Saturday, October 15, 2011

October GBBD: It's Not Over Yet!

What a glorious fall we have had!  Day after day of bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70's or 80's with comfortably cool nights. The trees are showing off their fall colors, and the fields are full of the hum of combines.  Though the garden knows it is time to wind down for the year, it is still looking remarkably good for this October Bloom Day.

 Though there is nothing actually new blooming in the garden now, some plants have been rejuvenated by this fall weather.  The Knockout roses are looking much better than they did during the summer.

The yellow Knockouts 'Radsunny,' I've noticed, turn a paler cream color as they open.

'Black and Blue' Salvia's electric blue color is one of my favorites.  The only drawback to this plant is that it is an annual in my zone 5 garden.

While the purple coneflowers Echinacea purpurea have long since turned to brown seedheads, this Echinacea 'Big Sky Sundown' has surprised me by putting out a few new blooms for the past few months.

True to its name, the 'Bloomerang' lilac has rebloomed this fall.  Not the best photo, but it does have a few more blooms than this.  The fragrance of 'Bloomerang' is much fainter than the traditional lilacs, but it does have that wonderful smell.  Sophie, however, is interested in other smells:)

Fall is the time for grasses to shine, and I finally have a few to admire. Miscanthus 'Morning Light' is a newcomer in the arbor bed, but it's beginning to show its potential.

The switchgrass 'Shenandoah' has lovely red foliage that defies my camera settings.

I showed a glimpse of the newest bloom in the garden last month, but 'October Skies'  is now a mass of blooms.  I would definitely recommend this aster for anyone looking to add a fall bloomer to their garden.

Although the perennials are sticking to their usual fall schedule, it is the annuals that don't realize it is almost the end of the season.  Usually by this time of year we've had at least one night of frost, but not this year, and as a result the annuals are still going strong.  Masses of zinnias in every shade provide lots of color in the arbor bed.

Even the few zinnias in the roadside garden provide a pop of color, especially against the backdrop of the burning bushes which are a brilliant red this year.
'Snow Sonata' cosmos will definitely be planted again next season.

Even the vegetable garden still has some color as marigolds and zinnias mix with the purple leaves of kale.

Although I've been savoring every moment of this beautiful fall, there is just one problem with this extended blooming time.  You would think I would have been taking advantage of the perfect weather to get all my fall garden projects done.  But I haven't cleaned out all my containers because some of them are still looking good.  And I had hoped to have all my bulbs planted before the end of October, but most of them are going in where the annuals are growing.  I worked around this border of lantana to plant a few bulbs.

But I can't bring myself to pull out this angelonia just yet.

Nor do I want to rip out the Profusion zinnias or the 'Victoria' salvia.  I'm not really procrastinating--I'm just enjoying the moment for as long as I can.  Once again, it looks like I'll be planting bulbs in my winter coat and stocking cap, trying to keep my fingers from going numb. 

While I'm happy with all the color in my October garden, I'm one of those who can never have too much color.  Warning--for those of you who are garden purists and have a disdain for the common variety of mum, you might want to skip the next photo.

Yes, I know these will all wind up on the compost heap in a few weeks, but I just can't help myself, especially when the garden centers are cutting prices to sell off their inventory.  When I see "buy two, get one free" all I see is the word "free":)  I did give one to my daughter-in-law, to avoid feeling too extravagant.  To me, fall just isn't fall without pumpkins and a few mums to celebrate the season.

Thanks once again to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting another monthly meeting of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.


  1. Dear Rose,

    Your garden looks more like August than October. So many blooms, I am amazed to see it to be truthful. I grew the white cosmos from seed and I agree with you I shall be doing the same next year. Such ethereal blooms.

    Your garden is glorious in it's October disply Rose. You have achieved so much these past few years.

    We had our first frost last night and the heating is on this morning.
    It is really cold actually.
    I have planted all my bulbs. I started around two weeks ago. glad I did now as the weather is obviously going to change.

    Have a lovely weekend Rose and enjoy the sunshine......

  2. aloha,

    wow, what a gorgeous collection of fall colors, thanks for sharing these

  3. Everything looks so beautiful. I love the potted plants that you got for *free*!
    Particularly love the salvias and all the low growing clumps of beautiful flowering bushy plants.
    Also love the idea of putting kale in with flowers.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  4. Just ignore the mum snobs. I too love the color they bring to the season. You have a lot blooming in your garden. I will have to try some more annuals next year. Happy GBBD.

  5. Yep, I'm with Lisa - ignore the mum snobs! Nothing adds brilliant color to fall gardens like the lowly, oft-maligned common mum (except maybe that gorgeous aster!)

