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.

September 15, 2011

Bloom Day - Just the Plants Ma'am

My adventure in Atlantic City has me all discombobulated, and I thought today was the 14th.  I was nearly late for Bloom Day and probably will be late to pay the mortgage.  So for the sake of verbal brevity let's get straight to the plants to avoid any late fee.

I will start with a couple of things things we saw last month.  Have I mentioned how much I like Miss Huff Lantana (Lantana camara 'Miss Huff')?

Lantana camara 'Miss Huff'

Here she is again with my newest shrub purchase, a variegated Oleander (Nerium oleander 'Variegata').

Nerium oleander 'Variegata' and Lantana camara 'Miss Huff'

Another star from this summer that has not stopped blooming is Cuphea x 'David Verity'.

Cuphea x 'David Verity'

The Heavenly Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue') pairs nicely with my River Star Home flag.

Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue'

I do not have any luck with Hostas that I spend money on.  Those that I have not paid for seem to do much better, including this unknown variety I am going to grow in a pot as a porch plant.


For someone who does not normally like white flowers, here is another one, Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora).  On our trip north I noticed that this plant was slowing trying to smother the entire Delmarva Peninsula and parts of Jersey.

Clematis terniflora

Yet another white flower, Chinese Snowball Viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum).

Viburnum macrocephalum

A few years ago I fell in love with Roselle Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) at the Norfolk Botanic Gardens, though it was not the flowers I liked, but the buds.  I finally got some seeds from Baker Creek and this is the result.  Hurricane Irene tried to take it out and split the plant in two, but it thrives just the same.

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Another purchase from Baker Creek was Red Malabar Spinach ( Basella rubra) which I will likely not eat, but I like the foliage and flowers.  The big green leaf in this shot is not the Spinach, but Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera).

Basella rubra

The next two pictures are also of D. bulbifera, before it was planted and in a pot going up the porch railing.  It gets its common name because the potato-like bulbs actually grow above ground on the super fast vine.  This plant is really a Yam and is on many warmer place's invasive species list, but our eventual cold weather will keep it strictly tender.

Dioscorea bulbifera

Dioscorea bulbifera (2)

It is Goldenrod season, and this one is Fireworks (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks').

Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'

We will end with some purples, a Liriope muscari that stood out in crowd of others with a stronger color than its peers, and ...

Liriope muscari

... one of my favorite native shrubs, American Beautyberry (Calicarpa americana).

Calicarpa americana

There are other bloomers in my garden right now, but there are only so many hours in a day.  If you would like to see what other bloggers have time to show, head on over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens where she is hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  She does this each month on the 15th and hopefully I won't be so rushed next time.


  1. Every fall I see pix of that Beautyberry and then forget to buy one in the spring. I don't do much orange in the fall so anything purple is appealing to me. Loved the Atlantic city pix!

  2. Hibiscus sabdariffa is on my list now...

  3. Definitely going to have cuphea next year. Love the beautybush also.

  4. LOL, I was surprised to see this title to your bloom day post, Les! Great minds, as they say. What gorgeous photos you are showing. I am loving the hibiscus and will have to look into that one. Happy day after bloom day!

  5. Les, I have Sweet Autumn too and to curb its enthusiasm, I planted it with Trumpet Vine to have a little later full bloom than the trumpet. Enough said on that one. Very obedient Clematis. I love the coordinating blue with the sign. Such perfect planning.

  6. Hi Les, You have many unusual and interesting plants in this post. I like the Cuphea x 'David Verity' and the variegated Oleander. The potato like vine in the pot on the front porch steps is very intriguing. I went shopping for a Sweet Autumn clematis, but was unable to find one in local nurseries. Hopefully, I will come across one next year. It would be such a nice vine to have for some fall interest in my garden.

  7. Oh we seem to have the same orange Lantana in our gardens! That Liriope and the next purple berry, which i am not familiar and haven't seen yet in person are my choices. I wish they also grow in the tropics which i am afraid will not.

  8. Oh, lovely photos! I love the Sweet Autumn Clematis... it smells amazing, especially in the evening. I didn't know it was a clematis until recently. I never saw them in California, though I had a couple different varieties of clematis.

    That hibiscus you just got is beautiful! I love the buds as well as the flowers... so pretty! I haven't seen those around here, although hibiscus grows everywhere in southeastern PA.

    I used to have the same lantana at my house in CA, and am happy to see it growing here in PA. Very lovely color gradations, don't you think?

  9. Wait til retirement comes....what month is this?? hahaha
    I remember the spinach at the Norfolk Zoo...we tried to grow it in the Learning success.
    The Mockingbirds were going crazy for my Beautyberry yesterday...lots of chittering and flying around..each claiming it for their own.

  10. In spite of it's thuggishness, I still love the Sweet Autumn Clematis...and Beautyberry is one of my fall faves :-)

  11. Very beautiful, even the plants I can't grow. Happy GBBD.

  12. Gorgeous blooms! I love all the variety of color in your garden.

  13. I haven't noticed a variegated oleander for sale locally. Nice bright variegation on that. Really interesting regional plants, Les, many I've never heard of, something I really like about Bloom Day posts.

  14. That clematis is invasive, hope you will cut it back before it goes to seed. Won't you consider planting a good substitute, the native Virgin's Bower(C. virginiana), which is similar in looks, but more controllable.

  15. For a man who doesn't like white flowers you seem to have quite a few ;-) I love Clematis terniflora, though is sounds a little "vigorous" (a word that always strikes fear into the heart of a gardener with a small garden). I love 'Miss Huff'.

  16. Beautiful pics and that Morning Glory sure does glow and the banner behind is perfect. I spotted native Beautyberry in a nearby nature park. Was happy to see it is native as I want one!

  17. Awesome bloom day post! Everything looks good-the hosta too! It's hard to have good looking hostas in September.

  18. Ah ha, the mystery plant in a nearby garden is beautyberry, thank you!

    Maybe you can brew some tea with your Hibiscus sabdariffa.

  19. finally getting around to seeing what september bloom day brought for folks - and i've gotta say, your beautyberry is absolutely loaded! looks like fall is off to a great start in your neck of the woods!