Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bloom Day October 2008

First off, a confession. These are pictures from my garden in Virginia, but I've been in Arizona for about ten days on an extended Fall Break, so these blooms are about ten days old. But I'm pretty sure most of the flowers I've represented here will still be around when I get home.

Second, if anyone's reading who doesn't already know about Bloom Day, do check out May Dreams Gardens for Carol's cornucopic compendium of fall blooms!

It's been a relatively warm (and thank goodness, relatively wet) fall in Virginia, so the garden is still pretty lively. I've featured the buddleja all summer, but it deserves special mention this month because the monarchs have arrived!

Monarch in Buddleia

Their bright orange is spectacular against the pale purple of our volunteer. In fact, this bush is so popular that the bees and butterflies are fighting over it. Forgive the little burps in this video--it's my first--but listen and watch for the bee toward the end:

The Rosa moyesii is almost as abundant as it was in the spring, and the combination should be spectacular when the chrysanthemum around it opens.

R moyesii rebloom

The tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans) is in bloom. I've heard the fragrance described as apricot, but I think it's more like orange blossom. Anyway, it's heavenly--I grow mine near windows so that the scent wafts into the house when we open the windows to the cooler fall evenings.

Tea Olive

Not a great picture--and I'm not sure I'll find this clematis still blooming when I get home--but we had a little surprise blossom at the top of our vine (I don't know the cultivar).

Late Clematis Bloom

Beneath the clematis, a few Echinacea purpurea have decided to rebloom--more fresh seed for the goldfinches if the weather stays warm-ish.

Echinacea rebloom

And another critter is enjoying the coneflower--I assume this is some kind of spider, but I couldn't identify it (for one thing, my Virginia native stuff books are three time zones from here!)

Echinacea and spider close up

The Loropetalum chinense is blooming again as well.

Loropetalum rebloom

And in the new blooms department--my leopard plant's flowers are starting to open. My tag (from Elizabethan Gardens) calls this plant Farfugium japonicum. I've also seen it (or something very similar to it) called Ligularia tussilaginea and Fulfugium tussilagina. The plant should still be in bloom in November--the daisy-like flowers are wonderful as other plants in the garden begin to nestle underground.

Leopard plant

The azaleas are still in their full fall rebloom:

Azalea rebloom

Azalea rebloom

And the Pelargonium I pulled out of an on-sale hanging basket at a local grocery store is loving the cooler weather.


The Mandevilla vine is still going strong. The first frost will kill it, but it thrives in the early fall when it gets a bit more rain. I will probably try to overwinter it--when the nightime temperatures dip into the low forties, I'll trim it back to about 12" and bring it in to a sunny space in the house (if weather permits, I'll leave it just outside the back door for a couple of days to provide it some transition). If I keep the soil dryish, the plant should stay alive but stop growing--then, after frost date in the spring (April 15th here), I'll start its transition outdoors again). Overwintering the whole plant gives me a better shot at a large vine next summer--if it doesn't work, I can always get another one at Lowe's . . .


The Salvias guaranitica and uliginosa are still going strong--the leaves are actually fading faster than the flowers!

Two salvias

Black and Blue Salvia

And the mums are blooming like crazy. These orange ones started as a small housewarming gift in 1993--within a couple of years, they were all over the garden at my old house, but I just had to take a few with me.

Mums mums mums

And now they're all over my gardens again--here, they grow with coneflower and salvia--

Mums and salvia 2

--and here, delightfully if thanks to my lazy weeding, it grows with clover.

Mum and clover

My annuals are doing well, too--the Mexican heather, angelonia, pansies, and even the heliotrope are still blooming. But here are a few other things I've found around the garden:

Ranunculus seeking shade when I spend too much time taking pictures--

Ranunculus takes cover

--a black and yellow garden spider moving her web from the garden to a window (perhaps she's a bit vain?).

Garden spider

And to close: here's my Euphorbia lomi, perpetually in bloom, but now safely inside when the temperature dips below 60.

Euphorbia moves inside

Ranunculus says, "Happy Bloom Day!"


Bonnie said...

Really gorgeous colors. That butterfly with the purple flowers is spectacular.

Les, Zone 8a said...

You still have a lot going on in your garden. I love Osmanthus and am waiting for someone to make a cake that tastes like this flower smells. I hope we will be seeing pictures from your trip out west.

Defining Your Home said...

We have similiar flowers that are still blooming here. I love our osmanthus -- best shrub there is (IMHO). I saw two more Monarchs today. It's about to turn cool and rainy here in NC, but has been in the high 80s for days. Hope your trip has been fabulous! Cameron

Defining Your Home said... for perennial heliotrope

Rose said...

Happy Bloom Day to you and Ranunculus, too! (Our dog Coconut likes to find shade whenever I spend too much time in the garden, too.)

What a great video, Cosmo! I can't believe all the monarchs you have. I have seen only one at a time here, and it seems to be floating by continuously so that I can't even get a photo.

The coneflower with the spider is a wonderful shot; I found one surprise coneflower blooming this week, and I've noticed others commenting on the same thing.

Your blooms are lovely--I hope they are all still blooming when you get back home. Enjoy the warm Arizona temps!

Roses and Lilacs said...

So many blooms still.

This is the first time I've ever seen Euphorbia lomi. Very unusual. I'd like to try something like that except for my cats. They don't believe in indoor gardening and quickly denude any green foliage (poisonous or not).