    Your garden looks amazing this October Rose. Happy Bloom Day!

  6. You really have a lot of lovely flowers blooming. I didn't realize the pink knockout roses would rebloom in the fall and they are in front of winterberry hollies loaded with red berries--not the best color combo. I just saw 'Bloomerang lilca for the first time--lovely leaves and flowers, bad name. Happy GBBD.

  7. Grasses and Zinnias, who could ask for more?

  8. You take such gorgeous photos! The first rose, with the dew, and that zinnia --what amazing color!

    I really love the grasses too, but I have not had any luck growing them with the number of black walnut trees on our property.

    We've had one frost up here, and although it did some damage, most of the annuals made it through. We're expecting an overnight in the 20's soon, though, so that will probably do it :-)

  9. You still have so much blooming in your garden, and those mums are just spectacular. I am battling pocket gophers and I am not planting anything new until I get rid of them in the front garden.

  10. What amazing color you have in the garden right now. I am going to have to add acouple more Knockout roses. How to choose, though?

  11. Love all your colors, esp. the kale and zinnias. i love purple-yellow and purple-orange combos. I have good luck with my mums coming back year after year. Just leave the dead foliage to provide a little winter "mulching." I know not all mums sold in our zone are hardy, but I got a ton a few years back on sale for 25 cents in November at Lowe's... and 90% still come back. :) I also cut back buds on July 4. :) P.S. Lookit me, I'm still keeping up with comments! :)

  12. Snow Sonata cosmos is lovely! I see why you want to plant it again. We have had some high 70's and even 80-degree days as well. Maybe that is why some of the blooms are sticking around a bit longer. Happy GBBD!

  13. The colors in your garden are truly gorgeous and I do love your use of grasses. Happy Bloom Day!

  14. So late in the year and so much to see must be wonderful.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  15. Dear Rose, Your October garden is amazing. My place is lacking the mums this year -- I didn't purchase any because I knew we would be traveling and they wouldn't get watered. The angelonia is so sweet. Happy GBBD! P. x

  16. Your garden looks great! Having to wait for beautiful annuals to finish blooming so you can plant bulbs is a pretty good problem to have. I love the grasses too!

  17. Your angelonia looks so great. I vow to plant some in my beds next summer as I've never done that. Love that beautiful kale!

  18. Your gardens have really sprung back in this fall season. I have the yellow knock-out rose, love the delicate yellow color. Beautiful collection of fall color!

  19. Pretty, pretty. I wouldn't be able to dig out the angelonia or any of the other beautiful annuals yet, either! I love your lantana border!

  20. I would have a hard time pulling out those beautiful blooms, too. Maybe the weather will continue to stay mild so you don't have to freeze planting bulbs! Your white cosmos are beautiful, and I love the kale!

  21. What gorgeous photos. The Asters look beautiful and I love the Snow Sonata Cosmos. The Angelonia!!

  22. Great gardens Rose! Your blooms look glorious! Roses, grasses...just love it all! The mums are great too...I love the brilliant color they add to the fall garden!

  23. Yes, it's been an amazing autumn so far! I love your photo of the Zinnias against the Burning Bush! Happy GBBD!

  24. Your roses and grasses are so beautiful! You must get so much enjoyment out of your gardens. Happy GBBD!

  25. You've got a lot to show for this October bloom day! Numb fingers will be a small price to pay for the enjoyment of an extended season of annuals; they are gorgeous. I couldn't bring myself to rip them out either ;)

  26. I think that your row of Lantana looks so good still along with those other annuals. I wouldn't be pulling them out yet either.

  27. What a flower party in your October garden! Love them all but the white cosmos is so pure it made me catch my breath. I hope the frost holds off so you can get some chores done.

  28. Dear Rose,
    It has been too warm here to plant bulbs. I am hoping this week after a cool down I will be able get mine in.
    I love mums...the bugs don't like them much but I need a few for October and November. I have a few that have been great year after year. I leave cutting them back until April. Keeps them from heaving in the winter.
    I made a note to get some Snow Sonata Cosmos you save them? I would love a few to add to my white garden.....please?
    Lovely blooms.

  29. Wonderful post...I totally agree about 'Shenandoah', I can never get a photo that really does it justice! I adore that 'Aster', I'll have to look for that one...definitely a show-stopper!

