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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ‘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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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?