Still Vibrantly Blooming: October 15

October 13 fall flowers 002~

The flowers of late fall and early spring bring us the most pleasure.  That may be because we can actually enjoy our time outside in the garden with them!  It is ‘Goldilocks’ comfortable now  from dawn until dusk, and our enthusiasm for the garden is re-ignited.

~

This area of the front garden gets the most attention these days, as I move shrubs and perennials into these new beds from their pots.

This area of the front garden gets the most attention these days, as I move shrubs and perennials into these new beds from their pots.

~

We both spent most of yesterday outside.  Knowing that a frost can come now at any time, and that night time temperatures  in the 40’s may come this weekend; our pleasant days and frost free nights may be counted on our fingers… and possibly toes, if we are fortunate!

~

October 14, 2015 Camellias 023~

I set out yesterday to fill promises made weeks ago to share our Ginger Lilies.

~

Our Butterfly Ginger Lilies fill the air with their sweet perfume.

Our Butterfly Ginger Lilies fill the air with their sweet perfume.

~

A gardening friend joined me mid-morning and took all she could use of the freshly dug tubers.  A new neighbor, designing his own wildlife habitat along our shared pond, collected a dozen more Ginger Lily starts that afternoon.  My poor shaded, crowded roses are breathing more freely now, with fresh compost around their roots.

~

Another rose, well crowded now by an exuberant Lantana.

Another  crowded rose, this one by an exuberant Lantana.

~

I also shared some seedling Beauty Berry shrubs, a few stems of our wonderful hardy Begonia, and some tender ferns.

~

Time for this Begonia to come back inside for another winter.

Time for this tender Begonia to come back inside for another winter.

~

The time has come for the “Who will survive the winter?” lottery as we decide which of the tender plants will come in before the nights turn truly cold.  My first instinct always is, “All of them!”  But as we survey available space, reality sets in.  And I begin pressing my friends to adopt a plant for the winter.

~

These Bougainvillea lives in our garage once nights grow cold.

These Bougainvillea lives in our garage once nights grow cold.

~

I learned several valuable lessons about keeping plants over winter last season.  I learned that a number of plants, like Colocasia, will survive just fine in the low light of our basement.

~

Ivy leaf Geranium

Ivy leaf Geranium

~

I also learned that it is possible to crowd quite a few Geraniums into a plastic tub and keep them all going in the garage.  They kept blooming through Christmas that way.

~

October 13 fall flowers 023

~

The best lesson, however, required an investment in 5 gal. buckets from Walmart.  Who cares if they are covered in camo and deer designs?  They were only $3 each, and each perfectly held one of our hanging baskets through the winter.  With plastic bags under the buckets to protect the floor, I could water the baskets with confidence, knowing they drained into the buckets.

I also purchased those kitschy ‘watering globes’ for the baskets; which work very well by the way.  I could fill the globes once a week or so to keep the baskets hydrated enough to survive our winter.

~

These tender ferns will get moved inside before Sunday evening.

These tender ferns will get moved inside before Sunday evening.

~

Yes, it takes a lot of effort to keep plants over winter, but that effort is also rewarded.  Watching overwintered plants come back into bloom the following season brings a special joy.

~

October 13 fall flowers 003

~

Since I collect so many specialty plants, like Begonias,  I may find a particular cultivar only once in many years.  Losing it means, well, losing it.

There is no guarantee that a freshly rooted version will be waiting on the nursery shelves next spring.

~

This is a tender Salvia and most years doesn't survive our winter.

This is a tender Salvia and most years doesn’t survive our winter.  Our bumblebees are already feeling the chill in the air.

~

That makes October’s Garden Blogger Bloom Day especially poignant.  My Zone 7 garden has reached its peak for the season.  We will enjoy these beautiful flowers while  they last, knowing that frost will soon transform our garden, once again.

~

Many of our Lantana prove hardy. We expect this new cultivar to survive winter in place out of doors.

Many of our Lantana prove hardy. We expect this new cultivar to survive winter in place out of doors.

~

But I hope to transform it first, digging and moving tender perennials to pots inside, crowding them into their makeshift ‘garage greenhouse’ and planting hardy Violas and Heucheras in their places.

~

These hardy perennials will die back with the frost, but then return in early summer.

These hardy perennials will die back with the frost, but then return in early summer.

~

I’ve also started pots of hardy Cyclamen and Arum lily, which will come outside to the garden next week.  We’re off today to pick up more bulbs for spring flowers, and then I’ll put those compost covered gloves back on; and head back outside for another golden afternoon in our October garden.

~

Goldenrod volunteers in odd places around the garden, adding its golden glow to the changing leaves.

Goldenrod volunteers in odd places around the garden, adding its golden glow to the changing leaves.

~

Woodland Gnome 2014

~

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Advertisements

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

3 responses to “Still Vibrantly Blooming: October 15

  1. I can imagine it is all hands on deck for you two until all those plants get put under cover! I marvel at your energy! 🙂

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 520 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest

%d bloggers like this: