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, 2012

Bloom Day October 2012

This Bloom Day finds me without much to say.  The weather has been cooler than normal and drier than normal.  I have had to irrigate the garden once since last Bloom Day, but it was only the third time this year, so I didn't mind.  The new job is going well, I stay very busy, learn something new each day, enjoy my co-workers and come home with a sense of accomplishment.  It has been odd having weekends off, as I have never had a job that allowed that.

Enough chit chat, let's look at the garden.  This picture below is what you see heading up the front steps, and the following photos are close ups of the components.
Front Entrance

Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle Hibiscus)
Hibiscus sabdariffa (2)

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)
Salvia leucantha

Dendranthemum 'Bolero'  (Bolero Chrysanthemum)
Dendranthemum 'Bolero'

On the front steps themselves, the coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) are still looking good, and I could not imagine my garden without them.  This is Big Red Judy.
Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Big Red Judy'

Solenostemon scutellarioides

This coleus is a seedling that popped up in one of my pots.  I am going to take it to work and have it propagated.
Solenostemon scutellarioides (2)

A couple of other annuals are also still going strong, in fact, the Zinnia x 'Profusion Fire' is looking better than it has all summer.  I plant these every year, but this year I got them from a different source, and I don't know what they did, but I had to baby these all summer.
Zinnia angustifolia x elegans 'Profusion Fire'

Angelonia x

Lantana (Its name is lost to poor record keeping, but I love its October appropriate colors)

Cestrum aurantiaum 'Orange Zest'
Cestrum aurantiaum 'Orange Zest'

I love toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta), they thrive on neglect, have not needed any water other than rain, they flower in the shade, and remind me of little orchids.
  Tricyrtis hirta

Also supposedly easy to grow is Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', but mine has struggled through this summer, even before the new sidewalks went in next to it.  I am hoping to see a little more independence from it next summer.
Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope'

Here is the never struggling Ajania pacifica (Gold and Silver Chrysanthemum).
Ajania pacifica

Everything in the shadier back garden is either green or orange.  Green from foliage...
Backyard Foliage

... and orange from the falling fruit of Poncirus trifoliata.  I have never seen this much fruit on (or off) this tree, it's nearly a pedestrian hazard.
Poncirus trifoliata

So that's my garden this October.  If you would like to see what is blooming and falling in some other gardens this month, then head on over to see Carol at May Dreams Gardens, as she is the hostess for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


  1. Really beautiful!
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Happy GBBD!Very lovely photo Les...I added Abelia 'Kalaidascope' to the garden~Love it, but, we'll see what the winter does to it! Love the hibiscus photos...They are even prettier as they fade. gail

  3. Wow, no work on weekends -- sounds like you've found the holy grail, Les. Glad it's working out for you. And I'm amazed at the watering schedule, or lack thereof, you keep. The garden looks great. What are you going to name your coleus?

  4. Your blooms are beautiful. I love coleus. I really should grow some. I am definitely going to give those toad lilies a try in my garden! Yours are adorable. I love the orange fruit scattered about, too. Looks very autumn-y.

  5. Happy GBBD! You have some very pretty flowers still. I hope your Abelia Kaleidoscope does well for you, I planted one this spring, and it has thrived and is now flowering like crazy.

  6. Hi, Les
    I'm glad you like your new job. My coleus are all knocked flat by a hard freeze, but I took some cuttings to winter over.

  7. Lovely photos. I love coleus, too. Didn't grow any outdoors this year but I recently bought a potted one and brought it to my office. Our flower season here in upstate NY is just about over, so I really enjoyed your flowers. Happy GBBD.

  8. Have you eaten Poncirus trifoliata fruit? In a jam, maybe?

  9. Lots of lovely blooms, especially like the coleus. Did you know the young leaves of roselle are tasty in salads? That is why they call it "sorrel" in many post colonial societies, as the European settlers found it similar to sorrel.

  10. Love your photos Les and your new lifestyle. My verbenas never do anything but I have had my best roses ever.

  11. Glad to hear the new job is going well. A little jealous of you're longer growing season right now - love the Angelonia.

  12. i'm happy for you, w/ your weekends now open for more explorations-----is that hibiscus w/ the red calyxes the one you can make a beverage from? have you ever tried it?

  13. Toad Lilly is a wonderful funky looking plant. Don't know it and will have to see how it would do in Nova Scotia.

    I was thinking the photos were from where you work -- not your own garden ! WOW.

  14. I've always wanted to try the Ajania. Will it take our climate?

  15. Les, I had to backtrack - I missed your initial post about changing jobs! Wow, Norfolk Botanical Gardens! What will you be doing? Love your photos!

  16. Good morning Les, finally getting around to reading Bloom Day posts. You always have such great coleus in your front garden. I have some this year, still going strong.
    Remind me, does your Mexican Sage come back? I found four this summer and they are going strong...crossing my fingers they come back.
    Glad you are enjoying your new job, know how much you like the NBG. Camellia season is starting, must be wonderful to watch it on a daily basis.

  17. Lea,
    Thank you and happy GBBD to you too.

    I think the winter here might even be good for my abelia. I have it sitting right next to the street, and I think the heat got to it.

    I took the coleus to work today and we think it will be called 'Crime Scene'.

    Yes, I highly recommend the toad lily.

    I am keeping my fingers crosses on the abelia.

    I have not saved any of my coleus, but just buy new ones in the spring. However, now that I do not work at a garden center and do not get an employee discount, that might change.

    I am sorry your season is over, but I guess that is to be expected. I hope your winter is not too harsh.

    I have eaten them, but not as jam. I am sure that is how they are the best, with enough sugar to hide the taste.

    I knew the plant was edible, but I will try some of the leaves. Thanks for the tip.

    The roses are looking great here as well.

    I have always thought of fall here is almost a second spring.

    Yes, that is the same hibiscus they make beverages from, but I grow it for looks.

    Yes they are from the homestead. Close-up photos keep my viewers from seeing the messy state of the garden as a whole.

    The plant is nearly evergreen for me, but it does draw down some in winter. It is hardy to zone 5, so you could give it a try.

    My fancy new title is "Curator of Herbaceous Plants". It was all very daunting when I first started, but things are going well, and I love it.

    I have found several spots in my garden where the Mex. bush sage is hardy. The key is dry winter soil. If it is too wet while dormant, it does not make it.


  18. Your garden is not suffering from neglect despite your new busy job. So much gorgeous color!

  19. I remember that fruit from last year making a nice photo. You have some wonderful shots in this post, Les.

  20. I like the coleus between the red one and the lime with red flecks plant. Does it have a name? Congratulations on your weekends off. I am sure you won't be lacking for things to do.