Sunday, October 16, 2016

October Bloom Day

It's time for another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  Although I don't post as often as I used to or would like to do, I always try to participate in this monthly meme because it's a great way for me to keep a record of what is blooming each month.  It's interesting to compare a month to previous years as well, especially in a month like October.  Some years we have had a frost by this time and there's very little left in bloom.  But unseasonably warm weather this year has kept the garden plugging along.


The garden is definitely winding down, however, There are still many green leaves on the hostas, but most are in the middle of their fall decay.


But there is still quite a bit in bloom.  
What is more appropriate for this month than 'October Skies' Asters?


The New England Asters, which I have the most of, have long since turned to seedheads, but besides the later Aster oblongifolius I have a few others, including some Aster tataricus, a tall aster that somehow found its way into the back of my butterfly garden.  And yes, I do know the botanical name has changed to Symphyotrichum, but that is such a mouthful and I am getting older and stuck in my ways, so they will always be asters to me.


There are also some large clumps of Aster pilosus, known as Frost Aster or Hairy Aster, that escaped the weeding tools this spring.  This is not an aster for everyone, because many consider it a weed and it tends to spread pretty aggressively.  Still, the bees love it, which makes it worth keeping a few.  If you would like to know more about this plant, you can find it here.

Speaking of bees, one thing you won't see today are any flying visitors in my garden.  There are still some bees around, but I think many have started making nests for the winter. There are few butterflies as well.  I have a seen a Monarch or two floating through the air this past week, but I think they, too, are sensing the change in seasons and starting their migration south.  And Tuesday was the last day I spotted a hummingbird at the feeders.  I only wish he had said goodbye!  I wish them all safe travels and a warm winter and look forward to seeing them again next spring.


Autumn days have brought a fresh flush of blooms on the Knockout roses. 'Radsunny' adds some cheerful color to the Lily Bed.  


One of my favorite flowers this time of year is the Japanese Anemone.  I think this is 'Honorine Jobert,' but the tag has long since been lost.


The vegetable garden is pretty much done for the year except for green tomatoes that will probably never ripen.  But on one end closest to the house, I always plant a few marigold seeds, and this fall they have taken over four to five feet of the garden!  I'm not sure why they have spread so much this year, but I don't mind since they are choking out any weeds and certainly add a bright spot of color to this area.


Autumn also means the 'Victoria Blue' Salvia has come into its own.  This is one of my favorite annuals, and I have it planted in many places.  While other annuals have faded or will turn brown at the first hint of frost, 'Victoria' will keep going until a killing frost.


'Wendy's Wish' isn't as hardy and won't last past the first touch of frost, but I do enjoy this larger, fuschia Salvia, and it's a favorite of the hummingbirds.


The past two weeks I've been thinking about fall chores and slowly starting to prepare for the winter.  My bulb orders all arrived this past week, and I've made a little headway in planting bulbs.  Soon it will be time to put things away and dig up tender plants.  I know you can't tell from this photo, but this caladium leaf is huge!  A friend gave me a few bulbs this summer, and I put them in a pot, having no idea how big they would be.  I want to make sure to pack these safely away before winter--these are going directly into the shade garden next year, instead of being crammed into tiny pots.


Looking around the garden for a few photos on this breezy, rainy day, I found a few surprises.  There are a few new coneflower blooms, and the white phlox have a few fresh blooms as well.  But most surprising of all was this--a bloom on my huge lilac bush!  This is not a re-blooming lilac, but an old-fashioned shrub.  The warm fall must have it confused.


And, in case you're wondering, yes, I still have zinnias!  Some of them are even taller than I am.


'Zowie's' are blowing in the wind, but still standing strong, with a few new blooms opening up every few days.


It really has been a great year for zinnias, and I had to show them off one more time, because I'm sure this will be the last Bloom Day for them this year.  The first frost will bring them to an end, so they remind me every day to enjoy each and every moment of this fall.


The leaves on the trees have just begun to turn, and with the warm weather we've had for most of this month, it's hard to think of winter just a few weeks away.  If you'll pardon the pun, it's been a "berry nice" fall.  Viburnum 'Cardinal Candy' above is full of little berries to tempt the birds.


