Bloom Day October 2012

A nice little rainstorm rolled into town last Thursday. For a sweet, brief moment, it almost seemed like autumn, but the heat has returned this week. Still, the garden has had a reasonable soaking, a rare thing for October, which is helping to settle in the new fall plantings. Much of the summer 2012 garden has already been changed out and replanted. Tough choices have been made to kick out nice plants like Amicia zygomeris in favor of trying out newcomers like Diascia personata, and there’s quite a bit of soil showing, another rarity here, but lots of familiar faces have been left in place for next year.


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Persicaria amplexicaulis continues its marathon bloom and will definitely be returning next year, two sizable clumps of it.

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Melianthus ‘Purple Haze’ seems to be a much meeker sort of melianthus, not at all vigorous and prone to leaping to 6 ft in a season, which is a good thing here, but it may not be robust enough for iffier zones. I’m very happy with its performance, which lives up to its reputation for compactness, though it did seem to languish in the heat more than other melianthus I’ve grown. One tiny blue flower is showing, I swear, for this Bloom Day on that golden ceratostigma, which suffered horribly in full sun after the smoke tree was removed.
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This is cheating, I know. I picked up this Zaluzianskya capensis a month ago already in bloom.

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The scent of this infamously fragrant plant so far eludes me, but I’d grow it anyway for its trailing habit and those wine-colored buds that unfold into little white pinwheels.

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Nicotiana ‘Ondra’s Brown Mix’ started from seed last spring generously donated by Nancy Ondra of Hayefield. The plants are just now bulking up and blooming. Nicotiana would probably rather be started in fall here, since they definitely bloom better in the cooler weather of spring, but they can easily damp off as seedlings over winter. A bit tricky to find the right balance for them. Nicotianas can be short-lived perennials here, and I’m hoping this nice strain will bloom a bit this fall then rest up over winter, to return next spring. That’s my plan anyway — we’ll see what they have in mind.

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Although it’s been blooming for months, I haven’t included the tall Mexican succulent Pedilanthus bracteatus in prior Bloom Day posts because — well, it is so very tall now, over 6 feet, that it’s difficult to get photos of the blooms.

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This is a marvelous plant for sunny, dry gardens, with a profile similar to ocotillo but without the spines.
It’s completely indifferent to a watering schedule.

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The coloring on the bracts is not as strong as it could be, and it really should be moved out of its pot and into a patch of the driest, sunniest ground, which at the moment is in short supply. I’ll be pondering where to show this beauty off to its best advantage. It does lose all its leaves in winter.

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Lotus jacobaeus has started blooming again in October.

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As has the Gerbera ‘Drakensberg Carmine.’ I wish I could find the peach colors of this good garden strain, because it’s been an amazingly good plant here, blooming since early spring, only going bloomless in the hottest weather.

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The salvias in bloom are Salvia chiapensis.

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And the remarkably long-blooming Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’


I’ve been enjoying some fine blog reading all day from the linked blogs at the host site for Bloom Day, May Dreams Gardens. What an amazing diversity of shapes and colors are represented by the autumn gardens there. Thanks, Carol.

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5 Responses to Bloom Day October 2012

  1. I was planning to confess my melianthus envy, or talk about how I always think that I should plant persicaria amplexicaulis when I see garden photos of it, and then promptly forget… but all I can think about right now is that AWESOME picture of the lotus vine with the blurry aeonium in the background! I think I’m in love with that combo–I need to find them both for next year. 🙂

  2. Deanne says:

    It all is looking lovely Denise. I love Slavia ‘Wendy’s Wish’. The Hummingbirds do too. Not much left here after a hard freeze last Friday

  3. Pedilanthus bracteatus, who knew? I am in love.

  4. Scott says:

    It’s always nice to share the Persicaria love-fest 😉 I really need to find ‘Wendy’s Wish’ next year!

  5. Denise says:

    @Kim, that lotus has been a hit with me too, really easy and floriferous. I’m going to see what kind of cutting material I can get from it this fall and will keep you posted 😉
    @Deanne, that salvia is so good I’m starting to take it for granted and eyeing its spot for something new. Gotta shake out of it! It’s a keeper.
    @Loree, exactly. It really needs a sunswept expanse of d.g. to display its splendor, not my overcrowded garden. Since it’s so easy in a container, there it’ll stay for now.
    @Scott, it just goes on forever. Makes my Bloom Day posts a bore. But I wish I could get ahold of some of the newer hybrids.

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