Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Bloom Day-It's a Wrap

Garden season 2015 is over.  Or at least it will be by the end of the upcoming weekend if the forecast for a hard freeze proves accurate.  News of the impending demise sent me scurrying to dust off my camera and grab a few final shots of my late season garden for posterity.  As the sun set and twilight descended, I suddenly felt a great sense of urgency to capture the memories before they fade.

Fall is a glorious season in New England and October is the epitome of fall.  Days are generally still somewhat warm and nights are chilly.  In a good year, foliage colors run the spectrum of greens, oranges, reds and yellows.  By all accounts 2015 is a spectacular year.  I spent last weekend hiking in the Catskills where foliage colors were near peak.  Even after a lifetime of living in New England, foliage ogling never gets old.

Truth be told though, I don't enjoy fall as much as I should because I waste a lot of energy mourning the loss of summer.  I desperately miss the season when the livin' is easy.  I miss being able to get up at 5 AM and not having to turn on a light to see my way to the bathroom.  I miss 8 PM sunsets.  I miss morning coffee and evening cocktails on the patio.  I miss bare feet.  I miss farm dinners.  I miss the flexibility to hike after work.  I miss the screen porch.  I miss mine and my friend's gardens in full glory.  And this fall, as I dismantle the last garden he will ever be part of, I especially miss Nick.

Eventually I'll come around but so will spring.  The weather gurus (who often have trouble predicting the weather tomorrow) are predicting a warmer than usual winter for the northeast.  I'll take it!  But I'll also believe it when I see it.  So without further adieu, here is what I offer up for Bloom Day.

Impatiens.  Call them what you will...ubiquitous, pedestrian, etc.  I call them staples in my garden that, for a couple of bucks a plant, bloom their fool heads off from May until frost.  I use them in containers and I plant them in the ground.  They are the bomb.

Variegated Spreading White Sunpatiens
With a skirt of Sweet Alyssum

Variegated Spreading Salmon Sunpatiens

Celebrette Light Coral New Guinea Impatiens

Viburnum dilatatum 'Cardinal Candy' with Variegated Spreading White Sunpatiens and Diervilla 'Cool Splash'

Impatiens 'Fusion Peach Frost', Coleus 'Sedona', Strobilanthes and Colocasia esculenta

New Guinea Impatiens 'Strike Pink'', Coleus 'Black Cherry'

New Guinea Impatiens 'Strike Plum', Coleus 'El Brighto'

Variegated Phlox varieties.  They start blooming in August.  A bit of dead heading keeps the flowers coming until frost.

Phlox paniculata 'Shockwave'

Phlox paniculata 'Norah Leigh'

Calibrachoa 'Mini Famous Orange', Coleus 'Rustic Orange', Strobilanthes

Many Calibrachoa varieties peter out here by mid September due to shifting shadows and shorter days.  A few persist.

Every year I become more enamored with Dragon Wing Begonias.

Begonia 'Dragon Wing Red', Colocasia 'Illustris', Coleus 'Gays Delight'

I am especially enamored with these Whopper Red Bronze Leaf varieties.

Begonia Whopper Red Bronze Leaf, Coleus 'Dipt in Wine', Colocasia Royal Hawaiian 'Maui Gold'

I had high hopes for these Matchstick Mums but they have not proven to be vigorous in my garden.  This one is barely holding on.

I'm fine with Corydalis lutea anywhere it chooses to seed.

Chrysanthemum weyrichii 'White Bomb'

Mr. Conqueror, Verbena bonariensis
Mr. Conqueror is one of the feral kittens I found under my neighbor's shed on Memorial Day weekend 2014.  I still care for him and one of his sisters but maintain them as outdoor cats (both have been trapped and spay/neutered).  Earlier this summer he disappeared.  After a couple of weeks I figured he likely met his demise-a risk I accept as a condition of his semi-feral status.  Two months later he miraculously reappeared one morning for breakfast and has barely let the food bowl or me out of his sight since.

