October 14, 2014

Autumn blooms before the frost

hyacinth bean

There's no denying it now: Autumn is here, and the days of the tender annuals, the vegetables, and this year's perennial growth are numbered. But a few things are still blooming, since we haven't had a killing frost. For example, Hyacinth Bean vine (Lablab purpureus) is still putting on a last, desperate show of purple tenderness.

rudbeckia

This Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is reblooming--though the flower is smaller.

impatiens

Yes, I will plant Double Impatiens (I. walleriana) 'Fiesta Pink Ruffle' again! An Impatiens plant this sturdy and lovely deserves a place in the planter pots.

planter

The Marigolds of various cultivars show a touch of frost, but they keep on blooming and budding. The Whorled Milkweeds (Asclepias verticillata) in the same pot never did bloom--maybe because this was their first year growing from seed?

boltonia

The stems and blooms of the False Asters (Boltonia asteroides) are spindly--but again, this was their first year in the garden.

asters

'Vibrant Dome' Asters (A. novae-angliae) were planted last fall. They made it through last winter's polar vortex, they like their spot, and I look forward to seeing their progress again next year.

zinnias

Zinnias (Z. elegans 'State Fair Mix') are feeling the cold, but maybe I'll get a few more blooms before the frost.

marinka

I'm nursing the hanging Fuchsias, including Fuchsia 'Marinka', just in case any straggler hummingbirds make their way through the neighborhood. But I do believe we've seen the last of the hummingbirds for this season.

fuchsia1

Something about the folds and the purple/pink combo of Fuchsia 'Dollar Princess' makes my heart skip a beat.

lantana

The Lantanas (L. camara 'Lucky Flame') are still forming new flowers, and will continue until the first hard frost.

cosmos

And finally, Cosmos (C. bipinnatus 'Versailles Mix') is still plugging away with repeat blooms.

I know their days are numbered, which makes the blooms even more sweet. What's blooming in your garden? It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this wonderful meme each month.

38 comments:

  1. Oooo! Love that deep purple of the lablab. Do you eat it?

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    1. I love it, too! There's something about the shade of purple on that plant--unlike anything else. No, I haven't tried to consume it, because it's dangerous to eat unless you cook it quite extensively. Apparently one can get quite sick if it isn't cooked enough. So I use it merely as an ornamental. I do, however, harvest the seeds for next year.

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  2. Such gorgeous pictures...I want to say just what Jane (above) said: Ooooo! I am in love with those double Impatiens and the way they mound so beautifully. And your shot of the fuchsia is stunning. Have you ever tried New Guinia impatiens (I may have the spelling wrong...) They are a staple of my fall garden because they are so sturdy--considered a hearty annual. Those and the Japanese Anemones in double white. What would we do without these beauties that endure until the frost?

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    1. Thank you, Susie! Yes, I have tried New Guinea Impatiens--last year, in fact. I've had mixed results. At my last house, they grew quite well and were a favorite annual. But I can't seem to get them to thrive here--perhaps it's just too shady for them. I might try them in my south-facing pots next year, because they are beautiful plants!

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  3. You photograph your beautiful garden so skillfully. I saw lab lab beans in a friends urban garden recently and thought I would add them to my garden until I learned they are deer candy. Darn and drat!

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    1. Thank you! I'm not surprised that deer like the Hyacinth Bean vines, because rabbits do, too. We don't have many deer here, but rabbits are too plentiful! They clipped one of my Hyacinth Bean vines off at the base earlier in the season. Luckily, I found it right away and plugged it deeply into the soil, where it resprouted roots--and voila! I made sure to place rattling repellents around it, and didn't have rabbit problems for the rest of the season. In previous summers, I placed chicken wire around the base of the vines, which also kept the rabbits away. But of course, deer are taller so a bigger threat. ;-)

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    2. Wow. That Hyacinth Bean sounds tough!!

