Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October GBBD: Still Blooming!

For the last two weeks, I have awakened many mornings wondering, is this the day? What I have worried about, is this the day we will be hit by the first frost and all my pretty annuals will turn to mush?  Many years we've been hit by a frost before October's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but fortunately not this year.  We've had a few cold nights, but so far we have escaped the kiss of death for tender plants.

The downside to this is that I keep putting off many of the fall chores on my long to-do list.  I have planted a few bulbs, but I need to pull out some annuals to make room for many of the rest.  But with the zinnias and cosmos still blooming alongside the asters, I can't bring myself to pull any of them out just yet.

Can you blame me for wanting to enjoy this beauty as long as I can?

Although I took this photo two weeks ago, there are still a few butterflies enjoying the 'Zowie Yellow Flame' zinnias, including a few late Monarchs making their way south.  

They're not the only ones enjoying the late-blooming annuals.  Frank and Coconut enjoy making the rounds of the garden with me in the morning and checking out how many cosmos are still blooming.  And no, I couldn't get them both to look at the camera--my only photo with Coconut facing forward also had Frank lifting his leg to "water" the cosmos:)

There are bulbs to plant in the lily bed border, but heat-loving lantana is occupying that space right now and is looking so good, despite the cooler temps.

One small chore accomplished--the Dragonwing begonia has been repotted to bring in for the winter.  This plant did so well in a container this year that I am going to do my best to save it for next year.

The nasturtiums apparently like the cooler weather--they've doubled in size in the last few weeks.  They're on the edge of the veggie garden and not in the way of any bulbs, so they can stay for as long as they last.  Another chore I haven't completed is cleaning up the veggie garden now that the tomatoes are done, but we've had so much rain lately I haven't been able to.

There are a few new blooms this October Bloom Day.  For a couple of years I bemoaned the fact that the Japanese Anemone I had planted must have died, but apparently I needed to be more patient.  It's had a few blooms the last year or two, but this year it has really come into its own, growing to nearly 5 feet tall with masses of blooms.  A newer pink Anemone has a couple of blooms, so I hope it will also take a growth spurt next year.

And the appropriately named 'October Skies' Asters are covered with masses of lavender-blue blooms.  They can be partially seen alongside the zinnias and cosmos in the first photo as well.

But most of the other perennials are ready for their long winter's sleep.  A few stray coneflowers have decided to bloom, however.

And this Rudbeckia is a virtual Energizer Bunny--it just keeps going and going.

The cooler weather has encouraged the Knockout roses to put out a fresh flush of blooms. 'Radsunny' looks better now than in the summer.

If you read my earlier post on Lessons Learned, you might remember that I was waiting to see what this plant was.  Earlier in the spring I thought it was some volunteer Amsonia and shared some starts with my good friend Beckie.  Fortunately, hers didn't make it:)  The Switchgrass behind the goldenrod, by the way, is Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah.'  I love the burgundy hues of this grass.

A surprise latecomer to the garden is this Cleome next to the 'Vanilla Strawberry' Hydrangea.

The hydrangeas are more typical of what is going on this October as most of the garden is putting on its fall color.  The 'Vanilla Strawberry' blooms have turned a deep pink, finally more Strawberry than Vanilla.

The blooms of the 'Limelight' Hydrangea, on the other hand, have turned a much softer shade of pink.

Fall is when grasses really shine.  The plumes of Miscanthus 'Morning Light' can be seen waving in the wind at the back of the Arbor Bed.

Another lovely example of foliage is the Amsonia hubrichtii turning to gold behind the Beautyberry.

One example of colorful fall foliage I'd rather not have is this. Mr. Procrastinator got a little carried away this summer with the weed-killer around the outbuildings, but somehow he missed this poison ivy.

The leaves have just started to turn in our area in the last week or two.  This ash tree in my front yard is always the first to turn.  I'm not looking forward to the first frost and its effect on my garden, but I am looking forward to the fall color show transforming my front yard to a display of red and gold very soon.

