Cestrum 'Orange Peel' with 'Pink Preference' autumn sage is one of my favorite plant combos. Both are hardy here. I'm planting them on the other side of the path next spring for symmetry.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, Dateline October

Hello gang! I bet you thought I would be MIA for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Nope, I ran outside this morning to take a few photos of what’s blooming at RDR. I restricted today’s pics to the back garden and the back borders. I didn’t go out to the potager, or to the beds out by the street, although they are blooming with abandon too. I recently wrote about those beds as I mused about an October state of mind, and there’s a photo with Maddie, my dog, sulking in front of the pink muhly grass.

Before we get started, here’s an overall view of the back garden.

Overall view of the back garden in October. Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Overall view of the back garden in October.

I think it looks pretty good because we’ve worked all year keeping things tidy for the garden tour this Saturday. I hope those of you who can will come. I want to help horticulture students–ticket proceeds go to scholarships–and I want to meet you. Bill and I worked yesterday to finish up the landscaping around the new pond. I’ll post on the pond after the tour. Today is all about blooms, and we have quite a few.

Two favorite trial plants from Suntory Sun Parasol Garden Crimson mandevilla and Sur Diva Blue scaveola in a bright blue pot.

Two favorite trial plants from Suntory: Sun Parasol Garden Crimson mandevilla and Surdiva Blue scaveola in a bright blue pot.

I’ll be taking this pot into the greenhouse after the tour. This mandevilla is the most scrumptious red, and I want to overwinter it.

Chaise longue on the deck surrounded by blooming coleus, and other fab plants still hanging tough.

Chaise longue on the deck surrounded by blooming coleus, and other fab plants still hanging tough.

So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of something delicious to drink, and let’s stroll through the October flowers. It’s going to be a long ride.

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'October Skies' or maybe the species. I don't remember, and honestly, they look alike to me.

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’ or maybe the species. I don’t remember, and honestly, they look alike to me. Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ is blooming behind.

Native asters are still blooming which makes the pollinators very happy indeed. In fact, some asters like ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ haven’t even started blooming. I had a talk with ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ this morning and explained it needs to bloom by Saturday. I can’t remember if the aster above is ‘October Skies,’ or the regular species. I can’t really tell them apart. This was marked ‘October Skies’ years ago when I bought it.

Aster tataricus, Tatarian aster.

Aster tataricus, Tatarian aster. This is just the species, not ‘Jindai.’ I’d like the shorter ‘Jindai’ one day. Still, mine isn’t very tall. You can see the trees just starting to turn in the background.

Roses are also blooming. I still have several roses, although I removed twelve plants this year that had Rose Rosette. So far, ‘Carefree Beauty’ is unaffected. I took cuttings last year and planted another ‘Carefree Beauty’ on the other side of the main path in the rose garden. It got big enough, even with all the competition from surrounding plants, to bloom this year. Only the larger plant is blooming now though. Click the gallery below for larger photos.

Rosa White Meidiland® is also blooming again in the tiered beds. I like her when she blooms, but I hate the brown spent blooms that hang around. White flowers do that a lot. Oh, give me a white flower that just falls to the ground when it’s done.

Rosa White Meidiland® is a steady performer in the tiered border. I wish the flowers didn't turn brown and hang on though as they die.

Rosa White Meidiland® is a steady performer in the tiered border. I wish the flowers didn’t turn brown and hang on though as they fade.

Rosa ‘Belinda’s Dream’ takes my breath away. How about you? October blooms aren’t perfect, but I think their imperfection and the threat of frost are what makes them even more special.

'Belinda's Dream' in October is ethereal.

‘Belinda’s Dream’ in October is ethereal.

Continuing with our pink theme, below is Gaillardia ‘Punch Bowl.’ Yes, it’s pink. Truly. And, you can grow it from seed, or buy plants. I bought my plants this year from Bustani Plant Farm, but I’ve also started it indoors from seed in the past. It just depends upon how organized I am in March. Several people have asked me if it comes back. I don’t find blanket flowers very reliable perennials, and ‘Punch Bowl’ has never overwintered for me. However, with deadheading, it blooms all summer and fall so I don’t care.

Gaillardia 'Punch Bowl'

Gaillardia ‘Punch Bowl,’ my favorite blanket flower.

