Friday, November 14

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - November 2008

Red, gold, orange and brown are traditional fall colors... but in terms of this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, graciously hosted each month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens, my garden seems to be awash in purples, blues and silvers. Like this millionth (it seems) rebloom of the 'Caradonna' salvia, shown off against a 'Newe Ya'ar' culinary sage:

Or the cute little lilac-colored blooms of 'Purple Dragon' dead nettle, against its own pretty foliage:

Or the out-of-focus blooms on my 'Grosso' lavender, with its own foliage, regular culinary sage, 'Black Beauty' sambucus, and my unfortunately-still-not-stained fence:

No longer backed by silver plectranthus, which fell victim to a frost not long ago, but still blooming in purple is this "dogbane" coleus:

And then there are the electric-blue blooms of 'Black & Blue' salvia, against the purplish-red foliage of an oakleaf hydrangea:

And one last... see it there, in the middle of the picture? You may have to squint... one last blue bloom remnant on the hardy plumbago, ceratostigma plumbaginoides, whose seedheads are also interesting:

On the warmer side of the spectrum, there are some red blooms left in the garden, too. And there is also a new flush of coral-and-yellow blooms on the native honeysuckle, lonicera sempervirens, which I love more and more the longer I grow it. Thanks again to Annie in Austin for turning me on to this beautiful vine:

And while the spring-planted snapdragons have gone the way of the other annuals, the self-sown reds continue to bloom. Here you see them next to the oakleaf hydrangea:

And here against the red-tinged foliage of 'Efanthia' euphorbia:

('Efanthia,' by the way, continues to show some bloom herself, although she's more in the cool-acid-yellow than warm range of the color wheel:)

And last, but not least, hacking back the abutilon megapotanicum before bringing it indoors for the winter doesn't seem to have hurt it much at all. In fact, it's rebounded with some more of its dainty blooms:

It's probably fitting to close with this houseplant, as my next several Garden Bloggers Bloom Days will probably exclusively showcase indoor blooms. I'm lucky to have this many outdoor blooms, but all credit there is due to Lake Erie. She delays my springtime for several weeks at the beginning of the year, but tacks on a few extra weeks at the end of the growing season to make up for it. I'll happily take that exchange!

By the way, I'm "cheating" and posting a day early because it's forecast to be cold tomorrow... brr... and I have a lot of work to catch up on after being out a few days this week with a bad stomach virus. So I'm not sure that I'd be able to sneak in a post! But these photos were all taken late this afternoon, so I am fairly certain that all blooms will be here tomorrow. Except maybe that little remnant of a plumbago bloom... *grin*


Also blooming today, but not shown in pictures: The miscanthus I got from Aunt Becky, my 'Ozark' alpine strawberries, 'Lightning Strike' tricyrtis, the red pansies I showed in my last post, 'Walker's Low' catmint, bronze fennel, 'Jumping Jack' orchid.

What bloomed in November 2007, but (interestingly) is not in bloom this November*: digitalis parviflora, the unnamed purple toad lily, 'Hameln' pennisetum, 'Zebrinus' miscanthus, 'Rotstrahlbusch' switchgrass, sedum cauticola, sedum sieboldii, both hakone grasses, both Japanese anemones, 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth (which was taken out by cold a couple of weeks ago,) 'Merlot' echinacea, any of my rosemary plants.

*does not count plants that I didn't grow this year, like nasturtium, 'Paprika' yarrow (which I replaced with 'Summerwine,') etc.


Anonymous said...

All the pictures are wonderful, every one of those little blooms pushing themselves out into the mercurial air ... but I have a particular soft spot for the lavender. I don't know why. I love it. Something tells me you'll treat us to some lush winter pictures, too!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You've got a good assortment of things still blooming. I think I need Salvia 'Caradonna.' My Ceratostigma stopped blooming a while ago, but the foliage is such a great red now, it makes up for it. I decided to get my post done early too, as the forecast for tomorrow is highs in the mid-30s with possible snow. Ugh!

