, I just had to do an ABC post with all my mantis photos:) I agree, we can thank Lisa for re-introducing us to zinnias.

    Susie, Glad you like the Victoria Blue; the camera doesn't even capture its true color.

    Neva, My sedum did better this year than it ever has; not sure why. Going to the game this week?

    PG, the zinnias are butterfly magnets, but since these are near the road, I don't get to see them up close as much as I'd like. You're right, that was a cheap investment!

    Sue, I've never tried planting the salvia from seed, but I bet it will work. These often re-seed themselves, which endears them to me even more. Thanks for visiting!

    Lisa, All my purple flowers are bee magnets, it seems. As to the coneflower, I've never seen one bloom here this late.

  18. A lovely post, Rose, with vibrant colors. Autumn is sneaking in your garden.

  19. Rose .. you have convinced me that I have to have at least one "Knockout" rose .. so the hunt will be on for next Spring. My Zephrine D. I just got this Spring went positively mad and has grown over 6 feet ! and it is true .. hardly any thorns !!
    I really like that salvia .. I'll have to make a note on that one.
    I have been more hard hearted and dumped/cleaned most of my pots . I only have 4 left on the deck. I applaud your leaving them still to enjoy them : )
    YES !! the colour show of trees/leaves .. my favorite time of year : )
    Don't worry about photo management , your pictures are great !

  20. The zonal geraniums are beautiful. I've been waiting for some to appear in the local garden centers as I like to have pots of them around my patio during the winter, but as of this week, none have appeared. Very unusual.

  21. Guess what? I found a hidden flowering coneflower in my garden today, just like you did. Too bad it was a day late for Blooms Day.

    You asked about Fuchsias over at my place. Most of the ones I grow are hardy here. There's lots of half hardy ones too, but I tend not to bother with those as I don't have too much space available to overwinter things. Besides that makes more work! Swingtime in the photos is one of the half hardy ones, but seems to survive outside in my garden. It must be a sheltered spot even though it's north facing.

    Thanks for the link in your earlier entry :)

  22. Joey, Thanks! Yes, autumn is here finally, complete with cooler weather today. The trees are just beginning to turn; we're not quite as far along as your trees in Michigan.

    Joy, I've always wanted to plant a climbing rose and have thought about the Zephrine because the descriptions in catalogs say they can tolerate some shade. I'd love to see yours!

    Aiyana, The zonal geraniums are more expensive than the others, but they are much better bloomers. Funny to think that you are looking for geraniums now when mine will soon be gone. Ah, but I remember Arizona in the winter:)

    VP, We aren't the only ones who found blooming coneflowers! Thanks for the tips on the fuschias; I thought you kept them outdoors, but wasn't sure. They wouldn't last in my zone 5 area, unfortunately.

  23. Rose, I don’t usually like mums but those lavender ones are appealing. I love the color in the roses. I’m amazed by how much is blooming in your garden still. It must look lovely with the turning leaves.

  24. Hi from Arizona, Rose--It was 93 today! It's funny, the plants here act like there are seasons (the tea roses have hips, other flowering plants have gone to seed)--how do they know it's fall? Your posting reminded me of how much I love the seasons--I know our Virginia trees won't be as far along as yours, but I can't wit to see what the leaves have done since I left. Weirdly enough, I have yet to see a praying mantis in my garden this year--that can't be a good thing . . .

  25. I think this was a pink day with the exception of the blue salvia.
    Some lovely evocative pictures.

  26. I love those zinnias. I think i will have to get some for my flower garden next year.

  27. You have an amazing number of blooms still! I have only a few geraniums still going in my garden.

    I love the lavendar mums! And the salvia. I'd have only shades of lavendar, blue and pink if it were left to me.

  28. Love your zinnias, Rose, but I'm also with you on the burning bush; it might be common as all get out to some, but its outrageously gorgeous colour in fall makes me instantly happy.

  29. I love all your flowers. The rose is beautiful, the zinnias colourful and everything else just perfect! I even like the blurry praying mantis. He looks ghostly or dreamy or just trying to hide.
    I can't believe your leaves are turning and yet you have really warm days! I thought it was the cool (cold over here) nights that made them turn.

  30. I have been enjoying your blog all evening just going from post to post. We really like lot of the same things.I'm in WV. I even had to laugh when I saw your daughter with a mastiff because my daughter just got one a couple of months ago they look about the same size and growing!!!

  31. I did read Joyce's post and found it very interesting. Neat to break down the world into the 100 people to put things into perspective.

    I love your flowers! Especially that Indigo blue. Show it all you want as it is a lovely shade of blue. Does it ever self seed and maybe surprise you in the spring?

  32. Rose, your garden doesn't look tired at all. You still have lots of color! I wonder when the first frost comes to you. We are expecting one soon. Hard to believe after our summer-like week.

  33. Hi,
    I read your comments on Lynne's blog this morning and decided to pay you a visit. You have so many things still blooming. I have knockout roses too. They are so forgiving and good bloomers all through the growing season.I lost one last winter. We had a bad winter and the greenhouse people said many of their customers said the same thing. Do you ever cover them? I mulched last year around them...but maybe not enough. I don't like those styro things.
    Anyway I enjoyed reading and seeing what is going on in your part of Illinois.

  34. Sarah, I'm surprised, too, by how much is still blooming, but you are right--the trees are drawing all the attention.

    Cosmo, I'm waiting till it gets a little cooler to visit Arizona, though my daughter assures me 93 there is not the same as 93 in the humid Midwest. I like the change in seasons, too.

    Elizabeth, thanks for visiting! I do have lots of pink--and purple--in my garden.

    Liz, definitely plant some zinnias--very easy to grow!

    Jay, those are my favorite colors in the garden, too.

    Jodi, the burning bush is very ordinary until fall; then it becomes a show-stopper!

    Wendy, thanks; I thought cooler temps helped change the leaves, too. But it has finally cooled off, so maybe the leaves will turn even faster.

    Lynn, Thanks for visiting! I noticed we both posted about saving seed, too, though I learned some new ideas from you:)

    Tina, Glad you read Joyce's post--I thought it was very thought-provoking. Yes, the salvia do occasionally reseed themselves, which is an added bonus.

    Mary, Thanks. I'm surprised we haven't had a frost yet; the warmer temps have lasted longer than usual.

    Balisha, Thanks for dropping by; I'll be over to visit soon. I don't do anything to protect my knockout roses; they survived last year's winter, which I think would have been hard on all the plants with all the freezing and thawing.

  35. Hey, I finally made it to see your blooms and the changing leaves! I hope you hadn't given up on me.

    Those leaves can be just as colorful as flowers this time of year.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens


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