      And so beautiful to see it still blooming in mid-October in your neck of the woods. I gotta try it someday soon!! :)

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    3. Yes, some of the vines have receded a bit, but the blooms at the top are still popping. Most Octobers we'd probably have had colder nights by now, but this year--in my neighborhood at least--we've only had very spotty frost. So the Hyacinth Beans and most other tender annuals are still blooming. I think you'll be happy with Hyacinth Bean vine, Aaron. Make sure you protect it from deer or rabbits, though, if you have them in your garden. :)

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  4. Oh Beth so many beautiful flowers...I love that double Impatien too!! I'll have to look for it next year! Happy Bloom Day Beth....

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    1. Thanks, Donna. :) I'm sure you're feeling the bittersweet appreciation of the remaining blooms, too. Happy Bloom Day to you, as well!

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  5. Your photos are just lovely--I wish I could pick a favorite, but alas, they're all so good. I always love to see fuchsia--it's too hot here for them, so I drool when I see them elsewhere. But I'm certainly at home with the lantana. Happy blooming!

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    1. Thank you! This was a great year for the Fuchsias because our summer temperatures were in the 80s most of the summer, and my garden is very shady. During very hot summers (with some 90s and 100s), they struggle a bit on the hottest days. I'm amazed that they actually seem to thrive during the cooler spring and fall days--unless we get frost of course. But since they're in hanging baskets, I can bring them into the porch or the garage for the night. I love Fuchsias, and the hummingbirds do, too. :)

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  6. Hi Beth, there comes a sweet melancholy with the last blooms of autumn, doesn't it? The Hyacinth Bean vine is so pretty and I love your impatiens 'Fiesta Pink Ruffle'. I certainly would plant those again, too :-)! The last photo of the Cosmos is stunning. Wishing you a nice rest of the week!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks, Christina. Yes, sweet melancholy is a good way to describe it. When I published this post three days ago, it seemed like autumn would hold on for a while. Now, with the wind, so many of the trees are losing their leaves. It's starting to feel more like late autumn, although I still have flowers and bright foliage. Such a changeable time!

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  7. Beth-you still have such delicate and colorful blooms and you have captured them all so beautifully with your photography. I enjoyed the tour. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thank you, Lee! I'm starting to feel wistful now because today feels a little colder and the trees are losing their leaves. The blooms are sadly leaving us, but I guess I'm glad I had some to share for GBBD. :)

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  8. You have lots more blooming than I do. Asters and Anemones are done in my garden, toad lilies only so-so this year. But great foliage color so there is plenty to look at. Amazing how annuals will just keep producing until frost.

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    1. Yes, the annuals serve a purpose for the straggler pollinators, don't they? I agree--the foliage has been incredible. Yesterday, my neighborhood was stunning with the bright light slanting in to the colorful trees at oblique angles. We may have passed the peak, though. But still plenty of color to enjoy. :)

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  9. There is something so endearing about these bold beauties that hang on to the very end.

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    1. Yes, sigh ... sadly their time is limited. But it's nice to have them around while they last. :)

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  10. We've had a bout of warm weather, which has finally made some long-awaited flowers bloom (and other ones I'm still waiting for!) Only a few of my milkweeds bloomed this year. I'm sure next year they'll bloom, as so many perennials grown from seed do. Cosmos are awesome, aren't they? Mine are still going too!

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    1. I love Cosmos! Thanks for the reminder to go out and cut some more. They just keep coming. Now I'm wondering when we'll have a hard frost. It's not in the forecast for the next 10 days, which is late for us.

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  11. Oh your bean vine is so pretty, I know I have said it before, but it is still pretty! If you can’t eat the bean vine, at least you can eat your fuchsias, have you tried them? I have been eating fuchsia berries all summer, as I have so many I have let some of them fruit and they are lovely. You can eat the flowers too, they look pretty in salads, your ‘Dollar Princess’ would look amazing in a fruit salad bowl :-)
    You have showed us a lovely collection of October flowers, I hope they will last for a long time and that this year will be the year when winter enters late and leaves early. No repeat of the Polar Vortex!