What's still blooming in your garden?  For a look at what is blooming around the world, check out other Bloom Day posts at Carol's May Dreams Gardens.


  1. You garden is so beautiful even in this autumnatmosphere. I hope for you the frost will stay away out of your garden for a couple of weeks. Overhere the temperatures are not normal for this time of the year. Normaly we have at this moment 11C and the weekend will be 22C. Well we are going to enjoy this lovely temperatures.
    Have a wonderful week ahead Rose

  2. Looks great Rose and how wonderful nature has stayed its hand so you have so much to share for Blooms Day. I like the look of your strawberry vanilla hydrangea - I predicted at the Fling that hydrangeas are set to make a comeback in the UK. Having met this plant a couple of months ago after returning to the UK and now seeing how it changes in Autumn, I think my prediction is confirmed. What a great plant!

  3. I can't blame you at all for wanting those zinnias to keep on going. I have a few and they are a delight. My Vanilla Strawberry is in pretty much full sun. I don't usually notice browning on the flowers. I will have to take a closer look.

  4. Beautiful as always, Rose! I would love to grow hydrangeas, but I'm hesitant to because of all the deer that visit our yard every day. I ended up being very happy with the nasturtiums I grew in my side porch containers--something to remember next year.

    Your front yard looks like a park, so flat, open, and well mowed! And what a pretty ash tree!

    Good luck with your bulb planting! I have yet to start my own, so I hope for a few more of these above average warm days!--Kimberley

  5. Oh, my, what a lovely fall garden! The combination of that amsonia and the beautyberry is especially striking. And I do love your zinnias. Hang on to them as long as you can!

  6. Wow Rose so much blooming. I love seeing so much still blooming and all the foliage. Of course having monarchs visit is a real treat for the garden.

  7. Oh my goodness, you have so many stunning combinations of beautiful foliage and blooms, Rose! I was particularly impressed with the Amsonia/Beautyberry combo, and the Goldenrod/Panicum pairing. Also, the Hydrangeas and the Nasturtiums are so lush! This post boosted my mood. Your dogs are so cute, and must be great buddies to have around as you tour your garden. Lovely post!

  8. Rose, what a nice time is now -fall!
    I have the same asters but Dragonwing begonia was killed by frost yet. Cornflowers and Rudbeckia are in bloom, they decorate your garden till now. Happy GBBD!

  9. Hai ancora un sacco di di piante fiorite ! Complimenti :)

    Un saluto :)

  10. Such a bounty even so late in the season! I love the Monarch butterfly photo best of all. Happy GBBD! I'm looking forward to fall foliage photos from you.

  11. You really are still getting a lot of blooms!

  12. I can't get over how much bloom you have at this time Rose! Wonderful. A fall to remember, in a good way. Frank and Coconut are so cute together. Happy GBBd.

  13. What a wonderful garden journal you have made with these photos for next year and years beyond. I so enjoyed seeing all of your blooms and reading about them. I have absolutely nothing blooming. The bucks are back now that it is fall and they have eaten everything. The doe left my potted flowers alone, but not the buck. The rabbits have eaten everything else. I get very discouraged!

  14. Your beautyberry and amsonia look great together! I bring my begonias in each year. A cinch to keep them going and they just keep getting bigger. So glad you are having a great fall!

  15. You do have the most gorgeous colours in your garden and everything looks in pristine condition. I can't help but chuckle though, the way you refer to your massive strip of land as a yard! Over here, that would mean something very small and far from lovely! Maybe a few old tiles in an enclosed *back yard* maybe with an ancient loo out there. Or of course it could be a builder's yard .... but far from attractive!

    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  16. These are beautiful flowers ! I am delighted with your zinnias !
    Rose, your garden is so wonderful !

