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A Few Last Flowers: GBBD, October 2014

October 16, 2014
container and fallen leavesAmazingly, despite several nights of temperatures that have dipped below freezing, I still have a few last flowers blooming in my Maine garden.

A container on the deck still has flowers of annual geranium, petunias, and osteospermum blooming amid the fallen leaves.

There are also blooms to be found here and there in the flower beds.

last morning gloriesI am particularly amazed to have occasional morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’) still blooming in the fence border, even after the last flowers of the very late daylily ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ have finished. Morning glories are tropical flowers that are particularly sensitive to frost; throwing a sheet over them on the coldest nights seems to have provided enough protection to keep them going.

In the blue and yellow border, the last fading flowers of Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ and Rudbeckia x ‘Herbstsonne’ are looking a bit frost-bitten.

fading blue paradise fading herbstsonne
aster bluebird The flowers of the cold-hardy aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) ‘Bluebird’ have fared much better.And the flowers of Sedum spectabile have darkened to the deep wine color that signals their transition from bloom to seedhead.
wine-colored sedum1 wine-colored sedum2
Last, but not least, my stalwart Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice,’ which has been blooming continuously in the deck border since early June shows no signs of slowing down, seemingly unfazed by cold temperatures or whispers of winter to come.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Links on her blog can provide a virtual tour of gardens around the world, including southern hemisphere gardens that are boasting spring blooms.

fall raspberry ice
17 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2014 11:25 pm

    You have to love indefatigable plants like that Heuchera. Sad as I would be to see the garden close down for the winter (which doesn’t happen here), the idea of settling down next to a cozy fire to take the time to plan next year’s garden has real appeal to this Southern California gardener. Happy GBBD, Jean!

    • October 18, 2014 10:35 pm

      Kris, When I lived in southern California many years ago, one of the things I missed was the seasonal changes (fire season and rainy season didn’t seem like real seasons to my New England sensibilities) of dormancy and rebirth.

  2. October 17, 2014 3:22 am

    Hi Jean, at least you still have several colors in your garden. But yes they seem to be already at the transition of their lives. So we go planting again!

    • October 18, 2014 10:36 pm

      Andrea, As winter approaches here, it is not so much a time for planting as a time for planning — both getting ready for winter and making notes for next year’s garden season.

  3. October 17, 2014 10:49 am

    Jean! I still have a few Morning Glories, too. And after witnessing Heuchera Pinot Blanco bloom ALL summer up until now with no signs of stopping, I’m thinking of adding a few more Heuchera to the gardens. That raspberry ice looks awfully nice. Love seeing your Maine gardens – makes me nostalgic. I think I need a patch of Herbstsonne, too – love that green eye! We haven’t had any freezes here yet, just a few frosts.

    • October 18, 2014 10:39 pm

      Kathy, This has not been a great season for morning glories because spring was so late, so I have been highly motivated to give them some protection on cold nights and hope for a few more buds to open. Even so, I’ve never had more than one flower in bloom at a time. Next year, I plan to start seeds indoors in April and mix the ‘Heavenly Blue’ with one of the purple varieties that blooms earlier. I’m hoping I can come a bit closer to my vision of a fence covered with morning glory blooms in late summer.

      • October 19, 2014 12:56 pm

        Jean, I found that Heavenly Blue blooms too late here for us even though it is my favorite! Grandpa Ott blooms early and just YESTERDAY I went to the Potager and had at least 8 blooms all at once! It also readily reseeds itself – you will have volunteers without even trying. It might be a good choice for your vision of Glory!

  4. October 17, 2014 3:07 pm

    The garden is certainly in it’s last few days, but still so pleasant. The colors and shapes in your photos are so gorgeous.

    • October 18, 2014 10:44 pm

      Charlie, The fact that there are so few blooms at this time of year makes each one precious, and I find myself wanting to capture each and every flower with my camera.

  5. October 18, 2014 8:09 am

    Some plants really are tougher than we give them credit for. They really are hanging on and looing great! I just don’t like the reminder that winter is near.

    • October 18, 2014 10:46 pm

      Bittster, The toughness of delicate-looking plants can be a source of amazement. This morning, I was thrilled to find a Tradescantia (spiderwort) flower in bloom.

  6. October 19, 2014 10:41 am

    Jean still some nice flowers especially the morning glories…what I have is fading fast as we are being nipped by pre-winter weather giving us a taste of what is to come soon enough.

    • October 26, 2014 2:46 pm

      Donna, Even today, I was surprised to still find a few flowers blooming in the garden. (Not the morning glories, though; I think they are done.)

  7. October 21, 2014 7:02 am

    Hi Jean, hopefully we’re still a little way off the first frosts yet, though I have already started the winter preparations for the garden. Morning Glory is a beautiful climber and I would love to grow it if it wasn’t for the fact that it is essentially an annual, being tender. I don’t have the patience to nurture it from seed each year.

    • October 26, 2014 2:48 pm

      Sunil, There are only a few annuals that I take the trouble to grow, but this is one of them. I’m going to take even more trouble next year, as I’m going to try starting the seeds indoors in spring and then transplanting them when the soil warms up sufficiently at the end of May.

  8. October 26, 2014 3:57 am

    You have a wonderful blog I am so happy to be following you and look forward to your next post.

    • October 26, 2014 2:50 pm

      Growhort, Thank you for visiting (and for subscribing); I’m looking forward to visiting your blog.

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