Carol Michel said...

That's a great showing of blooms for November for the midwest. Those blooms just hang on, until the bitter end, don't they? And just like there, the bitter end here is probably tomorrow. My post will be out just after midnight.

Thanks for joining in and for sharing your garden with us once again.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Unknown said...

westcobich, me too! I love lavender--the plant, the scent. In fact, I just got back from the grocery store where I bought some lavender-scented (and eco-friendly) laundry detergent, and deodorant. (The latter, alas, is not so eco-friendly. I am apparently too sporty and stinky for the eco-friendly stuff on a regular basis. *sigh*)

Mr McGregor's Daughter, I had noticed your comment on the hardy blue plumbago. Mine hasn't been a great performer, but I love the red foliage, too--especially when it overlaps with the blue blooms, although admittedly that only happens for about a week here.

Yeah, tomorrow is supposed to be 50 as a high, but the weather you describe is set to reach us by Sunday... *sigh*

Unknown said...

Carol, it is suprising me, the types and number of blooms that are still hanging around! That's why I thought it was interesting to note what was blooming at this time last year, and not this. It seems like some things might be semi-reliable November bloomers, and other things may just be a once-every-few-years gift. Either way, I'll take them! :)

joey said...

November has been very good to you, dear Kim (and you deserve it)! Lots of happy stuff still smiling in your garden. Though I still have not tucked all beds 'to bed', I'm gearing up for snow attack this weekend ... sigh ;( and still have orphan bulbs waiting for a home ...

Unknown said...

Dearest Joey, don't feel bad--I still have orphan bulbs, too! I got the garlic planted today finally, but I believe that I'll be forcing the few tulips and daffodils that I'm still going to be buying, instead of planting them outside.

(Except for the little species tulips. I'll have to hope for a warmish day--although none seem to be showing up in the short-term forecast. I really want them to naturalize.)

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

A lovely display considering it's November already. My favourite is your native honeysuckle, what a showstopper that one is. Last year I hasd snapdragons flowering till early February. I'm curious how long yours will last.

Happy GBBD, Kim!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am impressed by all the blooms Kim. I don't think there is a thing blooming in my garden. It has rained the last three days so I haven't really been out. I can see the honeysuckle fromt he kitchen door and I don't have any blooms. This is also one of my favorite plants.

Les said...

Looking at your post, I never would have guessed that you are near Lake Erie, so I am glad you mentioned the Lake Effect. I live at the Southern end of the Chesapeake Bay and enjoy similar effects.

I specifically wanted to stop by to say thank you for posting how to use the HTML codes (in the Bloom Day comment section at May Dreams Gardens). It was a great tip that I have committed to paper for future use.

Anonymous said...

I am totally out of blooms...well, outside at least! I love Euphorbias and I will make a note of that one for future garden spots. Loved your Halloween decorations! Poor skeleton with that disease called 'Cabbage crotch' made me laugh. Happy B'Day to your Mom. My Mom's is actually today!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kim!
I am going to have to wait until this evening and tomorrow to look at all the GBBD blogs, but I wanted to look at yours before getting ready for my day. We grow a lot of the same things, but my cold weather has ended most of the blooms. I am tempted to go out to look at my lamium and a couple other plants to see if there are any blooms I missed, though. I had a picture similar to yours of snapdragons, that I accidently left out. I love the salvia and sage in your first picture.

Thanks for your help in telling us how to make links to our GBBD blogs! I see some have used the information.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Kim, to have found some many lingering blooms! That euphorbia is absolutely stunning, and the culinary sage cultivar in your first photo is a beauty too. And that honeysuckle - wow! I'd also like to second Les in thanking you for the tip on how to post a hyperlink in a comment over at Carol's site.

Unknown said...

You are still enjoying some blooms. I love the Blue/Black Salvia it's on my list for next spring. I like that vine the red one, does it grow fast?

gintoino said...

I love your S. caradonna, I should get one..or two ;-)
I'm lucky to have my C.plumbaginoides still in full bloom (does your's self sows itself?). I've never seen tha Lonicera around here, but would be a plant I would most likely buy, it looks great!

