Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - Nov. 2015

Another Bloom Day has caught me by surprise. I can't believe it's already the middle of November. I've been busy reworking the driveway island and starting to plant out the pot ghetto on weekends, in between showers. And when I'm not actually planting, I'm thinking about what to plant where. I did manage to take a walk today with the camera to find the few flowers in bloom now. About half of them are in either the house or the greenhouse. Thanks, as always, to Carol of May Dreams Gardens, for hosting.

While the actual flowers of this Aechmea are long since past, the colorful bracts continue to prolong the show.

A delicate pink flower hides under a red-backed leaf on Begonia 'Moonlit Snow'.

Out in the greenhouse, Begonia 'Old Blue' puts on a bit more of a show. Though the real reason to grow these begonias is the foliage, the flowers are a little bonus curiosity.

I'm not actually sure if this Guzmania is still blooming or not but, like the Aechmea in the first photo, the bracts are still colorful.

This Paphiopedilum is getting very close to opening.

Neostylis Lou Sneary 'Bluebird' is in full bloom with three spikes, and a fourth just poking out. I, at least, enjoy the scent wafting around the kitchen sink. This plant really appreciated summer in the greenhouse, but I brought it in to appreciate the blooms. The plan is to keep the greenhouse above 34 degrees Fahrenheit, a little cold for most orchids. This one may actually be able to tolerate it if I keep it on the dry side, but I'm not sure I want to risk putting it back out there after it finishes blooming.

This plant, sold to me as Cryptanthus pseudoscaposus, has been blooming for about a week now, and the pups have started poking their noses out, too. You can just see one to the right of the open flower. I'm not so sure about the ID, because the species is supposed to develop a tall (for an earth star) stem, which this one is not.

Phramipedium Olaf Gruss moved from the greenhouse to a window and is still blooming.

Columnea 'Janella' is a small African violet relative with BIG flowers (relatively speaking) in blazing orange with a yellow throat. Hopefully I can keep it alive. I have trouble getting these small gesneriad starts growing well, yet I keep coming back to them. I may learn, eventually, but until then I'll keep trying, and enjoy what rewards I'm given.

This Echeveria is blooming despite hardly being rooted.

The first of my Thanksgiving cacti has started blooming. The second probably won't bloom by Thanksgiving, and the third is a Christmas cactus that shows no signs of buds yet.

Ever seen the flowers of Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)? They appear as the days shorten, virtually replacing the big, metallic purple leaves that give the plant its common name. I've read that if you winter one over, it comes back fuller and better than the first year, so I've moved mine into the greenhouse this year as an experiment.

Lapageria rosea has a few blooms left. Hopefully I'll see some new growth at some point, like the ones at work. This one was put by the wayside, a little forgotten and worse-for-wear, which is why I brought it home. I recently repotted it and found red worms and millipedes in the tired, broken down potting soil. Hopefully fresh soil, and a reduced population of critters, will allow it to gain strength and produce new growth.

I love the exquisitely odd flowers of this variegated Ceropegia woodii.

At some point, I should really plant this Fuchsia 'Delta Sarah', but in the meantime, it's one of the few things still blooming on the back deck.

I've forgotten once again to locate the tag for this Fuchsia, but it's still blooming. And look, it's wearing a pair of raindrop studs!

Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' still dangles a few blooms at the base of a pieris.

Daboecia cantabrica continues to produce a handful of blooms in the cool, rainy weather. It's destined to be moved to the new strip along the dry creek bed, where the extra moisture in summer should prevent it from getting so stressed so it can put on a more impressive display.

This Erica (cultivar long-since lost), on the other hand, is putting on a good show, though it seems a little earlier than usual. While I have way too many Calluna vulgaris (or did, before I roasted half of them by moving them right before that first heat wave in spring) I feel I could add more of these tough, hardy winter-blooming evergreen shrubs to the garden.

They come in many shades of pink, some of which are close enough to purple or magenta for me to include in my garden, but I love the white-flowered cultivars. In the dark of our rainy season, the crisp, white flowers display wonderfully against the rich, dark green foliage

Berberis x stenophylla 'Corallina Compacta' usually blooms in spring, but this one must have felt I wasn't paying enough attention to it and put out a few brilliant blooms for fall.

I've been waiting and waiting for Veronica spicata ssp. incana to open these blooms, and here they are! Newly planted in summer, it's been a bit floppy ever since, with soft, lanky stems from nursery growing. Hopefully next summer I won't have to hold the bloom spikes off the ground to photograph them.

