Even though I'm late, it won't take long to review what's blooming in my garden in mid-November. A quick look reveals only three blooms!
Last week's Indian Summer weather wasn't enough to revive plants hit by a killing frost the week before. A NOID mum is the only bloom still surviving in the shade garden. One of the ubiquitous big fall mums I purchase every year, this is the only one that was successfully transplanted a few years ago. I'm not even going to try to save the mums I bought this year. Even though most are still blooming, they're going to find their way into the compost heap soon, instead.
Verbena is also blooming, laughing in the face of impending winter. I've lost the tag, but it must be a similar cultivar to 'Homestead,' which I had the previous two years, because it is also a hardy plant, the very last annual to give into the cold each year.
You have to look closely to see the last bloom--a tiny spot of lavender on the Nepeta 'Walker's Low.' For anyone wanting a low-maintenance garden, you can't go wrong with catmint. It blooms non-stop from early spring to late fall, is pest-free, and needs little care other than an occasional shearing if it gets a little untidy.
I said I have only three blooming plants, but I have to also include the 'Victoria Blue.' It's not really blooming, but unlike other annuals that turn to brown crisps after a frost, this plant's blooms turn to a softer blue as they fade away.
While I may be a day late for Bloom Day, I'm right on time for Pam's Foliage Follow-up. Besides the trees, some of which are still hanging on to the last few leaves, there are some colorful examples of foliage in the garden.
The shade garden, one of my favorite garden areas, depends primarily on foliage for its appeal. This is the large 'Sum and Substance' hosta in mid-July.
And here it is today . . . Obviously, the shade garden is not at its best in fall:)
But there are a few bright spots. I planted some new shrubs nearby in mid-October, including this Fothergilla 'Blue Shadow.' It's still pretty spindly, but the few leaves give a promise of what I hope will be a much fuller display of color next fall.
While I was shopping for shrubs, I couldn't resist checking out the clearance sale on perennials and finally purchased a Heuchera I've been wanting for some time. I don't remember what color 'Georgia Peach' is supposed to be in the summer, but right now it's more berry than peachy. Still pretty, though, but then I've never met a Heuchera I didn't like:)
Another new shrub, Itea 'Henry's Garnet' hasn't had much time to turn color, but the few burgundy-tinged leaves give a hint of what I can look forward to next year.
Another new Heuchera planted this summer, 'Southern Comfort' has completely changed its color from its summer appearance of bronze and rust. Sort of like whiskey turning to wine . . .
The lone survivor in the vegetable garden, Redbar Kale, has some of the prettiest foliage around. Linda recently discussed the nutritious value of this antioxidant-rich plant, but I would rather just look at it than eat it. My camera keeps picking up the purple hue, but it's really much darker than this, almost black.
Another plant whose color fools the camera is the Amsonia 'Blue Star,' which is finally turning a lovely chartreuse.
Nestled in leaves in the lily bed, the Artemesia is turning a silvery hue.
Nothing looks better wearing a coat of frost, though, than the lambs' ears.
But my favorite foliage of all this month has to be the Hellebores, which finally have room to shine in the shade garden now that they don't have to fight for attention with ferns and hostas. These glossy green leaves are a sure sign that the garden will come to life once again in a few short months.
Be sure to visit Carol for other timelier posts of blooms around the country and the world, and Pam at Digging for some lovely examples of fall foliage.