Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October Flowers

This has been an extremely dry month, so far, and quite a bit warmer than our average October.  A side effect of the dry weather is that humidity has been relatively low, which at least keeps most of the day in a comfortable range-- particularly if you can find shade.

Some plants are suffering from the drought, and though I've gone out and watered some things a time or two, there's a large part of the garden that hasn't gotten any supplemental watering.  I'm just hoping those plants can pull through on their own.  If not...

I haven't been doing much gardening at all, for one reason or another, but in the past several days, I did repot some houseplants.  The tender "angelwing jasmine" I bought earlier in the year (because it was mislabeled as confederate jasmine) has moved from its ugly nursery pot into something a little nicer and is waiting its turn to come indoors, too.

I also took a few cuttings of purple heart, 'Pizzazz Purple' salvia, and dwarf butterfly bush.  (It may be a little late in the season for taking cuttings, but it doesn't hurt to try.)

In order to free up the pot it was occupying, I planted the bougainvillea into the ground in a somewhat sheltered spot.  It may not survive our winters, but it didn't exactly thrive indoors, either, and I only have so much space by our sunniest windows...  I'll keep it watered until the weather cools down and/or the rain returns, but other than that, it's on its own, now.

What I really need to do more than anything else is get out and do some weeding.  Maybe next week.

- - - - - - -

Given the state of the garden and my own lack of interest, I've decided against an October "survey" post, but I've taken some non-survey-style photos, instead.

'White Cloud' Muhly Grass.
This was a clearance purchase I made online, so it got a late start, but it still managed to bloom this year.

'White Cloud' Muhly Grass

I love it!
I'd like to add more ornamental grasses to the garden, but I'm trying to walk the line between "tough enough to make it (almost) on its own" and "won't take over the world".

'White Cloud' Muhly Grass

'White Cloud' Muhly Grass

Purple Muhly Grass.
The purple one has been in the garden longer (by a year or so?) and has started to put on some size.

Purple Muhly Grass

Swamp Daisies.
They're still blooming away.  Some of the flowers are starting to shrivel, but they've put on an enthusiastic show.

Swamp Daisies

Swamp Daisies

Here they are with the seedheads of the 'Autumn Sun' cutleaf rudbeckia in the foreground.  I've cut some of these off and will be trying to wintersow them in the coming months.  I'd love to have more of this tall rudbeckia to spread around the flower bed.  It seems like the kind of thing that should grow easily from seed, but I don't take those things for granted.  (Too many failures under my belt!)

Swamp Daisies and 'Autumn Sun' Rudbeckia Seedheads

Swamp Daisies

Perennial Mistflower.
I took some seeds from a wild mistflower down by the pond, last winter.  The plants that grew from those seeds are still in pots, but if they come back in spring, I'll have to find a permanent spot for them.  They have a reputation for being somewhat invasive, but I haven't noticed them taking over too much in the wild, so maybe that won't be a problem in my garden, either.

They bloom better with a bit more sun, but they don't like to get too dry, either, so they might be tricky to accommodate...

Perennial Mistflower

Madagascar Periwinkle. 
They come back year after year from self-sown seed.  This year, they didn't make an appearance until fairly late in the summer.  I'd begun to think they weren't going to return, after all.  But they did, and as always, they're a nice late-season filler.  Considering that they get zero attention or care (beyond any spillover benefits meted out to adjacent plants), they are beautiful and carefree additions to the garden.

Madagascar Periwinkle / Vinca

Madagascar Periwinkle / Vinca

They only look good in parts.  There are other parts that look dreadful-- bare, brown, dead-looking stems.  The parts that look good do look good, though, and if you're careful with the composition and cropping of a photo, that's all you have to see. ;o)


Reindeer Moss.
This is growing on the grass-less wild strip just inside the southern fence.  The tall pines to the south protect it from direct sun.  These are tiny little pieces, but I still like to see it growing...

Reindeer Moss

The two lantanas Mom gave me earlier this summer are still flowering.  Something has been at the leaves, but that doesn't seem to have discouraged the plants much.


Confederate Rose.
The big confederate rose that I transplanted from the garden beds to the side of the shed is still very much alive.  It's even blooming.  However, the sparseness of the leaves and lankiness of the plant suggest that it would be happier in more sun.

Confederate Rose

I'm not sure yet what I'll do.  I could leave it where it is and plant the small rooted cutting I have in a sunnier location, then just see what this shady-spot one does, for another year or two.  I could also try to take more cuttings (this year or next), against the possibility that this plant eventually fizzles out because of a poor location.  (It won't matter so much if it fades away, so long as I've had a chance to get one or two good clones going.)

The other option is to move it again, but I don't look forward to that.  It was a difficult job to move the first time.  One thing's for sure-- if I do go to the effort of transplanting it yet again, I will be giving it a place with plenty of sun and room to stretch.

Confederate Rose

Pink Trumpet Vine.
Still blooming a little at a time.  Here it is sneaking its way through the neighboring "banana fuscata".

Pink Trumpet Vine

The back garden arbor is still waiting for some finishing touches.  The viburnum is withering from the drought (and probably the shortening days), and the cannas are going into dormancy, but the gold of the swamp daisies looks wonderful with the light green of the cypress in the back and the paler yellow 'Sunshine' ligustrum.

Back Garden Arbor

(Trixie wanted to be part of the picture!)

Back Garden Arbor (with Trixie)

Back along the gravel path, many plants are going into their yearly decline, but there are still enough flowers to keep the bees and butterflies happy-- and there's enough color to keep me happy, too, when I can forget (or ignore) the weeds and the plants that have not survived the summer.

Along the Gravel Path

I try to remember that plants die, and this is not necessarily a sign of failure on the part of the gardener.  It's a learning experience and a natural consequence of working with living things.  Even the best gardener has killed plants along the way-- and continues to do so.

Along the Gravel Path

Show me a person who hasn't committed the occasional "plant murder"-- uh, non-criminally negligent herbicide?-- erm, involuntary plant-slaughter?-- and I'll show you a person who has never really gardened.  (That's what I tell myself, at least, and sometimes it even helps!)