Tuesday, October 21

GardenBloggers' Bloom Day - October 2008

Between a huge all-weekend event at work and the added excitement of being in a wedding on Saturday (congratulations to my friends Matt and Meagan!)... I feel like I'm so far behind in the garden, on the blog, in the house, and in life in general, that it will take me weeks to recover. Luckily, I also have a couple of weeks of vacation time that I need to "use or lose" by the end of this month, so I'm going to take advantage of them as much as I possibly can.

After spending a few hours at work today tying up some loose ends, I came home to find the late afternoon sunlight doing amazing things to the front yard garden. I greeted the dog, grabbed the camera, and then walked right back outside the door to capture a few shots. I was particularly struck by the gorgeous view my neighbor Carrie has of the Japanese anemones right now:

Very nice, since the area is covered in golden oregano and the anemone leaves probably look a bit weedy to her most of the year. By the way, did you notice how well the flowers on my 'Party Dress' double anemone are standing up on their own? If not, here's another chance to see them:

Does anyone else ever check out their garden from the neighbor's view? From my side of the Japanese maple, the view is not quite so dramatic but still pretty. The darkening seedheads of Northern Sea Oats look dark against the 'Purple Dragon' lamium, but light against the Japanese maple foliage:

Brown is still an exception, though. Red, gold and silvery blue seem to be the staples in my fall front yard garden. The 'Golden Sword' yucca looked a little frail and ratty all summer long, but the cooler temperatures (and maybe the approach of the 1 year anniversary of this garden planting?) have really caused it to perk up:

I admit, I don't particularly like the culinary sage behind it, but that will all be harvested this fall to make way for a shorter edging plant that will better show off the golden yucca leaves, too. (I have plenty of culinary sage in the back yard already.)

Notice the bright red snapdragons in the lower left corner of that shot? The snapdragons have really taken off in October. Here's a shot of another red one peeking out from beneath the flowers of 'Hameln' pennisetum, as seen from the front porch stairs above:

A short distance away from the reds, a self-sown seedling that's blooming in white instead of red also looks nice between 'Hameln' and a baby sea kale:

Also near the sea kale are the dramatic flowers of 'Black & Blue' salvia. I love the flowers with the variegated culinary sage, sea kale, and brown sedges... but I admit that I wish the foliage was a little darker!

My front yard urn container will have to be dismantled tomorrow so that I can overwinter the cordyline, 'Bonfire' begonia, and maybe even the eucalyptus. (Does anyone have any hints on the eucalyptus? I'm 0-for-2 on overwintering them, and I'll take all the help I can get!) But right now the silver plectranthus (right) and coleus caninus (left) are contributing some unusual blooms to the urn:

As in the front yard, the back yard is more about the foliage than the flowers. And I love the way the low slanting fall and winter light picks up a fresh green color in this pulmonaria, which otherwise shows a very flat silver hue:

There are some blooms in the backyard garden, though, including the delicate little toad lily flowers that have opened to distract you from the plant's chewed leaf edges:

I technically missed Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for October, but I'm still going to type out my full list of things that were flowering on that day here. It's such a wonderful reference tool, to remember what was in bloom, when, that I definitely want to keep up on that! And after I finish my post and get a little better caught up... I'll be catching up with what's been in bloom in other areas of the world this October, too. :)

October 2008 Blooms:

Shrubs, Vines & Grasses: Caryopteris, zebra grass, the red-flowering miscanthus from Becky & Don, Northern Sea oats, 'Hameln' pennisetum, 'All Gold' and 'Aureola' hakonechloa, 'Rotstrahlbusch' pennisetum, lonicera sempervirens. (Note to self: 'Sioux Blue' sorghastrum nutens pretty much bloomed out and finished in the interim weeks between bloom days.)

Perennials: chocolate eupatorium, 'Matrona' sedum (some branches of flowers are still that fresh pink I don't like--lol,) 'Lightning Strike' toad lily, 'Party Dress' pennisetum, 'Walker's Low' catmint, 'Efanthia' euphorbia, black hollyhocks (rebloom,) golden oregano, alpine strawberries, sedum cauticola, hardy blue plumbago, 'Caradonna' salvia, linaria, 'Golden Anniversary' lamium, bronze fennel, 'Grosso' lavender

Annuals and edibles: 'Bonfire' and another random large leaf begonia, silver plectranthus, coleus caninus, 'Black & Blue' salvia, abutilon megapotanicum, random peppers, 'Ichiban' eggplant, lemon verbena, bulb fennel


anushka said...

Your blog is nice.i added you to my links.kindly visit me also.

