Monday, October 15, 2012

October Bloom Day, 2012

It's a transitional time in Portland, Oregon. A day of rain (our first real precipitation in almost four months) was followed by a cool and cloudy day, perfect for fall planting. I need to get on with more of that, but first let's look at what's still blooming in my Zone 8b garden on this mid-October Bloom Day.

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' wins the blue ribbon at Longview Ranch for longest bloom, easiest care and least water needed. It's been flowering non-stop since June.

Cistus obtusifolius regularly pops out a few of its crinkly white blooms. It might bloom better if it got more sun, but the Pampas grass is so big now, it shades it part of the day.
Speaking of big, I estimate the top of these Cortaderia selloana plumes at about 15 feet. After opening decidedly pink, the plumes have aged to an innocuous beige. I expected white plumes, but since the grass is primarily for privacy (and filling that need nicely), I'll settle for boring beige. Or maybe I'll talk myself into imagining they are the color of champagne...

This month I realized the blooms of Kniphofia porphyrantha look just like candy corn - perfect for October.

Phygelius 'Passionate' blooms on. Just yesterday, I saw a hummingbird feeding from its glowing orange tubes.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' still has a few beaky flowers. Its deep-blue blossoms look even more intense under a cloudy sky.

Is there such a thing as too many flowers on a plant? I'm beginning to feel that way about this Abutilon 'Tangerine'. While I love the individual hibiscus-like blooms, and this shot near the top of the plant makes it look restrained enough, most of this short, squat plant is literally smothered in flowers. I should be grateful for such a non-stop bloomer, but if it doesn't make it through our winter, I won't shed too many tears.

The dwarf Pomegranate, Punica granatum 'True Dwarf' is still blooming sporadically and has formed its first fruit ever. It's a strange, misshapen little thing...

Our NOID Langerstroemia (possibly 'Catawba'?) is almost finished.

I've been delighting in the rich golden blooms of Rudbeckia triloba, acquired from Scott of Rhone Street Gardens at our spring garden bloggers plant exchange.
Also from our spring plant exchange courtesy of Ann (Amateur Bot-ann-ist), Campanula americana has flowered all summer. Each time I think it's finished, it comes back with a new flush of flowers. The latest ones are clustered tightly around the main stem I cut back earlier.
And now it's time to get planting all my late summer acquisitions from various plant sales, nursery visits, and our garden bloggers fall plant exchange a week ago. Among those waiting in the wings is my last bloom for today, Tricyrtis formosana var. grandiflora 'W-Ho-ping Toad'.
Bloom Day is graciously hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Click on over for a look at the flowers in gardens everywhere today.

Happy Bloom Day!


  1. Beautiful as usual! I'm envious of your Langerstroemia. I've tried a few but we don't get warm enough for them to bloom reliably. Cortaderia selloana plumes always remind me of the big dried flower arrangements of the 70's & make me smile. They're so soft and move so beautifull in the wind.

  2. I love seeing how the same plant looks in different gardens. I am fast becoming a fan of that Rudbekia.

  3. Love that cistus, Jane. The bloom looks as big as a romneya. So funny about the annoying blooming enthusiasm of the abutilon -- haven't had that problem this summer! Any plant that skips a season is so hard to fit into a small garden, like that fab biennial rudbeckia from Scott. And it's your phygelius that keeps reminding me to include it next year!

  4. I have an orange Abutilon with variegated leaves that has bloomed profusely ever since the early spring when I bought it. I love it, and I'm hoping I can manage to overwinter it indoors. I'm gearing up to get plants in the ground too. But first I have to pull some overgrown areas into shape.

  5. Wow you sound like me upset because a plant is blooming too much, and an Abutilon at that! Great Bloomday showig Jane...and I'm with you on the planting. Sadly I wasted away the weekend without getting anything in the ground. I'm eyeing that one dry day in the forecast this week. If it makes it in then great, if not...then it will be waiting until spring!

  6. My garden kills Agastache 'Acapulco Orange', I've just dug it up and potted it, It's convalescing along with my 'tough love plants' in my nursing corner. Lovely booms.

  7. So glad you're enjoying the Rudbeckia, Jane! If you're lucky, you'll see a little rosette of foliage start to appear...which will mean that same plant will be (hopefully) back next year. If not, you'll at least get some seedlings from that one (or from me...I always have extra ;-) I really love those fluffy Pampas blooms...and I agree...Champagne all the way!

  8. Beautiful; I love that abutilon. Hey orange is my color of the year. I'll stop whining about our rain shortage now!

  9. Lovely photos and blossoms, Jane! I still haven't made it out there to plant the last few, but this post will serve as my inspiration! : )

  10. I also love Rudbeckia triloba and Agastaches. I grow A. foeniculum, it has blue spikes and also very long-blooming. I tried Campanula americana but it didn't do nearly as well as yours. Great pictures!


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