Aster 'Lady in Black', Miscanthus 'Gold Bar', Hydrangea 'Lemon Wave'

Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue', Colocasia Royal Hawaiian 'Maui Gold'
Coreopsis 'Red Shift' requires way more sun than my garden can provide.  I prop it up with a Peony ring and shear it in late summer.  Usually I don't coddle plants, but for literally months and months of blooms, I'd say this one is worth the effort.

Coreopsis verticillata 'Red Shift'

Amaranthus variety long lost

A non blooming Crepe Myrtle 'Cherry Dazzle', Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue', Verbena bonariensis, Pennisetum 'Vertigo'

Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue'

Fountain season is over...

Anemone 'Prince Henry' (maybe)

Callicarpa 'Heavy Berry' I think

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Miscanthus 'Sarabande', Hydrangea serrata 'Preziosa'

Chocolate Cosmos

Begonia 'Sparks Will Fly

White Cleomes, Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold'

Foliage of Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold'

A jumble of tropical foliage...a dark leafed Crepe Myrtle, Castor Bean, Musa basjoo, Pennisetum 'Vertigo'

Mr. Conqueror, Fuchsia 'Swingtime', Coleus 'Religious Radish'

Fuchsia 'Eruption'

Hosta 'Red October'

Verbena bonariensis, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Patio seating backed by Callicarpa dichotoma 'Duet'
If I had more time (and daylight), I could probably find a few more treasures to share, but much to my dismay, I am short on both.  To check out what gardeners around the world have blooming today, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  Many thanks to Carol for hosting this monthly event!



  1. How nice to get a late season tour of your garden Sue ! I always pout when I don't get my New England fix.

  2. Sue, your place looks dazzling this year -- as it always does. Every picture looks like it came straight from White Flower Farms' catalog. AND, Mr. Conqueror looks quite chubby and contented for a guy who had a two month misadventure before finding his way back to you.

  3. So glad you grabbed the camera before the first frost. No wonder you miss summer when it looks like this! I hope Mr. C. finds a warm place this winter.

  4. Beautiful photos, thank you...I've missed seeing your garden! Also that could have been me writing about the loss of summer, why can't it last forever?! (and yes our furry friends should last forever too, or at least match our lifetimes)

  5. Your fall garden looks lovely. Mr. Conqueror has the look of a cat who's been places and done things.

  6. Your cat is a smart guy to stay close to a guaranteed meal and plenty of love. He looks like he's there to stay. I'm always impressed by how much color and spark your garden has. I added 4 variegated beautyberries to my garden, too. Love them!

  7. You still have so many blooms and such great color throughout the garden! Amazing.
    I'm with you...I do love fall colors - but once August hits I start getting sad, knowing what's coming after fall. The hated dreaded winters!

  8. Your garden is looking pretty spectacular, Sue! Your Coreopsis 'Redshift' looks much better than mine, all of which burned out in one of our early summer heatwaves and mostly haven't come back. I'm envious of the Japanese anemones too as mine are a no-show this year. And seeing all your coleus has me wondering why I planted only 2 varieties this year. Mr. Conqueror looks like he has plans to stay.

  9. You have a beautiful garden and even though I live in Southern California I can relate to your missing the Summer days. It is still quite warm here, but during the week when I'm working, I barely get to see my garden because it's dark in the morning when I water and dark by the time I get home. I once lived in Pennsylvania and have visited New England in the Fall. It is breathtaking. Also, that is a mighty handsome cat. You must have been happy to see him return!

  10. Blooming beauties all! I, too am especially fond of impatiens, especially the variegated ones. Surprisingly, I've only found variegated New Guinea Impatiens here but not the other variegated ones that you show (gorgeous!) And even the NG variegated ones are not available at many nurseries. I'm going to try and winter some over in the greenhouse. Hope they survive! Sorry I missed your post about your bestest boy earlier and am so sorry for your loss. Dogs make special places in our hearts which are achingly vacant when they have to leave us.

  11. So many nice combinations. I am glad to see so many annuals as well, as I think gardeners are sadly using fewer. Then again, there are sadly fewer gardeners.

  12. Absolutely gorgeous and the cat is adorable! :)