Fall’s Final Flowers: GBBD, October 2017

hydrangea1By mid-October, my Maine garden is going into dormancy. Leaves are withering, flowers are going to seed, and maple leaves are falling into the flower beds.

But, despite several nights below freezing, my garden has still not been hit by frost; and a closer look reveals a surprising number of blooms scattered throughout the garden (like these mauve blossoms on Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’).

Along the Lavender Walk  and the front of the Fragrant Garden, lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) is still blooming. lavender hidcote october
herbstsonne fall flower In the Blue and Yellow Border, the last flowers of Rudbeckia x ‘Herbstsonne’ are struggling to open. (I have stopped deadheading these so that they can make seeds for the birds.)
Most of the asters have finished blooming, but there are still a flew tattered flowers on smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) ‘Bluebird’ aster bluebird flowers

Some flowers are meant to bloom in the autumn, like this sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ which has achieved the deep wine color that comes just before its flower heads turn to seed heads, and the fringy flowers of witch hazel (Hammamelis virginiana), which have just begun to open.

autumn joy wine hamamelis flower

Other flowers have been confused by our weirdly warm weather in September and early October. There are a few flowers on spring-blooming bluets (Houstonia caerulea) and sweet white violets (Viola blanda); one hosta is also blooming out of season.

Many of my flower beds have finished blooming for this year. Others have one or two plants still finishing up. But my biggest source of October blooms is the Side Slope planting (completed last year). neon flash flowersThe beautiful Spirea x bumalda ‘Neon Flash’ has surprised me by putting out a whole new flush of flowers. (It will be interesting to see if it does this every year, or if this is a response to this year’s fall warmth.) Although the three species of Liatris that bloomed in succession from late July through the end of September are done for this year, there are still flowers – and even a few new buds – on Platycodon grandiflorus. Even more impressive are the flowers of Geranium x oxonianum, and Tradescantia virginiana, which have been blooming continuously here since mid-June.

Side Slope October

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what other gardeners (especially those in milder climates) have blooming in October.


Filed under: GBBD, Photo essays, seasons Tagged: aster, geranium, Hamamelis virginiana, hydrangea, Lavandula augustifolia, lavender, platycodon, rudbeckia, sedum, spirea, tradescantia, witch hazel


Author: admin

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