Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October, 2015

Today marks another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. I can't believe it's already the middle of October. Only two more Bloom Days (and Foliage Follow-ups) this year. Time slips away incredible fast, at times. Presently, I have a cold that's set my throat on fire, so I wouldn't mind time slipping by a little faster to the end of this illness. Until then, I'll have another honey lemon tea while I work on this post.

This year, I learned that dahlia tubers are edible. Conveniently, one of my cousins received a windfall of free tubers from a lady whose big on dahlias, so I planted a few of those to try. They're not my favorite flower, but I must admit I've been impressed with these plants. I planted a few severely shriveled tubers in July, and after a slow start they've really exploded. They've developed remarkably sturdy stems that have withstood a summer thunderstorm and even the remnants of Hurricane Oho.

It has been a fun novelty this summer, waiting to see what will emerge from the mystery bag of tubers. So far I've had two basic blooms, a large purple and a golden orange-yellow. Judging from the leaves, there's a third type that hasn't bloomed yet. The purple blooms seem to be rather variable. Some are mostly purple, with white tips. One has emerged almost entirely white. I like oddballs, so the variable nature of these flowers is causing them to grow on me a bit.

Their size is amazing. The bloom below is the largest so far, around 7-8 inches across!

The peach-colored blooms are more petite, only about 4 inches across. I think this flower form falls under the "ball" classification.

Now for something I really like, Tricyrtis, or toad lilies. First up is Tricyrtis hirta. Before the fence went up, this was the only toad lily I felt safe planting, because of the hairy foliage. Sure enough, the deer left them alone. If you suffer from deer plague but desire one of these exotic fall-blooming perennials, try the hairy toad lily, Tricyrtis hirta. If you don't have deer, try it anyway!

Heavily spotted flowers with amazingly intricate structure are born all along the stems in fall.

As soon as the deer fence went up, I planted another tricyrtis, this one without any fuzz. Tricyrtis 'Empress' has large flowers born at the tips of upright stems, with bright chartreuse foliage. It is highly susceptible to slug damage, though, especially early in spring. Apply slug bait with a heavy hand to prevent the foliage from being ugly all summer.

My favorite toad lily in my garden is a new addition, planted just a couple weeks ago. Tricyrtis 'Blue Wonder' has true blue washed over the white petals, with dark purplish-blue speckles scattered across them, too.

Three more new additions are these hardy fuschias. First up is 'Lady Boothby', a scrambling climber. I planted it at the base of a pieris I got from Anna of Flutter and Hum. Hopefully the fuchsia will clamber up through the pieris, prolonging the show after the flowers and new growth of the pieris have faded.

The name of this hardy fuchsia escapes me at the moment. It's a shrubby type loaded with lavender and cerise blooms. 

Fuchsia 'Genii' has chartreuse new growth and is literally dripping with pendant blooms.

The ornamental oreganos are still blooming. 'Kent Beauty' is looking rather past its prime, but still putting on a show.

The dainty blooms of Origanum dictamnus still look good, without the brown bracts and foliage that are slowly taking over on 'Kent Beauty'. It will be interesting to see how it performs next summer, after it's been in the ground for a year, assuming it makes it through the winter. I did find some conflicting hardiness information.

 I acquired a large clump of Sternbergia lutea from Kate Bryant. It's now broken up and scattered through the Carex testacea and Artemisia schmidtiana along the front of the house. I know I just said in my last post that I don't much care for true-yellow flowers, but I don't quibble too much over my fall blooms. Besides, I also said I like yellow in fall.

The primroses continue to bloom now that they've received a bit of water and cooler weather. The lack of heavy rain has at least kept these blooms looking good longer than normal. It is time to break out the slug bait again, though. Darn, slimy little mollusks.

One of my Thanksgiving cacti is budding up. I hope the other two will follow along shortly.

In the last few weeks, my variegated Ceropegia woodii has finally bloomed. I guess it's enjoyed a summer vacation outside, with more light than the dark corner it was consigned to indoors. I think I'll give it a better location when it comes back in, or maybe even keep it in the greenhouse. I wonder how low it can go temperature-wise.

 I can't help but continue posting photos of my Lapageria rosea. I'm absolutely enthralled with these luscious blooms.

A small, late-blooming Salvia forskaohlei adds a pop of color next to my Alyssum spinosum. I wonder if I would have gotten more blooms from the others if I had deadheaded them.

Daboecia cantabrica is blooming away now that it has some water. This native of the Irish heathlands did not appreciate the last two hot, dry summers, but it survived them with only one or two deep soakings each summer. Still, I'm going to take pity on it and move it to a location with more moisture.

Dianthus 'Frosty Fire' is another new addition. I love the clove scent, and the combination with the chartreuse heath.

Salvia nemorosa 'Ostfriesland' (East Friesland) is on the tail end of its second bloom.

Cyclamen hederifolium is almost finished blooming and in the process of trading in flowers for foliage.

