An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

October 15, 2009

Bloom Day - It Was a Dark and Stormy...

The local forecast this week is calling for a rain and wind event with highs in the upper 50's and our first dip into the 40's since last April. I have tropicals that should come in the house, but will not yet, and I am just not ready for the change. I also hate the fact that it is getting dark so much earlier now, and I miss the days when I could come home from work and play in the garden for a few hours before the night set in. I go through this funk every fall and at my age should be used to it. Not only have there been changes in my gardening routines, but in other areas as well. Since I am married to a teacher and our child is a student, my access to the computer has lately been superseded for the greater good of public education, and so you will likely see a little less of me (unless I stay up later or get up earlier). Meanwhile the rest of you have been very busy, and I have had a hard time keeping up. I went camping this weekend (new posts to follow) and even though I was only gone for three days, I had 102 new postings on my Blogger subscription list which I am still trying to get to.

Because of the wet forecast I took my pictures Tuesday morning. I still have a lot of the same plants blooming that have been seen in previous Bloom Day posts, but will only show a few of them. October is a transition month here, with a few signs of change combined with many still colorful reminders of what has been. Let's start the tour with a few annuals. This Impatien came up randomly from seed in another pot. I am glad I left it because I like the pink, orange and purple combination.




After the swallowtails gnawed it to nothing in August, I did not think I would get anything else from this tropical Butterfly Weed (Asclepias curassavica), but it has rebounded complete with colors appropriate for the season.

The bright Maragrita Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita') is making a nice backdrop for the drabber Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

Sedum and Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita'

Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)

Tricyrtis hirta (Toad Lily)

Tricyrtis hirta

This nurseryman is not good about writing down the names of everything he plants, like this Dahlia, nor does he stake when he should.


Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican petunia)

The last shot is of Poet's Laurel (Danae racemosa) and its fruit, a nice October orange.

Finally, I would like to share with you something that happened at work today. Just as we were closing, I got a call just from a man looking for an "enema", to who I said "what"! He repeated and just as I was getting ready to hang up, he said he read the article in The Daily Press this past Thursday that used my picture of Anenome x 'Honerine Jobert' and listed the company I work for as a source. We try not to laugh at the many mis-pronounciations we hear at work, but this one brought tears to our eyes.

Please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what others are showing for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. In the meantime, I will be dreaming of May as well.


  1. Oh how funny! I would never have guessed that was the plant he was asking for! But he does have good taste in plants. HA I too wish there was more daylight, in the morning especially as I wait for the sun to rise, or daylight with rain, whatever, to be able to see out the windows. The S. leucantha is annual here, but will be added in great numbers each spring, there is nothing like it and even the hummers love that velvet glove.

  2. Ditto, ditto, and ditto. Nice toad lilies. Our frost last year was November 17th...I wishing for that again this year. Nice blooms. Happy GBBD! H.

    P.S. When I get my computer back, I need to send you a photo of your garden I hope to use in a story I'm doing for Carolina Gardener. It's not a bad photo, but I hoping you have a similar and better shot I can use for the story...later...H.

  3. Hi Stranger, wondered if you got sucked into a giant vortex or something. As I write we are finally getting the rain that the southside has been getting since Tuesday?
    Your customer story is pretty funny. At least he tried to pronounce it. Guess Kathy V. needs to include pronunciation guides.
    Happy Bloom Day

  4. An enema huh? Too funny! Hope you set him straight for those lovely anemones. I am also glad to hear I am not the only who does not keep track of everything in my garden. It is tough. Your garden looks wonderful and hang in there before you know it spring will be here.

  5. Your flowers are beautiful. We raised Monarch's from eggs, to caterpillars to butterflies and they completely stripped the Milkweed down to was great fun for our entire family!!

  6. Love your story! That's hilarious. It is icky here this morning, and I didn't get my pictures ahead, dag nab it! They all have rain. GORGEOUS photos. Where are you?

  7. Oh, that enema story is one to share with gardening friends. Great flowers but that story made my day!

  8. It is supposed to get cold here too this weekend. Like you, I'm not ready to start bringing plants in. Great photos!

  9. Les, That is a great way to end the day~~a good story to take home to your spouse and gardening friends.
    The rain and gray clouds are getting old! Love the didn't do well here this year...too wet I think;) gail

  10. I'm not feeling it either for fall.

  11. Ha! That has to be the funniest mispronunciation I've ever heard.

    Love the Mexican Bush Sage. I've got to replace mine next year.

  12. You needed a laugh to cheer up your change of season doldrums. That is really funny about the enema.

    I will forgive you for not stopping by my blog cause I hadn't stopped by yours. But, let's make a once a month deal that we will try. K? You are one of my favorites.

    All your bloomers are looking dandy and I don't label all my plants either.

  13. Frances,
    I have lost as many S. leucantha as I have planted. The key here is good drainage in winter. I have also had more success with the ones I pay $2.49 for on the bench with the other herbs, vs. $7.99 with the perennials.

    I don't even want to think about our first frost. Let me know if you need any photos.

    Yes it was a giant vortex, the vortex of life.

    I have always asked if things were are any lovlier because I know their names.

    I do not begrudge a few stripped branches to the butterfles, especially if the plant comes back.

    Thanks for stopping by. I am just north of you in Norfolk.

    I am glad I made your day.

    I am going to hold out another few weeks to bring the plants in. We are supposed to dip into the mid 40's Sat. night. They should be OK.

    Thanks for coming by, and yes the Salvia does like it dry.

    There is not much either one of us can do to push back the seasons.

    Sweet Bay,
    Maybe on a later post I will talk about the lady who came in looking for Chlamydia.

    I would be willing to even go for more than once a month.


  14. Nice pictures of the toad lilies. They are not easy to photograph. I also enjoyed the excursion to Westmoreland State Park. It's wonderful that people had the foresight to set it aside over 70 years ago, probably just anticipating your visit. Sounds like you made the best of the difficult weather...

  15. That is hilarious about the anemone. I hadn't heard that mispronunciation before. I have a feeling I'll be planting some enemas in the future.

  16. Lovely blooms... I love the salvia and the background in the photo is great. It is good that you were able to figure out what the caller was speaking of... before you hung up! Funny... We had snow here and very cold temps... much colder than usual for this time of year. I am glad to have discovered your blog Les.

  17. I loved the photo of the tropical Butterfly Weed. The colors really pop.

  18. Salvia leucantha wants to stand there looking shabby all winter, then it returns here. Cut back the uglies before spring and it croaks. The other thing it wants is planting early, like May, so it gets a good hold on life before cold weather.

    We went from Dark and Stormy to Cool and Windy with a north wind cutting to the bone.

    Great Bloom Day at your place. Thank you for the display.

  19. John,
    Yes, I had a hell of time trying to get a good picture of those Toad Lilies, and yes thank God for foresight.

    Better one in the garden than... elsewhere.

    You are welcome to visit anytime, just keep your snow and cold to yourself.

    Thanks! I really like the colors also. I like bright and have little appreciation for pastels.

    Nell Jean,
    It took me a few years to learn to leave the salvia alone until winter is over. It really helps the survival.


  20. Hey Les, I think my favorite is the tropical butterfly weed - beautiful plant! However I am partial to plants that attract butterflies.
    I ended up taking most of my photos the day before when I got home from the drizzling rain.
    Great story at the end. I'm sure I've mispronounce a few of those botanical names myself - but not that bad! HA HA!

  21. Alan,
    For the past couple of years we have been carrying this at work mixed in with the really inexpensive cell packs, so I have been planting several each spring.