  30. Don't you just love those Knockout Roses? They seem to do well no matter what Mother Nature throws at them. :) I know what you mean Rose about not wanting to rip out the summer annuals yet. My red washtub is filled with Angelonia & Impatiens that still look great! They'll last until we get our first killing frost which might not be for another month. I got all my bulbs planted while I had some momentum though. lol :)

  31. Rose girl : )
    Your roses are gorgeous ! I don't have a knockout rose yet, but I want one that has scent (what is a rtose without scent ?LOL)
    YES ! Give Morning Light a couple of years .. it takes time to thicken and display that beautiful glow .. I promise you won't be disappointed ! and Shenandoah has been spectacular for me this year .. beside center Glow Ninebark they are showing off for each other : )
    you have so much beautiful colour left still ... I am in love with my flowerin kale .. the fushia (spelling) are still going .. Diamond Frost euphorbia is amazing .. well I have gotten a lot of smiles from it all .. soon it will be over, so I am enjoying it as much as I can for now!
    Joy : )

  32. How very lovely~Your garden does make me pine for a sunnier garden! xxoogail

  33. Oh Rose, I'm with you on the mums. I buy them every fall. They look so gorgeous! My daughter planted hers in her garden and they're back this year. My garden soil is too sandy, so mine also end up in the compost heap.

    Your garden is glorious, and I can see why you can't bring yourself to rip up good, colourful, flowers-in-bloom. I can't either. It hurts!!

    And then when the weather turns cold and the frost has blackened and withered them, we are forced to garden in the freezing temps and wish we had done it sooner, when the sun was warm. LOL! I have that struggle every year.
    Sending hugs

  34. Thanks for your comments, everyone! The forecast is for a couple of nights in the 30's this week, so it's only a matter of time till the annuals are done.

    For those of you who commented on the angelonia, this is the first time I've planted it directly into the garden instead of in a pot. Like the lantana, it has done extremely well in the soil and stood up to the heat and drought this summer without a problem.

    Sherry, I will be glad to send you some cosmos seeds; thanks for motivating me to get out and collect some:)

    Joy, Thanks for the encouragement on 'Morning Light'; I've seen a more mature specimen at the nursing home garden, so I'm hoping mine will one day be as beautiful as it is.

    Wendy, Yes, when my fingers are freezing planting bulbs, I'll wish I had done it sooner, so this my reminder why I procrastinated:)

  35. You have so much color, I'd leave it as long as possible too! I love your flowers but am even more smitten with the grassses.

  36. Your garden looks so fresh for this time of the year, Rose. Do wait for the flowering to stop before you pull things out, its such a shame to destroy something while its at its best. Your bulbs will be better for planting late. Christina

  37. Hi Rose,
    You have lots of blooming beauties, too. Yes, I think my asters are 'October Skies', like you suggested. I thing my cosmos were Sonatas, as well.

    I had the same kind of problem with not wanting to move out the annuals. I went ahead and put some early spring native perennials on the edges of some of the annuals.

  38. I am glad to read that I am not the only one who plants bulbs in their winter coat! And the purists can get off their high horses as far as I am concerned. There is nothing wrong with fall mums- especially bargain fall mums! You have lots of flowers still blooming. I really like your annual angelonia and that blue salvia.

  39. So much color for you in Oct. And such vibrant colors too boot! I love the way you grouped your Serena! It looks like one huge blooming bush. I only wish it would return each year. That is one plant I shall splurge on each year. I have so many bulbs that need to be put into the ground as well but they must wait. I have too much going on these days but still time as our season is not as cold as you. I doubt I will be donning stocking cap and gloves. LOL I can see you know all bundled up planting.... Good luck...

  40. Rose, everything looks great. You have a ton of beauties left to dazzle. We got our first real cold front this morning. It's now 50, and warmer later. I love mums too even if they don't overwinter.~~Dee

  41. Ha, your Snow Sonata cosmos did a lot better than mine! I got only one plant out of a whole packet of seed. I love how fall has truly come to your garden. It's starting in mine finally (except for the trees).

  42. Fall is wonderful in your gardens, Rose!
    I would love to know the variety of Zinnia in the roadside planting, one is yellow? Love that yellow zinnia!
    I wish I could've found angelonia this year! It is an awesome annual!

  43. Rose, fall is definitely here and we are so pleased to join you in this Indian summer. We too have had such beautiful days, but fear it is about to end.

    As always, lovely flowers and fotos... and that Hyacinth Bean Vine in your prior post is magnificent. Hope all is well.

  44. Free! Ha! I'm exactly the same way. I was recently shopping for a new car and my daughter suggested I get a smaller one. "It will save you a fortune, Mom! You can't fit as many plants in it!" Smart cookie, that kid o' mine. :D


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.