Cyclamen purpurascens wafts the scent of bubblegum through the air. Now to grab the slug bait before those notches in that flower become no flowers at all.

Also new, Orostachys iwarenge is a little jumbled from planting, but the blooms are delightful little towers. I'm looking forward to this spreading.

One daphne was really not enough, so I've added Daphne x transatlantica 'Summer Ice' at the base of my redbud.

Geranium robustum is still blooming! It's slowing down, but still puts out a few flowers every day. Even better, the seed is ripening, though I haven't managed to catch any of the spring-loaded seeds as yet. I'll have to put in a purposeful effort to collect some seed as insurance.

One of my kniphofia has sent up a random bloom for the fall season.

As has Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (formerly H. flava). What a delight to have an encore of these scented blooms! This stalk is currently on the ground, not having stood up to the wind that the dying Hurricane Oho sent us.

Eccremocarpus scaber continues to bloom. It's also producing a few seed pods that will hopefully ripen before frost.

Hoya carnosa took a little break during the last month of its summer vacation outdoors, but has begun another wave just in time to bring it back inside.

Neostylis Lou Sneary 'Bluebird' loved its stay in the greenhouse this summer. It responded with two large bloom spikes, and a third smaller one from the smaller plant in the back, not visible in this photo. I'm debating whether to bring it inside for the winter. It is half Neofinetia, which can tolerate temperatures near freezing for winter.

The rains have reinvigorated Lobelia laxiflora v. angustifolia, which is producing another flush of buds. If it stays mild, maybe I'll be enjoying these blooms in November. Wouldn't that be something?

 And to segue into tomorrow's Foliage Follow-up, Aster x frikartii 'Monch' flopped over to create a gorgeous combination with the self-sown carpet of Carex comans. Like most of the best combinations in my garden, this one is entirely accidental.


16 comments:

  1. Your dahlias are stunning. My mother grew dahlias. Neither dahlias nor fuchsias grow well in my climate, so I enjoy them in the gardens of others.

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    1. Thank you, Jean. I'm not crazy about them, myself, but I'm happy to show something for someone else to enjoy.

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  2. The bracts on my 'Kent Beauty' Oregano have all turned tan and papery. Love your peachy Dahlia, and I wish I could find some interesting Tricyrtis at the nursery. Can't find it anywhere. Happy GBBD!

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    1. I have several patches of 'Kent Beauty' in slightly varying states. The ones on the south side of the bed are more tan. I'll be happy to share the dahlias, and the Tricyrtis once they bulk up a bit. Happy GBBD!

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  3. That is a beautiful Daphne! It has been added to my wish list (GBBD does get a bit expensive at times). I can't believe we're already in October - your reminder that there are only 2 GBBDs left this year gave me a bit of a shock. I hope your cold will soon be on its way and that you are back on form in no time.

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    1. It's a good one, too, because it blooms all summer. That realization about GBBD shocked me, too. It seems like I only just moved back to the PNW in April. Thanks. Hoping I get back to gardening condition soon, myself. I have a lot to plant.

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  4. I've only grown "windowbox" Dahlias once, but maybe I should give the bigger types a try? Really love the photo of the peach-colored bloom!

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    1. I have to admit I've been impressed by these. I thought they'd be floppy and all manner of trouble, but they've turned into nice, sturdy plants. If I had planted them sooner, they'd have more blooms.

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  5. Is Lapageria rosea hardy outside for you or will you take it inside? It sure is a beautiful thing! Lots of interesting blooms in your garden. I love Dahlias (yours are gorgeous.) and would grow more of them if I had the space! That last accidental combination is stunning! Happy GBBD, Evan!

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    1. Sadly Lapageria is only hardy to about 20 degrees, and it prefers not to freeze at all. It will be wintering in the greenhouse, which I plan to keep just above freezing. It should enjoy the cool conditions. I love happy accidents, though I do wish the asters would stand up. The summer storms we had this year knocked them over more than usual.

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  6. Love your Oregano...I have them everywhere these days, it seems...although I've been removing most of the golden variety...sheesh...they are aggressive little beasts! Love that last shot...perfection!

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    1. I don't have the golden variety, but I just saw it in a garden and thought it looked great. I have space for it to be aggressive in certain areas, but I wish it were evergreen. Thanks, Scott!

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  7. Gorgeous dahlias! This is the first year I've had any luck with dahlias, but I'm definitely going to add more next year. This was also the first year I planted some 'Kent's Beauty' oregano; don't you just love those blooms? So many lovely blooms still going on in your garden--Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I love the ornamental oreganos. I'm planning to add more to my garden. Happy GBBD!

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  8. I'm impressed by the dahlias, which for some reason I don't have much luck with - they inevitably end up with mildew, leafminers or both. I also love toad lilies but they don't like SoCal and their water needs stop me from even trying to push the envelope.

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    1. You should have seen the sad, wrinkled tubers I started with. The raised beds in our vegetable garden have extremely rich soil and drip irrigation. Everything grows well in those beds.

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