No longer flowers, the silvery seed pods of Calluna vulgaris are still showy and will remain so all winter.

As the foliage of Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' lightens to shades of yellow and buff, the old blooms darken slightly in contrast.

My primroses are blooming, but look rather ragged. It may be slugs, but I'm putting my money on armyworms. I've found whole platoons of them this fall, damaging everything from Alyssum seedlings to Zauschneria. It's time to take countermeasures, before I lose anything outright.

I'm already impressed with this Geranium macrorrhizum that I acquired at the Portland garden bloggers' fall plant swap. Barely planted and with minimal water until the rain began, it's looking great and blooming to boot! Granted, it is pink, but I'll try not to give it a chance to show off its ground-covering prowess.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' (Eternal Fragrance), pictured below, and to a lesser extent the newly planted 'Summer Ice' are still pumping out fragrant white blooms. Blooming from spring to frost, and maybe even mild periods in winter, these evergreen shrubs are becoming some of my favorites.

The Cyclamen purpurascens continue to bloom, long after C. hederifolium has faded. Alchemilla alpina is attempting to bloom, and may make, as there is still no frost in the forecast. Lobelia laxiflora ssp. angustifolia is also racing against the first frost to produce a new wave of blooms. The buds formed right after the fall rains began. Growing in a summer-dry bed, it stops blooming sometime in mid-summer. I've transplanted some to a couple areas with more summer moisture to see if I get a longer bloom season, though I also run the risk of creating a monster. It spreads rather quickly even in dry clay, with a bit of mulch over the top. What will it do next summer with a bit more water?


  1. I'm glad you remembered its Blomday in time to get out there and take some photos, impressive show. I read somewhere what a long streak of wet weekends (especially Saturdays) we've had...hopefully you'll get a sunny couple soon.

    1. Yes, and the major rains started just as I finally got more compost to make new beds. Great timing, right? So far, this weekend looks somewhat dry. At least, there's only a slight chance of showers.

  2. I'm impressed to see how many flowers are blooming in your (parents' ) greenhouse. Have I missed a post about it? I can't drag myself out into the wet to plat my pot ghetto. At this point, I'm going to leave them till spring. I do still have bulbs to get in the ground. I've started on that, but I hope I get it finished before Christmas.

    1. Things have been changing so fast recently in the greenhouse, what with moving things in from the deck and patio, or moving things to windowsills in the house. I've just been too preoccupied with the outdoor garden to do a post about the greenhouse. I'll probably still have plants needing planted in spring, but there's still time for them to root in now and need less water next summer, so I'm getting as much into the ground now as I can.

  3. The foliage on 'Bluebird' would earn it a permanent place in my house. Lots of beauty lingering for you.

    1. I like 'Bluebird' for the foliage and shape of the plant, too. It's attractive enough to keep it's place in my collection even when it isn't blooming.

  4. You manage to grow Lapageria?!! I am in awe! I had also never heard of that particular species of Strobilanthes (not that any species is commonly available here), and the orchids are just gorgeous!

    1. Don't be too impressed. All I've done is managed not to kill it in the two months I've had it. I'm surprised you haven't seen Persian Shield before. I've spent time in several places on the East Coast and even a stint in Wisconsin, and I think I remember seeing it pretty much everywhere. It's usually sold as an annual.

  5. Veronica spicata ssp. incana: such magnificent colors! It's going on my list right away.
    I wonder if my Primroses (and Ligularia, Hostas, Dahlias) are being consumed by something other then slugs. I used sluggo quite handsomely, with unimpressive results.

    1. I'm loving that Veronica, so far, but I've only had it for one summer. Waiting to see what it does as it grows. I did the same thing with the sluggo, but the damage didn't look right so I scratched around the base of the damaged plants and started squishing caterpillars.

  6. I'd never seen Persian Shield blooms before. They're pretty cool! Lots of great blooms! Will you keep your Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti in the greenhouse all winter? I'm thinking of trying that with some of mine but don't want to loose them.

    1. I saw the blooms before when I tried wintering one over indoors. It lost almost all it's leaves and bloomed in a dim window for months. But I was so set on the leaves I didn't appreciate the blooms. My cacti will be staying in the greenhouse this winter. I know a lady who keeps hers outdoors until just before a frost, then keeps them in a very cool sunroom or in her greenhouse with is just kept above 34F.


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