Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Few Surprises for November Bloom Day

It is time for another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but I didn't think I would participate this month. Although we've had a beautiful and unusually long fall, a light frost right after the October Bloom Day put an end to most of my annuals.  Not everyone in my area had the same results, but living in the country with little shelter for most of my garden, my poor plants are pretty exposed to the elements. About the only bloom I thought I had this month was the first bloom on the Thanksgiving cactus, a pretty paltry offering for November Bloom Day.  But I decided to walk around this morning with my camera anyway and was happy to see a few surprises.

The frosty Sedum is what most of my garden now looks like in the morning.  We have had a killing frost this past week, so even my neighbors' gardens look the same.

The 'Victoria Blue' salvia stood up to the light frost, but this week was too much for it.  Today the blooms are spindly little shadows of themselves.  I still haven't had time to pull all the dead annuals, but these will stay in the garden over the winter anyway--they usually re-seed somewhat for me, and I'm not about to turn down free plants!

Amsonia glowing in the early morning sun.

While most of the garden is brown, there is some foliage still to enjoy.  The Amsonia hubrichtii in my  header photo has since faded, but the Amsonia tabernaemontana is making a run at taking its place with its now golden foliage.

Walking towards the shade garden I thought I spied some type of red bloom, but I discovered it was a Heuchera glowing in the sun.

Nearby, the Hellebores provide the only true green foliage left in my garden.  They will look like this most of the winter, providing a reminder to me that yes, spring will come again.  You might notice all the leaves in this and several other photos.  Many gardeners shred their leaves and use them as mulch in the garden.  I usually don't take the time to shred mine, however, and just rake them into the garden beds to help protect the plants during the winter.  This year I didn't have time to rake leaves, but strong storm winds this past week blew all the leaves out of the yard and into the fields and conveniently deposited just enough in all the flowerbeds.  Sometimes it pays to be a lazy gardener:)

While most of the leaves are gone from the trees, the Viburnum 'Cardinal Candy' still sports lots of little berries.  Now I am waiting for the cardinals to return this winter to see if they really like them.

With camera in hand this morning, I went in search of the one plant I thought might still be blooming.  'Walker's Low' Nepeta still has a few blooms though not many.  This is one plant besides Sedum I'd recommend to anyone wanting a true low-maintenance garden.  It needs very little care and blooms nonstop all season.

Another plant, but an annual for me, that I love is 'Homestead Purple' Verbena.  I was surprised to see a few blooms still remaining on this plant, but it will last until the temperatures dip into the 20's.  I only wish the local garden centers would carry this plant.  Even though it's not hardy here, it is a beauty--and a much darker purple than this photo shows--and lasts so long.

Not surprisingly, the geraniums and a few petunias are still in bloom in the porch planter.  I often dig up the geraniums and over-winter them, but I haven't had time to do that yet.  Judging by the forecast, if I wait much longer, it will be too late.

As I said earlier, I wasn't expecting to find anything really in bloom this morning, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this hardy little Rudbeckia hidden among the leaves.

But the biggest surprise of all was finding this clematis bloom.  My clematis didn't bloom at all this year, so I have no idea why it waited till November.  This made the walk around the garden this morning worth it!

Looking back at my Bloom Day post from last November, I discovered that I had nothing blooming at all, because it had SNOWED!  Good grief, I'm not going to complain at all this year and be thankful for the few blooms I have.  And that puny little cactus bloom will wait until December.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted the 15th of each month by the ever-optimistic Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  I always enjoy participating and keeping a record of what is blooming in my garden as well as seeing what everyone else has in bloom.  Why not join us?