My non-gardening daughter asked me one day if these were blackberries, and I told her she was close, but I wouldn't recommend eating them.  I enjoy this stage of blackberry lilies as much as I do their earlier blooms.


The crabapples are full of fruit this year--enough to keep the birds happy for awhile.


And one of my personal fall favorites--the Beautyberry.


The weatherman has promised warm weather through the end of the month.  I certainly hope he's right, not only to finish all my fall chores, but also to enjoy the remaining beauty of the garden for as long as I can.  I hope you are enjoying Autumn as well!


To see what else is blooming around the world on this mid-October day, be sure to visit our hostess Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

40 comments:

  1. Oh, I always love that combination of the Beautyberry branches with the Amsonia. Love, love, love it! All your blooms are gorgeous, too! Happy autumn and happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks, Beth. The Amsonia hasn't reached its most picturesque stage yet, but I'm sure it will be turning golden very soon.

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  2. Wonderful asters, and I love that 'Victoria Blue' salvia and all the beautiful zinnias. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy. I had a difficult time getting decent photos this month because everything was blowing in the wind. The 'October Skies' asters are lower-growing asters that are a mound of blooms and much appreciated this time of year.

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  3. Had to look up that blackberry lily - that's a nice plant, and I like the berries too. I get red berries after my "Stinking Iris". Not a very flattering name, but I do enjoy the flower. And, I've never noticed any weird smells from it... I covet your Amsonia in the last photo - I'm surprised it hasn't turned saffron yet. Happy Autumn, Rose!

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    1. I just discovered the botanical name of blackberry lily has been changed, Anna. I guess Iris domestica fits it better since it's in the iris family and not a lily at all. The first time I saw one was in this stage, and I thought it was so cool. The Amsonia should be turning gold any time; maybe the warm weather has kept it green.

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  4. Dear Rose,

    I cannot believe that you still have so much colour in the garden. Zinnia's taller than you....WOW.
    By comparison, this damp cold garden is declining rapidly. Things are beginning to look a tad messy.

    We expect frosts this week.........that will finish most of the flowers.

    Enjoy the warm weather while you can Rose...........

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    1. We have had what seems more like a long summer, Cheryl, which has prolonged many plants in the garden. I don't know what the secret was this year for the zinnias, but they have done exceptionally well. I just hope when the weather turns, it doesn't change right into winter!

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  5. Rose, your autumn garden is full of colors till now. I liked Beautyberry, what is its Latin mane? I also liked zinnias, anemones, fuschia Salvia, all is pretty.
    Happy GBBD!

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  6. The botanical name of Beautyberry is Callicarpa americana, Nadezda. Sorry I didn't include that. It's a shrub native to parts of the U.S. and one of the prettier ones, I think. It's not very showy until autumn when the purple berries appear.

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  7. Your garden looks great for this time of year Rose. I love our zinnias. I wish I had more sun so I could have them. Maybe I will have to dig up an area in the sun and have a zinnia patch next year. Dry dry dry here. Record highs. I don't mind since I am still doing spring chores. ;) Happy GBBD.

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    1. Yes, you need to have a zinnia patch, Lisa! I'm sorry about your lack of rain; we just had another inch or more yesterday, which is good because I'm trying to plant bulbs around some trees, and it's no fun when the ground is like concrete:)

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  8. October Skies' Asters ... just perfect!

    I love all the colour you still have in your garden.
    The mix of flowers and berries just lovely.

    Enjoy these last two weeks of October.

    All the best Jan

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    1. 'October Skies' is a great name, isn't it, Jan? Sometimes I buy plants because of their names, but in this case it was the almost-blue color that attracted me. The weather is supposed to stay nice till the end of the month--I hope so, because I'm making very slow progress on bulb-planting and fall chores.

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  9. Love those asters. I only have one small white one and the purple ones are so lovely. In the past, I have had my lilac do the same thing. Crazy!

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    1. Linda, I was so surprised to see the lilac with a few blooms. It reminded me that I never got around to pruning it this spring as I intended--oh well, maybe next year.

