Tag Archives: fall flowering plants

Before The Frost

Still Standing

Fall is officially here, not just the date but temperature and the color of leaves.  The ground is practically covered with leaves and the branches are becoming more bare everyday.  We start grinding up the leaves for mulching and composting when we have days off.  I don’t cut back much of anything except for the Butterfly bushes (Buddleja davidii).  This lovely, fragrant and food source for butterflies and bees is very invasive if the flowers are allowed to set seed.  I left other plants in the garden stand as they are during winter so birds and insects can have food and some protection from the harsh elements of winter.

As bare as the garden looks now, there are some diehard flowers that are still standing up to the cooling temperature.  Frost will eventually stop them but it’s still a different beauty.

Abelia
Abelia

Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora) starts flowering in summer and won’t stop until frost.  Its light fragrance draws bumblebees in.

Alyssum
Alyssum

This little flower, tiny, low to the ground but tougher than they look.  They keep going and are good for bees and other insects as a last resource.

Garden Phlox
Garden Phlox

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a real diehard.  It can tolerate drought, wet and cold to some degree.  I have no idea which one this is since I let them grow freely and cross-pollination results in many shades of phlox in the garden.  I only know that the phlox ‘David’ is white.

Ms Doreen Pike
Ms Doreen Pike

Rosa Rugosa ‘Ms Doreen Pike’ is still producing flowers here and there.  This one is soaking wet from the rain.

Antique Caramel
Antique Caramel

Once I pulled some of the Bee balm (Monarda) out to give more space to this rose ‘Antique Caramel’, it seemed to be happier and flowered more than last year.

Knockout
Knockout

I don’t remember if I ever mentioned I got this rose ‘Knockout’ for free from the nursery, two of them actually.  They’ve been doing really well and never let me down from early summer to frost.

Zinnia
Zinnia

This is one of the Zinnia that is still flowering.  Most of them have black spots due to an excess of rain lately.  But they are doing well this year.

Before the Curtain Closes

And Before the Rain Washes Them Away

It’s raining again tonight, actually it has been raining on and off for the past two days.  It’s just drizzle now.  Luck was on my side yesterday; gave me a chance to take some photographs of fall colors before the rain washes them away.  Not much left of the garden, really, just a lot of leaves on the ground and some flowers here and there that push their last bit of energy before going to rest.  The whole visual of fall garden gives me a sense of ending.  That is what gardening has taught me: a life cycle.  I see plants sprout, grow, blossom, fade and die within one season.  Then it starts all over again, maybe in a new place, or a new form.

Anyway, I don’t mean to be philosophical here.  It is just that gardening makes you keep your feet on the ground, working along side mother nature and enjoying what she gives us.

Even at the end, she still paints a beautiful picture that artists through the centuries have struggled to match.

Japanese Maple & wooden bench

The bright red of Japanese Maple leaves provide a very beautiful contrast to the bright yellow of western maple leaves in the background.  The Tree Swallow family was long gone, but a male Eastern Bluebird came to check this birdhouse for a potential roosting place a week ago.  This bench is a great place to sit and watch the sunrise and contemplate the beauty that surrounds us.

Pineapple sage

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is still flowering and the Bumble bees still work on the last drop of its nectar.  I will be picking the leaves and drying them for tea before the frost comes.

Salvia ‘Black & Blue’

Salvia ‘Black & Blue’ is still flowering as well.  I grew them for the first time this year and have no idea whether they will last the winter so I’ve collected the seeds, just in case.  I will try to plant them next to the Pineapple sage next year; the color combination should be great.

Strawberry

We still pick some Roman strawberries, with lovely pink flowers, at this time of year.  The fruits are small but very sweet and the plants never stop producing them.

Knockout

Rose ‘Knockout’ is a continuous bloomer.  Once it starts in late spring, it never stops blooming.  This one managed to evade the hungry deer so far.

Swiss chard

The bright bold colors of Swiss chard are one of a few vegetables left in the garden.  Chinese celery, Kale, Scallion, and Parsley are also still standing.  Some stray garlic seedlings have sprouted up as well.

Iris ‘Lenora Pearl’

Re-blooming Irises have bloomed on cue.  Once October comes, they shoot up new flower stems for the second time.  They tempted me to up-root the other Irises and plant all re-bloomers, but there are not that many color choices to choose from.

October Garden

Still Some Colors

After uneven temperatures and one rainstorm after another, most of the flowers in our garden have just given up or rotted away.   Only a few of them have kept blooming.  As the years pass, more and more we see pounding rainfall in autumn that frequently strips the trees of what should be their proudly worn, colorful fall coat.  Flowers, being the weaker stalk, fall victim first.

But rather than waste words, I should let the photographs tell the story of their endurance.

Rosa rugosa-‘Doreen Pike’ still blooming non-stop
Never underestimate Alyssum. Tiny, but tough.
Zinnia with Bitter melon entwined between its petals
Aster, the bees have a lot to thank them for.
Garden Phlox-‘David’ got beat up by the rain.
Another Garden Phlox that is still up and blooming
One of a variety of Nasturtium providing bright spots here and there in the garden
The only color of Yarrow that is still flowering

Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’

Snow in Fall

I’ve been doing my best to create a garden that have flowers from early spring to late fall, both day and night.  It’s getting there but I don’t know when I’ll finish.  I’m not going to beat myself up for it since a true garden will never be done anyway; it just evolves.  I don’t remember who proclaimed that but it’s a comfort to know that someone out there has the same mentality.

Flowering plants for late spring to early summer are the easiest to find, but there are not that many choices for early spring and late fall.  There are even less selections when it comes to vines.  A few years ago I looked for vines or rambling roses to cover our less than attractive, chain link pool fence, hoping to give us some privacy.  I found Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ (Clematis turniflora) in one of the catalogues and ordered two of them.  One of them turned out to be something that I didn’t expect…a Clematis ‘Montana’ (Clematis montana var. rubens).  This is one rare moment I don’t regret getting the wrong merchandise in the mail.

The Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ really lives up to its name.  When it blooms it is flooded with small, lightly fragrant white flowers as soon as the temperature drops in September.  We have it climbing up to the patio roof so it looks like there is snow covering that corner of the roof.  It can grow to 30 feet in a season.  I prune it down to the main branch every spring but it grows right back up the roof by mid summer.  Here how it looks by early September…..

Plenty of flowers, hardly see leaves
Climbs right to the corner of the patio roof
With dewey petals in early morning