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    1. Helene: Thanks for the information about the Fuchsia berries! No, I didn't know that! I did some research and many sources recommend adding them to salads and desserts and even making jam if you have enough. I tried one yesterday and, indeed, it was very tasty. Sometimes I get behind on the dead-heading and the berries form. Now I think I will let more of them ripen so I can eat more. Thanks!

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    2. And different fuchsias taste slightly different, I like the berries from 'Snowburner' – big, plump and deep red berries with a slight peppery after taste. I also like the berries from Fuchsia bacillaris 'Cottinghamii', a miniature fuchsia that produces small black berries in abundance. Time to go tasting in your garden :-)

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    3. 'Marinka' tastes similar to your description of 'Snowburner.' The berries are large and the taste is quite sweet, actually, with a little zing at the end. Very refreshing! The 'Dollar Princess' flowers are smaller, and it doesn't seem to be producing as many berries as 'Marinka.' My two 'Marinka' plants have plentiful berries now--I just have to wait until they're ripe to pick them. Yum!

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  12. Last blooms are precious! Lovely images, Beth! My best blooming plant right now is Salvia 'Black and Blue'.

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    1. Thanks, Tatyana! Your Salvias are so beautiful. I remember seeing them featured on your lovely blog. I feel so blessed to have blooms in mid-October. Some years, they're long-gone by now.

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  13. Any plant that survives a polar vortex is extremely garden worthy plant Beth.
    You've still got a wide selection of blooms and I am still as impressed with the bean vine as I was the first time I saw it on one of your posts.
    Great post and lovely pictures.

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    1. Thanks! And I agree about the garden-worthy plants, Angie. Most of my perennials made it through. The only exceptions were the ones in pots, so I think I'll put any potted perennials in the garage this year. The challenge is to know when to bring them out again in the spring! Hyacinth Bean vine is now an official stalwart in my garden. Of course, it has to be replanted from seed every spring, but it grows fast and full.

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  14. Knowing their days are numbered, I think we appreciate these late blooms all the more. Love the double impatiens--I always plant at least one pot each year. Their blooms remind me of miniature roses. I'm so envious of your fuschias! I've never had much luck with them, but oh those red/purple blooms are so beautiful. I bet the hummingbirds loved them.

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    1. Yes, so true, Rose. I see Roses when I look at the double Impatiens, too. And the colors are so pretty. Fuchsias are very happy here with the dappled shade. They tend to struggle a bit during a very hot summer, but this year was a very good one for them. And, yes, the hummingbirds are crazy about them. I miss them. :(

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  15. I like that red Zinnia. Zinnias are very slow to get started, but they keep going for a long time..

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    1. Ooops--I needed to check back here to respond after my later posts. Believe it or not, I still have Zinnias blooming this year at the end of October. Wild.

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  16. It's amazing how much is still green and blooming, though I'm seeing fewer flowers on my walks these days. Autumn is definitely settling in...

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    1. Yes, autumn is really settling in now. I have a few annuals still blooming, but consistently cooler weather is on its way for next week. Just in time for Halloween!

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  17. I enjoyed seeing your blooms. Yes, their days are numbered. We've had a couple close calls, and some light frost, but not enough to cause damage. I planted more lantana than usual because we were on a neighborhood garden tour this spring, and I had holes I wanted filled. I sure have enjoyed them, as they have bloomed all season, and are continuing to. Now, I hope the small natives in those areas fill in the spaces next year.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. The Lantanas are great annuals, aren't they? I figure they aren't invasive here because they can't survive the winter. And they provide blooms from spring through autumn frost, so they're helpful to the pollinators.They're also native to the tropical Americas, so the migrating pollinators are familiar with them. But most of the perennials I'm adding to my garden are natives because they support our local ecosystems. :)

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