Color in October
Fall color - makes you think of colorful leaves in all kinds of fiery shades,
doesn't it? But as I was walking through the garden today (October 27th, 2007),
I was surprised to see how many plants were still showing their flower colors.
Earlier this week, we were treated to several days of drenching rain (much
needed!), and now that cooler temperatures have arrived, my mental image of
the garden is of fall, with leaves strewn about and blazing red burning bushes.
But frosts have held off till late this year; many of the plants we've been
enjoying all summer are still showing off their stuff (a bit shabbier, sometimes,
but that's part of the season's charm), and they are joined by the late
arrivers. This page contains a few of today's impressions.
This is one of the true fall bloomers: Crocus sativus, the source of
saffron (those blood-red stigmas sticking up beyond the petals). Sure brightens
up the rock garden!
This one, on the other hand, has been going all summer. Nobody told his
Melampodium paludosum that summer
ended some time ago. Shhhh....
Another fall bloomer of renown, Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson' usually grows upright.
The little gal here is one of several small divisions I stuck in a few places
earlier this year; tiny as she is, she's blooming away, finally taking the
Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina' seeds itself all around (actually, this Generation X
specimen probably shouldn't be called 'Zebrina'). Consequently, I merely tolerate the
plants, pulling them out where they don't belong. But they really are star
performers, going on all summer long - with straggler flowers going well into
fall. I liked how this one flower, already a bit worn, adds just a bit of floral
color to the fading scene around it.
Clematis 'Ramona' has earned herself a place in two of my other fall impressions
pages - because she just won't give up, and her flowers immediately attract your
attention as you walk through the garden. We put up a new trellis (actually,
Lily's old bed) earlier this year to replace its dilapidated wooden support,
and Ramona wasn't too happy about this change for a while. But she's gotten
over herself, and uses her mum neighbors to nice effect as a color contrast.
Most of the purple coneflowers are well into their dark seedhead state -
but these two youngsters in the orchard holding bed have just arrived. The
flowers are held by first-year plants, seedlings grown from named cultivars.
It's clear that some will look just like the regular old echinaceas, while
others may resemble their fancy parents a bit more. That's the fun of growing
Truly a star of fall, salvia leucantha merely sat and waited through the
summer months, only to show its true splendor as autumn arrived. I'm afraid
the plants won't be hardy here, so I'm going to get some new seed to start -
this is a show I wouldn't want to miss...
Meanwhile, the mess of annuals we euphemistically call our cutting garden
is in a state of disarray. The once splendid amaranths are sad gray fluffs,
the stately gladioli all gone. But color keeps on coming, courtesy of the
strawflowers, tropical milkweed, and summer poinsettia.
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|bill||Oct 22, 2009||Another site says you have information on growing crocus sativa but I have found nothing about it.
My modest page about Crocus sativus is here.
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November 12, 2007