Autumn blooms are often about small flowers, but that doesn’t mean they have to fade into the background. Take Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’ and Salvia greggii ‘Pink Preference’ for example. The brighten up any space where they’re planted together.

Cestrum 'Orange Peel' with 'Pink Preference' autumn sage is one of my favorite plant combos. Both are hardy here. I'm planting them on the other side of the path next spring for symmetry.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’ with ‘Pink Preference’ autumn sage is one of my favorite plant combos. Both are hardy here. I’m planting them on the other side of the path next spring for symmetry.

Dahlias are making quite a splash now too. I like to think ‘Juanita’ was named after my grandmother. It wasn’t, but who cares? I bought ‘Juanita’ from Old House Gardens. I just shopped with OHG for fall bulbs this week. I’ll write on bulbs–you guessed it–after the tour.

Dahlia 'Juanita'

Dahlia ‘Juanita’

‘Juanita’ is very heat tolerant which is a must for Oklahoma. Dahlias may come from Mexico, but they grow in the mountains. Always consider where your plants are originally from and try to mimic those conditions if you can.

Unnamed dahlia I bought at a Tulsa nursery.

Unnamed dahlia I bought at a Tulsa nursery. Love that dark red.

Trout lilies, why don’t you grow them? Is it the name? The Chicago Botanic Garden thinks so. Look at those sweet orchid-like blooms. They ask for so little. Grow them. Click on the gallery below to see the photos larger.

Trial Sunpatiens® are hanging in there. I planted these together because it’s easier to trial them that way. In the videos about my garden and the upcoming tour by The Oklahoman and OETA’s Oklahoma Gardening, the Sunpatiens® were featured even though I think they’re way past their prime. It just goes to show that human beings are extremely attracted to color. We can’t help it. We’re just made that way.

More trial plants hanging in there. Sunpatiens Spreading Tropical Orange (variegated foliage,) Compact Lilac and Compact Magenta. I like all of them. I like Sunpatiens period. Great summer plants.

More trial plants hanging in there. Sunpatiens® Spreading Tropical Orange (variegated foliage,) Compact Lilac and Compact Magenta. I like all of them. I like Sunpatiens® period. Great summer plants.

Another great plant still blooming is Senorita Rosalita® cleome. I cut it in half about a month ago, and it has roared back for fall. No, it doesn’t overwinter. No cleomes do, but not everything has to be perennial. Plus, the fair senorita doesn’t have those nagging thorns, and it stays leafy all the way up the stem because it doesn’t produce seeds.

I have more, but my fingers and brain are tired. What is your favorite plant for October Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day?

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6 comments on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, Dateline October

  1. Emily

    Your garden, and your photographs of it, are both so beautiful, Dee.

    1. Dee Nash

      Hi Emily. I’m sorry that Akismet put your comment in spam. I found it. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  2. Kathy Sturr

    I have so enjoyed spending time in your garden this morning Dee. I am now motivated to plant my bulbs! I worked a little bit in my garden this week – and oh, how I’ve missed her. I finally rescued my Spicebush and it feels oh so wonderful! You have so many blooms whereas my garden is fading fast. So much color and richness and goodness. Thank you.

    1. Dee Nash

      No, Kathy, thank you. I’ve really enjoyed my garden this year. The weather was somewhat gentle for Oklahoma. It was fun to share it with others last Saturday. I don’t think I’ve recovered yet, but it was exciting. I planted more daylilies yesterday afternoon, and that was so much fun. I didn’t have to think about how it would look for the moment. It felt free. Thank you so much for reading my blog.

  3. Dee Nash

    Robin, I just think our Octobers last longer. We don’t usually get a freeze until November, and this year, we’re even slower than usual. Yes, 500 people are a lot of garden enthusiasts!

  4. Robin Ruff Leja

    I’ve been thinking about your garden tour, and hoping it all went well. But 500 visitors is quite amazing! Punch Bowl is intriguing to me, but it would obviously be an annual up here. If I see it next year, I’ll have to try it out. Any flower that blooms nonstop is just right for me. Here, I’m mourning the loss of my annuals to the last two frosty nights. The sad part is that those frosty nights are always followed by more warm weather, just to make me miss them even more. Obviously I need to do better about planning for October, like you do.