Gail said...

More on the list! The euphorbia has always been an attractive plant but I think it needs sharper drainage and much more sun then we have here...but it is staying on the list! I love all the purples in autumn how beautiful they look next to silver and gold leaves!
Black and Blue continues to amaze me with it's frost tolerance and stunning color...maybe it will seed in your garden. I hope you are keeping warm! Winter is heading our way...temps in the mid twenties!


Sarah Laurence said...

I love the contrast of the purple against the silver. Lovely blooms!

vertie said...

Great variety! I love the honeysuckle vine. I'm pretty sure it will grow here.-) And I like the black and blue salvia. I forgot that I planted one recently. Thanks for the information on the garlic.

Unknown said...

Yolanda Elizabet, thanks! If we have snapdragons much past Thanksgiving, it will be a very very very warm start to winter here. In fact, if we have them much past this week, I will be very surprised--this coming week, overnight temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 20s!

Greenbow Lisa, huh. I wonder why my honeysuckle is blooming away but yours isn't? Interesting... maybe it's just being nice to me since this is its first full year at my house?! Either way, I'll take it.

Les, no problem. I know some basic HTML coding from my "day job," but there are a few good informational sites out there, too, so if you want to know something specific you could always google what you want to do and figure it out this way.

By the way, I may enjoy Lake Effect here, but I'm still a zone 6b. So I'm little jealous of your zone 8a! :)

Layanee, I love this 'Efanthia' Euphorbia. I can't remember what zone you are in, though, so I will warn you that Kylee at Our Little Acre hadn't been able to get hers to overwinter in zone 5. (I'm about 6b here, and mine was fine even though it was planted in late fall.)

Hi Sue! You know, I missed my lamium blooms at first, too. Then I noticed one on the 'Anniversary'/'Anne Greenaway' lamium (which, oops, I forgot to list) as I walked by after taking pics of the blue plumbago... and when I looked again at the 'Purple Dragon' sure enough, I found one there, too. It's so easy to miss them since I grow the plants more for the foliage, and since the blooms are so small!

Hey, go back and add in the snapdragons picture--I generally always forget something and have to edit my bloom day posts! And no problem on the links info--glad that I could help. :)

Nan Ondra, I had to catalog them, because most of them will probably be frozen out tomorrow! lol. The 'Newe Ya'ar' culinary sage is such a pretty silver, and has such a good compact growth habit (not to mention a great taste) that I really think I'm going to go ahead and take out all of my regular culinary sage and just keep this one from now on.

Darla, thanks for stopping by! I planted this honeysuckle last year in the fall, and I didn't really give it anything to grow on until I got that part of the fence stained and put the trellis ladder up in late June... and it's now maybe 2 feet beyond the top of the 6ft fence. I wouldn't call it a rampant grower, but it's certainly a healthy grower--I have no idea how big it would be by now if I had treated it nicer this spring. *grin*

gintoino, you certainly should! 'Caradonna' really blooms for me as long as 'Mainacht' with the same occasional/lazy cutting back that I am wont to do for both... and the flower stems are dark purple, which makes the flowers seem that much more dramatic. By the way, I haven't noticed my c. plumbaginoides reseeding, but I may have clipped it back last fall. So I'll keep an eye out next spring and let you know.

Gail, that may be true about the euphorbia and the drainage, but I know that Kylee at Our Little Acre grows some euphorbias over in what was once the Great Black Swamp... and if her ground is anything close to what my parents have, it's very heavy soil! Also, I had some luck at my old house (which was just south of here, in heavy clay that was often wet) planting things like lavender at the top of mounds of well-draining dirt. Seemed to work best when things were hardy to a zone colder than mine, though.

Sarah Laurence, thank you! I love that color blend, too... I guess I must, as often as I now realize that I have reused it throughout the yard! :)

vertie, yeah... you can probably stop by Annie's blog to see how nicely it grows there, in fact! *grin* And lucky you, that B&B salvia is probably hardy there, too, no? (As long as it escapes the dog's feet... :)

Katarina said...