Shirley said...

Hi there Kim :-)

Oh… I can completely understand the ‘running for the camera when the light is magical on plants’ moment. It slips away far too quickly. I love your captures. I also know what you mean about continuing with a GBBD post as a record of the garden - which is looking great at the moment BTW :-D

Yes, in answer to your question, I do look at my plants/garden from my neighbours perspective especially the view they have from their drive. I do like that angle too and wish I could see it myself!

From memory, I do believe you also enjoy the planting style of Piet Oudolf. I have just posted on a visit I made in the summer to one of his gardens in England that you might like to see :-D

Finally, I would like to wish you a well earned break – Happy Gardening :-D

garden girl said...

beautiful colors and textures in your garden Kim!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Kim, Good to see your October garden. You have lots going on. I do look at my garden from the neighbors point of view. They usually get to see the blooms at the edges of the garden better than we do because the flowers are always reaching for the sun. Neighbors on two sides have pools so they have lots of sun in their gardens.

Do take your vacation. You deserve it.

joco said...

Hiya Kim,

I have left the answer to your rose question on my bloomday post below your comment.

That lighting was indeed special. Good that you were there to take advantage of it.

I have just ordered some of those 'freckle lillies' to enjoy next year. Hope they will look as good as yours do.

Annie in Austin said...

The 'Party Dress' looks good standing up and it seems to be further improved by having large hosta leaves next to it. Maybe the proportions of flower to leaf look more like a waterlily that way?

Kim, what if along with a version of S.'Black & Blue' with darker leaves, the hybridizers came up with one with silvery-gray leaves? I suppose it will also need more sun to bloom, but might look cool!

I see my front garden from another perspective when my neighbor is on vacation and I look at my yard while watering hers. Sometimes I see things that should be fixed....and sometimes I think she's lucky to have such a view!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

growingagardenindavis said...

The light really was wonderful! I love the look of the changing season. I hope you have a great time taking some time off!

Unknown said...

Hello, vrajesh, and thank you for the compliments. I look forward to checking out your blog as well!

shirl, it really does! There was some beautiful lighting on the 'Black & Blue' salvia when I ran to get the camera... but by the time I got done taking shots of the anemones, it was gone. :(

Glad to hear that you take a look at your plants/gardens from the neighbor's perspective. I do plant with an eye toward what it will look like "from the street," but I don't often get a chance to check it out from the side angle.

(And oooh... I can't wait to see your post about the Oudolf plantings! You're right--I do enjoy that style!)

Thanks so much, garden girl! :)

Greenbow Lisa, that's a good point re: getting to see your edging flowers better because of the sunshine. I think that they get to see my Japanese anemones better than I do, and maybe also the catmint and echinops ritro, too, because of the angle they have! I wonder how I could improve their view...

Joco, thank you for answering my question about your 'Dortmund' rose! And I hope that you enjoy the "freckle lilies" (cute name for them!) as much as I do. They're tiny, but absolutely exquisite. :)

Annie, I just love that hosta... it's 'Northern Halo' and even though it's not as happy (due to the dryness of the front garden) as it could be, it's always handsome.

And YES! A silver-gray leaf version of 'B&B' would be amazing! Along with a dark-green-leaf version. And maybe even a purple/burgundy leaf one, too?!!! (Hey, while we're making the list.... lol.)

Leslie, it WAS wonderful. It reminded me of the pretty light we had on the day I took pictures of the front yard Halloween decorations last year... very warm and slanted just right. :)

Ottawa Gardener said...

I love the painterliness (is that a word?) of your blog. You always draw my eye ever inward to the world of colour. Thanks.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Kim--I posted a day late just because I forgot what day it was! Your reasons are much better--and what a beautiful Fall garden. I love the hens&chicks (right?) and the sedum around your yucca plant--I've just left Arizona, so seeing your desrt-y plants was lovely. I'm working on saving the b&b salvia seed so you all don't have to pay a million dollars for what grows like a weed around here. Lovely pics as always. Cosmo

Unknown said...

Wow, Ottawa Gardener... painterliness is a word, I think, but even if it isn't I know your intent... and I am honored that you feel that way about my blog. Thank you!