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  10. 'October Skies' is a beauty Rose. I'm with you on retaining the word 'aster' - old and stuck in my ways too. I think that the butterflies that I saw at the weekend may be the last of the year. Today has been the windiest and wettest day of autumn so far this year. Your immediate weather forecast sounds promising. I hope that you achieve all the tasks on your to do list :)

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    1. Anna, I just learned they've changed the name of Sedums, too. Good grief, I can't remember all of these! I'm hoping the weather will hold, too, because things are not getting done as quickly around here as I had hoped.

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  11. Love your caladium and all those zinnias! All of my asters are in bloom, too, and my annual cosmos are still going. We've had a warm spell so all the bees are still foraging, but I know it won't be long until it's back to the cold weather. I need to get motivated to do all those fall chores :)

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    1. The caladiums were really something, Indie. I've never had such big-leaved ones before! Working on bulb planting this week, so I am hoping the nice weather lasts awhile longer.

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  12. Lovely tour, Rose. The summer seemed to fly by and we will all surly miss the many joys in our gardens. Tomorrow will begin putting my gardens to bed with hope for an easy winter while dreaming of spring.

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    1. This summer really did seem to fly by, Joey. I am looking forward to having time for other things besides gardening, but I know by February I will be itching to get back at it:)

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  13. Although the flowers and shrubs are beautiful, I did love the berries. They make a good picture.
    Maggie x

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the berries, Maggie. Sometimes we're so busy looking at all the gorgeous leaves of fall that we miss these little jewels.

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  14. That caladium leaf would make a great leaf casting!

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    1. That's a great idea, Tina! Maybe next year I'll get around to trying some leaf casting.

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  15. I think 'October Skies' is an improvement on the species, though the straight species is still pretty darn nice. I don't have Frost Aster, but I have a weak spot for weedy asters generally. Calico Aster would be a good example - weedy but I love it anyway (but still I yank out tons of it).

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    1. I planted 'October Skies' because the blooms are nearly blue, Jason. And their shorter, mounding habit is great for the front of the border. But I do like the taller asters as well. The Frost Aster was a gift from the birds:)

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  16. I missed Bloom Day this month but I'm loving looking at all the other gardens. Right now I have a few asters and wildly blooming sheffield daisies. Your garden is just lovely - and so are your photos.

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I don't have any Sheffies, though I have intended to plant some for years. Need to remember them next spring.

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  17. I missed Bloom Day this month but I'm loving looking at all the other gardens. Right now I have a few asters and wildly blooming sheffield daisies. Your garden is just lovely - and so are your photos.

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  18. Your photos are all a perfect reminder of the beauty in the fall that is truly a show all its own! Your October Asters are the same ones I have. I didn't know the name of them, a blogging friend gave me some about 5 years ago, and they came from her Aunt's garden, so I know them only as "Aunt Dottie's Asters." Thanks for the "garden tour" and a reminder for me to look a little closer at what I am missing!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Kim! I have several plants that came from my aunt's garden, too, that I don't know the name of, so I always call them 'Nettie's' whatever:)

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    1. Thanks, Tatyana! I enjoy them, too.

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  20. Rose girl hello there !
    Thank you so much for stopping by and your condolences ... it has been a rocky month .. heck it has been a rocky year with the drought and heat .. my poor garden has been so neglected .. I too have my bulb orders sitting here ready to be planted but I haven't even done garden clean up yet .. yikes !
    Your zinnias are amazing .. you may have convinced me I should try them out : )
    There are always a few surprises when we walk around the garden even at this late date .. you have captured suck pretty photos : )
    My beauty Bush never has a chance to fruit .. I keep it trimmed in a specific shape .. I feel very guilty now seeing yours ...
    Good luck with the bulbs girl ... I will be thinking of you when I attack my chores, and please plant that sumac!!!
    LOL ... Joy : )

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  21. What an amazing array of colours! Asters will always be Michaelmas daisies to me!

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  22. Our weather always seems similar to yours. We too have been enjoying a mild fall. I have noticed the bees and wasps have all but gone from the garden as well. I had very few butterflies even earlier in the gardening season. It's sad to have so few! I have already started making notes for next spring and there are a few things you've featured in the post that I would really like to add. Your zinnas, asters, white anemones and black berry lilies are terrific!

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  23. You still have so much colour in the garden, Rose !! I love your flowers !!
    Happy weekens !

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