  17. Hi Rose, You sure have lots going on still! I usually plant nasturtiums, but neglected to this year. Yours are looking awesome, as are your other plants. My lantanas are doing quite well, too. I planted more than usual, because we were on a neighborhood garden tour this spring, and I was seeing too many bare spots. Like your anemones, I have some plants that are not as large as they will be when they get more established.

    We've had a couple close calls, too, and when the killing frost comes, I will be sad.

    You mentioned on my blog about not letting the asters and goldenrod take over so much. I need to be limiting mine, too, especially the goldenrod.

  18. Rose, Your garden looks great for this late in the season! Your hydrangeas are lovely. Love your asters, anemone, and the zinnias - your monarch photo is beautiful! I haven't seen any butterflies for a week or so. It's been cool here and I think they have moved on. Great post! Beautiful garden!

  19. Your hydrangeas are so lovely. They make my heart swoon Rose. I grew the same zinnias, but mine weren't as happy as yours. I did better with the Zahara Double Cherry zinnias. They were beautiful, but now mostly gone. I do love bloom day especially in the spring and fall. Love the grasses swaying in the breeze. Thanks for sharing yours.~~Dee

  20. I have cleaned up my tomato bed, and pretty much the only thing blooming now are asters. We have some pretty trees, though. I think we might finally get a really hard frost tonight.

  21. Hello Rose, you have lots going on still in your lovely garden, I especially liked your hydrangeas, and they look amazing for being so late. I also love zinnias, but haven’t got any in my garden, they require more sun than I can give them - yours look beautiful, I hope Mr Frost will keep away for as long as possible this autumn!

  22. Hello Rose girl !
    You still have so much on the go over there .. we haven't really had hard frosts here either to turn the foliage over .. I am in awe of your zinnias, I wouldn't pull them out yet either .. too funny about Frank and coconut .. our furry kids just won't cooperate with picture taking eh? haha
    Funny enough I made a comment on a neighbor's nasturtiums and how pretty they were this year .. the bugs didn't shred them up and the weather was just right.
    Your Beauty Berry is amazing ! Mine never seems to want to berry.
    I don't have an amsonia .. yet ! LOL
    All of them look so fresh still.
    This has been a very odd year .. fingers crossed our winter won't be so mean to us ?
    Take care !
    Joy : )

  23. Your garden never ceases to amaze. So much beautiful bloom for this time of year. Do you work hard at planning to make that happen?

  24. Your garden looks great, Rose! You've got so much still blooming! I'm glad to be back blogging again, although I've had the time because I'm home dealing with some health issues unfortunately. But on the bright side I've been able to spend time in the garden!

  25. How great that you still have butteflies - I don't think I have seen one in weeks. My Zinnias are also still blooming, though.

  26. Marijke, we've had two light frosty mornings, but so far not enough to kill anything. This is pretty late for us.

    VP, I've always loved hydrangeas, but the ones we saw in Portland were amazing! I would think they would do just as well in your climate, too.

    Layanee, Thanks for the info on your Vanilla Strawberry. Mine is also in full sun, so I worried about it getting a little too crispy there. But these fall blooms are the best I've ever seen.

    Cosmos, So far no deer munching on my hydrangeas, but I'd better keep my fingers crossed:) I love that ash tree, too, and am hoping the ash borers in the county don't find it

  27. Dorothy, The beautyberry/amsonia combo was purely by accident, but I like it, too.

    Donna, I kept looking for the Monarchs; they were a little later than I expected and stayed longer than I thought they would. One of my favorite sights in the garden!

    Beth, I can't take any credit for some of these pairings, especially the goldenrod, which was a volunteer:) I was disappointed all summer by the nasturtiums until now--apparently they much prefer cooler weather. Yes, the dogs enjoy being out in the garden with me. Sophie, my Golden, didn't get in the photo, but she's always thrilled when I work in the garden.

    Nadezda, The begonia was just too beautiful to leave to the frost; now, if I can only keep it going through the winter.