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That video is too funny! That poor bee just wasn't succeeding in scaring off those butterflies. The pink Lorpetalum blossom against the wine foliage is so beautiful. That's a great shot of my favorite spider.

Gail said...

Hi, Great blooms and photos of blooms! I love osmanthus and wish that it was growing someplace near here so I could drink in the fragrance! There is nothing like it!

We have not seen many monarchs here this summer, but I certainly loved seeing yours!

The coneflowers in my garden decided to send up a few more blooms, it has been a very pleasant surprise. The orb weaver spider is a wonderful spider living her upside down life!

Have a good weekend!


tina said...

I saw and heard the bees. I think they were a bit jealous of all those monarchs getting the good stuff. You have lots blooming and I am betting you are right and it is still in bloom. Especially that crown of thorns. My mother has two and tried to convince me to take one but I told her no. Sure is lovely though but I don't have enough sun. Ranunculous be good to mommy and Happy Bloom Day to you too!

goooooood girl said...

Well well well......

Jamie and Randy said...

Ranunculus is such a good garden helper. I'm sure he was just finding a comfortable spot to come up with some creative gardening suggestions. Your blooms are wonderful. And, the monarchs are beautiful. I LOVE the magic butterflies bring with them.

Sarah Laurence said...

Lovely photos! That white spider on the cone flower photo could win an award. I hope you are enjoying your vacation.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous blooms for GBBD! I have to get me a purple Butterfly Bush next year. I love my white one but it would be nice to have another color. That Osmanthus has a pretty bloom, another plant for the wishlist.

Carol said...

Thanks for joining in for bloom day. Your garden looks like mine did mid-summer!

Sorry, no help on that spider. It looks like a bit ghostly, like it is ready for Halloween.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Phillip said...

I love the combination of orange and purple. I'm trying to do a garden with this color scheme but am having so-so results. My favorite scent is from the tea olive.

Cosmo said...

Hi, everyone! So, have any of you had these spamming comments, like this "gooood girl"? It's an online poker site--very odd.

Bonnie--Thanks for visiting--I love it when the monarchs arrive--they must know they look great next to the light purple of the buddleja!

Les and Cameron, osmanthus is one of my faves, too--though I have a slight preference for the heterophyllus (false holly). Anyway, as I told you, Les, I'm going to work on that cake . . .
And Cameron, thanks for the link to the perennial heliotrope.

Cosmo said...

Rose--Ranunculus is a great garden dog, though he's very sensitive to heat--must be his fair skin! But we've dipped into the 40's now so he'll be a happier helper.

Marnie, the euphorbia (crown of thorns) has really big thorns--wouldn't those deter your cats? If not, yeah, it's poisonous so maybe not a good choice.

Cosmo said...

MMD, I had to shoot the video a couple of times because I kept laughing at the bee and making the camera shake--it was just one of those happy accidents when I happened to have my camera.

Gail, so that little white spider is an orb spider? I have to look it up--I almost missed it--probably would have if not for the camera--

Cosmo said...

Tina--That bee was SO mad, and the butterflies just ignored it. There's a little moth in there, too, that's colored the same as the monarchs but is much smaller--I have to look it up when I get home (tomorrow).

Randy, Ranunculus is a great garden dog--he stays on the paths and doesn't dig in the garden (though I wish I could train him to help when I want to dig a new bed!)

Cosmo said...

Sarah, thanks for your kind words--coming from you, they're especially meaningful, because you're such a talented photographer. I'm having fun learning.

Racquel, the osmanthus fragrans is a great front border shrub--for some reason I thought you had one--anyway, the scent by a window during a VA fall is not to be missed! That purple buddleja is a volunteer, we figure planted by a bird since we've never had one that color and neither do any neighbors (our neighbors are almost 1/2 a mile away as it is). And it's twice the size of any of the others!

Cosmo said...

Carol--The spider does look ghostly, doesn't it? Have you ever read the Frost poem "Design"? May have to do a post on it . . .

Phillip, I wish I could get the colors of the monarch in around the butterfly bush--it's so big that it shades everything around it, so nothing much grows near it except early spring stuff. But it picked us, so we're keeping it where it is!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

LOL! HOW does Ranunculus fit underneath the shrubbery so well?! That's one of the most adorable pictures I've ever seen of a dog in the garden, Cosmo. :)

By the way, I stole the "like a fish needs a bicycle" line from a U2 song ("Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World") but I forgot to leave a footnote about that. I LOVE the idea of two fish looking at each other and saying something like, "Honey, I'm not buying that! You need a bicycle about as much as Kim needs another heuchera!" ROTFL!!!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh, and that lorapetulum... are the leaves on that always a dark red/burgundy color, or is that it's autumn hue? Either way, I love it! And the sunny color of your mum reminds me of 'Oranges & Lemons' blanketflower--very full of vitamin C. :)

Viooltje said...

Is it spring there? ;-) Your garden is gleamin' with life and colors. Loved that Euphorbia!!!

Cosmo said...

Hi, Kim--Ranunculus is as close to an ideal garden dg as you can get, but he IS a dog--he's actually dug himself a little hollow under the shrub, but there's nothing around it but mint so I let him have it. The loropetulum is dark leafed, though it gets a little darker in autumn.

Hi, Viooltje--The rebloom is a little springlike--but it's funny, when I look at your posts, I always think the same thing--that it seems to be spring there all year round!