I've so enjoyed looking at your's nice to have so many in November, isn't it? Next bloom day I will have to post potted plants as well...

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, you still have lots of things that have bit the dust here, like the honeysuckle, but I see you are benefitting from the lake effect, lucky you! I love caradonna and am worried that I killed it with an untimely division while the weather was still warm, shame on me. And black and blue, and coleus,, still hanging on, amazing. I wanted to tell you that I did add some culinary sages, tri color, to my little leaf syndrome bed by the yellow/white garden. I love the look and would have never thought of them on my own. Thanks for inspiration!

Rose said...

Kim, lots of lovely blooms still showing here, and in some of my favorite colors. Don't apologize for your "millionth" photo of the first salvia. I have some "Victoria Blue" that I've shown about that many times, too:) When a plant performs well, you just can't help bragging about it.

Thanks for the info about how Lake Erie affects your weather--I wondered how you could have so many blooms unaffected by the cold.

Unknown said...

Yes, Katarina, it is definitely nice to have so many in November. Since today it's snowing (although not sticking) I'm sure that some of these will bite the dust fairly quickly, unfortunately!

Frances, I think that 'Caradonna' is a pretty tough customer, so I'm holding out hope that you'll have it come back. I had some babies sprout up where I didn't get all of the roots when I moved my first few to a new place, so that should give you some hope!

How fun that you added some culinary sages to your garden... I really love using them here, too. :)

Rose, that 'Victoria Blue' is so pretty, I don't blame you for showing a million pictures of that one as well! Good point, when a plant performs well... it's almost a requirement for us to tell other gardeners about it, right?! ;)

By the way, I am enjoying the Lake Effect right now... but I will admit that come spring, I probably will be whining about it again. As in, "WHY are all of the daffodils at work in bloom, when all of mine up north barely have buds? Darn lake!" lol.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Kim--Great stuff you still have going! I have never heard of "Newe Ya'ar" sage--that leaf is great, and I love it with the blue--I just harvested a bunch of culinary sage to dry for Thanksgiving. Does your plectranthus grow back? I have some, but I've brought it inside for the winter--I love the leaves. Always love visiting your blog--I get so many ideas from your wonderful combinations. Best, Cosmo

Unknown said...

Cosmo, thank you. :)

I overwinter my silver and 'Cerveza 'n Lime' plectranthus in the house, too. And the flowering stuff I showed in that picture when I mentioned the plectranthus (the "dogbane" coleus) would need to be overwintered here, too... but I decided not to bother with it, even though the flowers are cool. Because the leaves stink VERY STRONGLY of skunk!

Interestingly, that's why it's supposed to repel dogs and cats... but I can't figure that one out. Seeing as how my dog seeks out things that are gross and nasty to roll in, I can't see why the skunk smell would repel her at all! lol.

Anonymous said...

That coleus is one of my faves even though it does smell like skunk and I'm sorry we don't have any in the garden right now! And I love the euphorbia - the world (Blithewold, I mean) needs more euphorbs!

Anonymous said...

Reading your answer to the last comment makes me think that my plan to plant Stinky Coleus along the hedge - to keep my dog from busting through to the neighbor's yard - won't work... Is Coco really attracted to rather than repelled by The Stinky?

EAL said...

You really have a lot more than me and I supposedly enjoy those Lake Erie benefits as well! I see many other shave th eBlack and Blue sage--I planted it, but haven't had much luck. I am a big fan of the euphorbia as well.

Unknown said...

Kris, I really do like that coleus for the funky flowers and the succulent-looking leaves... but WOW the smell travels! lol. Coco doesn't really seem to think about The Stinky one way or another, and has limited interaction with it because it's in the urn planter. She does like to roll in things like dead fish, though, so I don't know that this would really phase her... but it would be interesting to see if it keeps your dog in!

