Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2016

October Bloom Day is here! By this time each season the garden seems to have gone wild and the amount of daylight required to maintain control is dwindling . (The gardener is also tired and beginning to eye her knitting needles.) Looking back last year, we had some warmer-than-normal weather in October. So far this year we’ve had a ton of rain in September after a hot, dry August. The lankier plants have been beat down by the heavy rains. The days are cooler and rainy, but there are still some “blooms” to be enjoyed on the Lot.

We can always count on the toad lily (Trycyrtis hirta) to bring some delicate speckles of color to the Lot in the Autumn. I’d like to find another fall-blooming plant to accompany this shade-loving perennial in the east bed near the foundation of the house.


In the expanded bit of Loki’s bed, the swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is becoming streaked with color because of the cooler nights. The lavender it shares its bed with is still blooming and is way larger than the gardener had planned. Rats.


The new anemone is still carrying on its show from last month. I like the backdrop of the blue blooms of the plumbago. The silver foliage of the sage is pretty as well.


This joe pye weed (Eupatorium rugosum) is in its second year on the Lot. The white blooms look great with the darker stems of the plant. Apparently this cultivar grows to a max of 4 feet tall. I found this out just now as I looked up the latin name to post here. This must be why the plant is not  growing to the 6 feet I expected. Oy with reading the plant tags! You’d think I’ve learned to do so by now!


This is more than likely the last, frazzled bloom of Echinacea purpurea ‘Butterfly Kisses,’ a dwarf coneflower.


Here’s a droopy aster I rescued from beneath the mum when we expanded the backyard bed this past Spring. I’m looking forward to seeing how it likes the new digs next season.


And here is another batch of aster currently peeking from beneath the foliage of a false indigo.


Here is the monster mum in the backyard bed. It has not been divided since it was planted. I was going to do so this Fall, but read the Spring is the best time to do so. Therefore, the task has been shifted to the Spring list.


The next few shots aren’t necessarily blooms, but still some fun colors in the garden. The yew in the front South bed is covered in small red berries.


This year the rose at the southwest corner of the Lot was not pruned back, but allowed to form rose hips.


There are some other perennials still blooming on the Lot, including the various sedum and some coreopsis. Just fading are the snakeroot, heuchera, and the tall phlox.

Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to view all the other lovely blooms for this month!

Autumnal Equinox and Mum

Today marks the first day of Fall in the northern hemisphere, otherwise known as the Autumn Equinox. Today is also Mom G’s birthday. Speaking of Mom G, she and I took a field trip this past Tuesday to the local botanical gardens. The seasonal exhibit of Chrysanthemums & More just opened.

Chrysanthemums Exhibit

The breezeway at the entry of the gardens is always dressed up with seasonal pots and flourishes. This time we were greeted by a variety of mums, asters, gourds, and ornamental kale.

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The autumnal containers continued through the interior of the gardens. We came across  huge mums referred to as “football mums.” We were told these mum plants continuously had all blooms except one pinched off the plant. This allows the plant to put all of its energy into a single bloom.


The bloom was so huge the plant stalk had to be staked to it could hold up the flower.


Another section of the building was given to a wonderful display of the seasonal plants. Living walls and suspended balls covered in the mums decorated several rooms.


I felt the apples were a unique touch of color.

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I was momentarily distracted by this wonderfully Seus-like pine tree. How great are these needles?

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The mums displays carried outside into the grounds of the gardens. The exhibit had just began, so many of the mums had just started to open.


The ornamental kale and cabbages were absolutely beautiful. They looked great with the asters.
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It seems whenever I visit another garden, I walk away with ideas to try on the Lot. Next year I’m going to grab a few of those cabbages to pair with our mums.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2016

As I review last year’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, I notice the Lot’s blooms are a bit behind the point they were in September of 2015 or 2013. I snuck out earlier this morning before logging on for work to catch some pictures in the morning light. The weather has been absolutely beautiful since this past weekend; it is sunny and tops out in the mid seventies degree Fahrenheit with no humidity. Woo-hoo! Here are some of the blooms currently rocking the Lot.

In the South bed, the plumbago and rudbeckia have been showing their colors for a few weeks now. The sedum is beginning to get its cotton candy-colored blooms.


The shrubby cinquefoil is still going strong since Spring. I really love this little shrub for the small, sunny space next to a rose in the South bed. Collapsing onto it are some echinacea. Unfortunately there was some overcrowding in the coneflowers this year, so they battled a bit of disease. If the weather stays cooler, I think I’ll be thinning them out.


The Route 66 coreopsis has been blooming all summer in front of the echinacea.


Here is the crazy mess of color blooming in front of the smoke bush. I think some of the coreopsis cultivars are reverting back into the solid yellow, so I may pull them. It is also possible the plant reseeded from the right side of the South bed.


Here is a more macro view of the left side of the South bed.


There are splashes of rudbeckia all around the backyard. I’d recently thinned these so they’re a bit floppy still from shock. This patch is between the “Grandma Rose” I received from Mrs. J. and the winter savory. Nestled at its base is Josefine, a little garden charm I brought home from our trip to Germany.


Here is the anemone I saw last season on a garden tour, and had to have for this season! It adds some flower power to a month the Lot had seemed limited in bloom variety. I found it during our annual Spring Nursery crawl. It is doing quite well in the backyard bed.


Here is a macro view of the right side of the backyard bed. This is one of the beds the Other Half and I extended this season.


These are some asters I had forgotten about! I was trying to wrangle a false indigo into a rope girdle and found the aster blooms beneath the larger, floppy plant.


These are some double-style snapdragons which recently sprung back with the cooling of the weather. While I was working in the garden on Memorial Day weekend, it was humorous to watch a large bumblebee try to get into this flower.


This is the full planter. My gardening gal friend Miss A. created the arrangement of snapdragons, lantana, and cosmos.


On the left side of the backyard bed, more rudbeckia and a new yarrow have been blooming. The mum is working on opening up.


This is the portion of Loki’s bed I expanded last year. The little plug of lavender really took off! The heuchera are all blooming.


Currently nestled in a hanging planter above Loki’s bed is a new clematis, the prize of this Spring’s Nursery Crawl. I learned of Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ during March’s Smart Gardening conference. This small-bloomed, rambling clematis plays well with other garden plants and blooms all season long. It is a “Type 3” clematis and can be pruned back to the ground in the Spring since all flowers are on new wood.


And then there’s the rowdy cousin. Clematis terniflora (known as sweet autumn clematis) is now well established on the Lot and grew like a plant possessed this season. Last year I learned my lesson concerning its rampant growth behavior, so this season I took time to train it and am much more happy with the results. Overall, I feel this worked well as a choice for a climber on the pergola.


Here is a snapshot of the fragrant, little flowers.


And here is an overall shot of how it appears on the pergola.


Other blooms present but beginning to wane on the Lot this month are the jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber), butterfly bush (Buddleia), cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), rose campion (Silene coronaria), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) and tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata).

To see what else is blooming in gardens around the world, visit May Dreams Gardens, the hostess of this meme.