Cosmo, you have a good reason to have been late, too--a trip to Arizona! :)

I do have hens & chicks in this garden, but if you're looking in the yucca picture and you mean the drought-tolerant plants in the front, those are 'Efanthia' euphorbia. They must either need good drainage or are marginally hardy (or both) because the ones I planted last fall survived just fine in my well-drained, sandy, cool-zone-6 garden, while Kylee (at Our Little Acre) lost of the 'Efanthia' planted in her clay zone 5 plot. The sedums around them are either 'Dragon's Blood' or 'Voodoo'... there's one season in which the latter looks more grey than red, and that's the only way I can tell them apart. So I have them mingled together everywhere. :)

I'm trying to overwinter my B&B salvia, but would definitely appreciate a source for seed, too! I so love these things, and it's not just having to pay an arm and a leg. It's trying to find them at all that's a challenge sometimes! lol.

Gail said...

Hey Kim, The garden does indeed look good in this new winter shifted light.
I thought the Yucca with Dragon's Blood Sedum at its base was inspired.

I often cross the street to see what my neighbors see. It is always eye opening. They are generous neighbors and appreciate anything I do! The folks to the left and right of me can't see in because we share huge shrubbery borders. Thanks for asking! Gail

Anonymous said...

You have many lovely combinations in the garden right now. The Pulmonaria leaves look much more delicate when backlit from the sun. The Japanese anemones look good, in their party dresses.

Kerri said...

The Party Dress anemones are holding their heads up beautifully! So do you think the extra moisture did the trick? The combination of them with the J Maple, hosta and g oregano is wonderful!
Lucky you to now have a source for B&B Salvia seeds!
Isn't it sad to have to dismantle the containers when they're still looking good?
I'm glad you managed to squeeze this post into your busy schedule. Much, much better late than never! Your garden still has loads of interesting things going on.
We don't have any neighbors near enough for an up close and personal view, but I like to look at the garden from the road...to see what passersby see.
Enjoy your vacation...you deserve it!

Unknown said...

Gail, I admit... that the 'Golden Sword' with the 'Dragon's Blood' puddled around it does make my inner geek smile! ;)

Too bad for the neighbors to the left and right of you. Based on your garden pics that I've seen, they are definitely missing out!!!

Thank you, Northern Shade! That's a good way of putting it... the pulmonaria DO look much more delicate when backlit by the sun. When seen flat, they look thicker and sturdier for sure.

Kerri, oh! IF ONLY I had all of your lovely blooms for bloom day! I feel like I have "not much" in comparison. :) It IS sad to have to dismantle containers that are still looking good. Right about now I wish that I could just bring my whole huge urn inside and keep it intact for the winter!

West Coast Island Gardener said...

I love green-eyed flowers and have never seen Japanese anemone that had double petals. I am smitten by those tossle heads of pink petals.

It's great when the garden give you a surprise like the pure white of the snapdragon next to the kale - a lovely combination.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, it all looks fresh and healthy still. Your planter must make you smile when you come home as well as your dog. Getting that perfect light is elusive. I have yet to take a decent photo of the black and blue salvia. It is so late to emerge in the spring, it is often given up for lost, but is slowly spreading on the slope to form a nice colony after several years. Extra water in our drought has perked it up. I thought maybe your euphorbia was E. dulci chamaeleon, similar coloring and very hardy and seeds all over! Love the sea kale as well.


Carol Michel said...

If I'm still "running around the blogosphere" commenting on bloom day posts, you can't be too late! That's a good idea to look at your garden from the neighbor's vantage point. I like to drive by my house very slowly, too, to get the street view.

Thanks for joining in and I hope you enjoy your vacation time. I'm sure much of it will be spent in the garden.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only 1 who's gotten behind online & off. I'm glad to see that your 'Party Dress' Anemone is finally standing up. I wonder if they need more sun than I'm giving them, as mine are as floppy as ever.

EAL said...

I'm unbearably jealous of those pink Jap anemones.

Kylee Baumle said...

Once again, lovely photos of the colors and texture in your gorgeous gardens, Kim!

I tried to winter over some eucalyptus two years ago and wasn't successful either. I love love love the scent of it.

I'm overwintering my Cordyline this year for the first time. It doesn't seem like that will be too hard to do. Hope not!

Are you still coming over this way soon?

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi! I have your blog bookmarked, but can't remember if I have made any comments yet. I am very scatterbrained, and new at blogging, and am finding blogs to read by clicking on the blogs other people follow or those who have made comments on other blogs.

I enjoyed looking at your October blooms. I live on a corner lot, so when I go anywhere in the car, I look at the view my neighbors see when they go by. I do sometimes go to my next door neighbors houses and look over to see my yard.

I want to learn how to make a box like this for my comments. I'll have to see if I can figure it out.

lisa said...

I feel your pain @ being behind on everything! You have a lot of nice color there, and it was very polite of your snapdragons to color-coordinate like that!

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