EAL, huh. I wonder if the brutal winds that you guys get (we're spared a little bit of that here on the west side of Cleveland--the east side gets the brunt of our winds) somehow negates that Lake Effect for you?

Meems said...

Hi Kim, I do love the contrast in that first photo... I always favor any plant with striking foliage as it comes in handy around here with all my shade. Isn't it nice to have the water keep your temps down (or I guess that would be up a bit) a bit for the few extra weeks? We live close enough to the coast to have more tropical temps than even the next county over. I like it that way.

I'm particularly fond of your 'Purple Dragon' dead nettle if it's the one with the silvery heart-shaped leaves and dark green edges. Very striking.
Great post as always. Enjoy the rest of your weekend (not much left now that I look at the clock :-)

Unknown said...

Go to and type in firebush and you will get all the info you want. This is my first year with it so I cannot pass on too much first hand knowledge, other then it has been a wonderful bloomer and fast grower.

Annie in Austin said...

The Lake Erie effect has given you such a royal GBBD, Kim! All that silver and purple is just lovely.

I also loved the contrast of fall-turned Oakleaf Hydrangea & red snapdragons.

Your Coral honeysuckle is blooming more than mine is right now! I'm glad it lived up to your expectations ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Daniel Mount said...

Swamp girl, I love the blue flowers of autumn they seem to enhance all the oranginess. In the zone * garden I tend we do well with the salvias and ceratostigma. I'd still love to get some gentians though

Unknown said...

Meems, I'm with you--any kind of striking foliage really catches my attention. I need to learn to use the most colorful selections in swaths more, like you do, to keep my garden from looking too "bitty." And yes, 'Purple Dragon' is the groundcover with the silvery heart-shaped leaves... and best of all (in my non-tropical climate) it's evergreen!

Thanks, Darla. I'll have to go check it out. :)

Annie, oooh... this is why you write such beautiful posts. You notice things like the silver+purple=a royal GBBD! :) Thanks again for turning me on to that honeysuckle. It's lived up to my expectations and then some, that's for sure!

Daniel Mount, thanks for stopping by! That's a really good point re: the blues enhancing the oranges. And I would LOVE to grow some gentians here, too... but unfortunately, all of the ones that I want seem to favor a moister area than I am able to provide with my sandy soil. *sigh* Am heading over to check out your zone 8 garden now...

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm surprised to see this kind of color in mid-November up your way. I wasn't familiar with the dogbane coleus - it looks quite interesting (and happy!) - do you plant the plectranthus each year as an annual? Each pretty much an annual here too - I've tried to mulch it so that it would come bounce back in the spring, but it hasn't happened yet. Oh - and that Abutilon is beautiful - I have two in the ground, but not that one. I've always admired it.

Hope you catch up on your work! And if I could send you a white camellia that is cold-hardy, I would.

Kylee Baumle said...

Look at that 'Efanthia'!! You know I'm jealous, don't you? LOL. Maybe I'll try it again next year.

I noticed the same thing here, that different things were blooming this year than last.

My Plumbago looks exactly like yours, except mine doesn't have seedpods. I only planted them this fall, maybe that's why. But it has some minute blooms, too. I forgot to mention them in my Bloom Day post.

I hear you have snow up there now. We still don't, but I have a feeling that's about to change this weekend.

Let me know when we can get together over Thanksgiving!

Kerri said...

You had some lovely late-blooming blues, Kim...several I want to more salvias next year for sure!
That euphorbia is really lovely. I have a similar unnamed one that overwinters in the garden here.
I love the silver of the 'Newe Ya'ar' sage, especially with the Caradonna salvia.
A friend gave me a start of an unnamed honeysuckle which may be the same as yours. Would yours be hardy here in our zone 5?
Thanks for the info on the Knock Out roses :) I'm going to have to try them! The azalea has red-orange blooms. Yes, the foliage in fall is gorgeous!

lisa said...

You sure had a nice Bloom Day! I actually missed this one entirely (my body has been waging war upon me :(, but my blooms were sparse anyhow.

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