  28. That ash tree is a pretty sight for fall color. Your garden really is alive with those colorful annuals of zinnias and cosmos. I just planted nasturtium seeds this week ~ they prefer our cooler winter to our hot summer. I hope the first frost holds out for you longer than sooner. You are not going to be happy when those pretties say goodbye. :-) Meems

  29. I recently bought some 'Shenandoah' grass for my garden - it is so pretty! You have quite a lot blooming still! Most of mine are winding down, except for the cosmos, which still are blooming despite the fact that so many are laying down on the ground from all our recent wind. I've started on the fall chores, but it's raining all this week, so I'll have to wait a bit to do any more. I love the color of the fall leaves, though!

  30. Pontos, Thank you for visiting!

    Sarah, The butterfly photo is my favorite, too. Visits from Monarchs are so infrequent that when they stop by, I am thrilled.

    Gardener on Sherlock, a week later and two light frosts, and I still have blooms!

    Lisa, It really has been a beautiful fall. October started out so rainy that I wasn't sure, but all these sunny days the past week have made up for it.

    Sally, This blog has really become a valuable garden journal for me; I just can't seem to make myself write everything down, and the photos always help me to remember. I would get discouraged, too, by such hungry deer and rabbits!

    Tina, My problem with bringing plants in is to remember watering them. And my daughter has moved back home--temporarily??--so I've lost my sunny spare room for plants:(

    Maggie, I know I'm spoiled with such a big yard--it's 5 acres or maybe a little more. Lots of room for the grandkids to run and play!

  31. Ela, I love these zinnias--the 'Zowies' especially last such a long time.

    Sue, The nasturtiums were such a disappointment all summer long; I guess I just needed to be more patient. I pulled some goldenrod this week, but I need to pull more or it will take over! We've had a light frost the last two mornings, but so far the garden is intact.

    Beth, I took the Monarch photo a week before I posted this; I've seen a few Painted Ladies in the last week, but that's about it. I love the hydrangeas this time of year, too.

    Dee, I love the way hydrangeas age; wish all my plants looked that good as they faded away:) I've had such good luck with the 'Zowie' zinnias--I think I plant more each year.

    Cassi, I just cleaned up the veggie bed yesterday; the tomatoes had been done for awhile anyway, even though there were still a few green ones on the vine. Still no hard frost here!

    Helene, Most of my garden beds are in the sun, but I'd love to add more shady flowerbeds. Still, it's nice to be able to grow sun-loving annuals.

  32. Joy, I am amazed that we still haven't had a hard frost. I need to pull some annuals to make room for spring bulbs, but I'm not going to complain as long as so much is still blooming! I love my Amsonia Hubrichtii. If you plant one, though, make sure you pick a spot you're happy with--they're a bear to move!

    Pat, Thank you for the kind words, but much of it is luck:) I have worked the last few years to add more late-blooming plants, however.

    Rose, So glad to have you back in the blogging world, but not so happy to hear you haven't been well. Hope everything clears up for you soon!

    Jason, The Monarch photo was taken the week before, probably the last time I saw one here. We've had some Painted Ladies in the last week, but I think I may have seen the last of them, too.

  33. Meems, The ash tree has lost most of its leaves this week, but it certainly was pretty for awhile. I didn't realize nasturtiums preferred cooler weather, but now I know:)

    Indie, I picked the 'Shenandoah' on a whim, and I'm so glad I did. The foliage is actually prettier than many of the better-known panicums. Sounds like you're having the weather we had the last two weeks--day after day of rain. The sun has finally come out this week, and I'm finally getting something done in the garden.

  34. Rose, what a beautiful Fall walk through your gardens!! What about Ash trees in your area? We are beginning to lose ours...the Emerald Ash borer was found here 2 years ago and is spreading across Iowa. Heartbreaking! Happy Fall and have a great weekend preparing for colder temps! :-)

  35. Every time I see your hydrangeas, both the 'Vanilla Strawberry' and 'Limelight', I think I must have at least one of each. They are beautiful.

    Gorgeous capture of the Monarch on the zinnia!


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