October Bloom Day

It’s been a fairly warm autumn so far. Leaves are slow to color, flowers to fade. Though they certainly are fading.


The most common blooms are the Asters, like the Short’s Aster (Symphyotrichum shortii) above.


They still bloom in their mounding masses, accompanied by the dried remains of summer flowers, like these Monarda.


You can peak over the tops of the Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) growing in the Sidewalk Border and see the New England Aster (S. novae-angliae) in bloom.

dsc_0939I know I had pictures of these sweat bees on the New England Aster in my last post, but I just had to include one more. I propose that these green pollinators be called “Martian Bees”.


Though its best months are August and September, the Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) is still hanging in there, gamely pumping out a few last blooms. One thing that happens this time of year, though, is that the stems, some quite large, start to break off.


The Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) is still blooming, and still looks nice with the dried flowers of Sedum (Hylotelephium spectabile). (A note to taxonomists: Hylotelephium? Really? Have you completely ignored my rule that new genus names cannot have more syllables than the old ones? Apparently so.)


The Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa columbaria)  is perkier in the cooler weather, despite the fact that I have neglected the deadheading lately. These were just planted this year, next year they should put on a nice display.


Even as her rose hips ripen, ‘Cassie’ continues flowering. The hips are eaten by birds as they turn red, so you don’t see them in great numbers.


The flowers, though a bit sparse, are still charming.


Among the containers, many plants are fading or have given up. Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea), despite its subtropical origin, doesn’t seem at all tired.


Some of you may remember that I tried cutting back my Clematis jackmanii after its first flush of blooms on the theory that there would be another bloom period in the fall. For the record, this has resulted in only a tiny number of flower buds as of mid-October. This may work better in milder climates, but I won’t be trying it again.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of the month. Check out her site to see more October flowers. Happy Bloom Day!

51 Comments on “October Bloom Day”

  1. I really do enjoy the changes in the seasons, and there is something rather peaceful about the fading garden in the fall. Your asters still look so nice –mine have pretty much finished. I do still have some zinnias and Four O’Clocks putting out blooms. And I need to figure out what to do about pruning my clematis.

  2. Lots to enjoy still in your autumnal garden (I live the autumnal, you can’t say ‘fallen’ garden can you?!). I pulled out my Tithonia because it was taking over the space allocated to the Dahlias but there are seedlings now; I’m sure they won’t survive winter but I’ll leave them for now just to see what happens to them. Your R. Cassie looks so crisp and new, the white is pristine not creamy or dirty at all, so beautiful. Love all the Asters too.

  3. Enjoy your posts and pix. We’ve had great success with Clematis paniculata – sweet autumn clematis (planted 2000?). Pretty much carefree enjoyment after hard pruning in early spring. Needs full sun from spring until autumn. Beautifully green all summer, then covered with white blossoms (and bees) around mid-September. Right outside my back door – first thing I see and smell when I let the dog out every morning. We’re in USDA hardiness zone 6a.

  4. Happy GBBD! It’s awesome to have flowers still in mid-October, isn’t it? And you have so many! I really like the color and form of the Short’s Aster. It appears we will have a short “autumn” in its true colors this year. I’m not complaining–it’s nice to be able to walk around without a jacket in October!

  5. Wow on the Tithonia! I am going to have to try it again next year, but give it much more space. You still have so many lovely blooms; we’re going to have to enjoy them every day that we can. I didn’t know Sedum had a new botanical name…I wish the botanists would just leave things alone; I’m still learning the old names:)

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