things and places for homes and gardens

Late bloomers

Friday 30 October 2009 - Filed under Plants

brugmansia whiskers brugmansia whiskers
brugmansia whiskers
brugmansia whiskers
Last weekend I went out to gaze at all the leaves I really should be raking, and found Brugmansia whiskers had put on a fresh new flush of huge leaves, and was positively dripping with newly opened flowers. Really, we have it so good here in Portland, it’s practically November, and summer is still hanging on.

The flower show isn’t over yet, just because November is around the corner. Here are some other late flowers.

tricyrtis (toad lily)
The toad lilies have been blooming since September, and still have new buds. Show offs. If you have a vacant shady spot, you should really go tuck some toad lilies in the garden.

Persicaria red dragon, along with my other persicarias, all blooming now.

The tag is long lost, this is a bit weedy variety of persicaria. If my camera isn’t playing tricks on me, the sweet delicate flowers have some true blue to them, not something you see too often.

Another unidentified persicaria, newly planted last year, but when I was busy and careless with my plant tags. I never noticed these kinds of flowers before, weird long threads of buds.

Some of the euphorbia, planted at the same time I was losing my plant tags, is freshly blooming now. I’ve also left some of the old blooms on my E. blackbird (no picture of that one), which still looks good.

Choisya ternata (mexican orange)
Choisya ternata (mexican orange) starts blooming in my garden in April, and keeps going sporadically well into November. Pretty good for an easygoing low maintenance evergreen.

It’s too early, but it seems it happens every year now. My witch hazels bloom in October.

filipendula ulmaria aurea
Filipendula ulma aurea looked tired at the end of the season, so it got cut back to the ground. It surprised me with new buds.

Osmanthus fragrans (sweet olive)
Osmanthus fragrans (sweet olive) has tiny but powerfully fragrant white fall flowers. They fill the entire front yard with their perfume.

I got this so long ago, I’m not positive of the identity, but I think this is a variegated liriope, one of my October bloomers.

variegated lacecap hydrangea
The flowers of the variegated lacecap hydrangea bloomed long ago in the spring, but the flowers persist all season, changing colors along the way. They end up green and pink before turning brown. I leave them on all year, and save the deadheading for next spring, when I can see the new flower buds emerge, so I don’t accidentally cut off next year’s flowers.

Technically not a new bloom, but spent bloom of the rodgersia is still hanging on, since MAY! That makes it more than half the year that this flower stalk has been here. I don’t grow it for the flowers, but at this point, I think the flower has earned it’s keep. I’m just waiting to see how long it’s going to stick it out.

echeveria lola
Racing with the clock, the succulent possibly mis-tagged when I got it – as echeveria lola – is JUST about to open its flowers. It would probably have bloomed earlier if I had a sunnier spot to offer it. I expect I’ll see a few flowers before the weather turns cold enough at night that I bring it in for the winter.

At the Chinese Garden, the ginger is past it’s prime but the spent blooms are still putting on an impressive display.

Leonotis leonurus (lions ear)
It’s only reported hardy to zone 9, but I’ve been running into Leonotis leonurus (lion’s ear) in bloom in nurseries the last few weeks.

I don’t make a point of growing flowers, so the ones in my yard are just happy accidents. I’m sure I’m missing many good ones. What’s still blooming in your garden?


2009-10-30  »  megan

Talkback x 8

  1. Loree
    30 October 2009 @ 9:53 am

    MEGAN! Everything looks so good! I was blown away by the Brugmansia and then you just kept going and going!!! Your garden is amazing. I think I must get a Brugmansia next year. Do I remember right that you got yours at the HPSO sale? I keep loving the Leonotis leonurus, so much so I just might have to try one next year.

  2. Darla
    30 October 2009 @ 10:25 am

    You have a lot going on in your gardens..I believe your Euphorbia might be Tiny Tim…came by from Catherines.

  3. Karen
    30 October 2009 @ 7:21 pm

    Wow, for someone who professes to dislike flowers, you sure have a lot of keepers there. Extra nice photos this go-round, too. The ultimate compliment, I hope, is that you make me want to go spend $ on every one of these. So weird about your witch hazel, could it be one that is just supposed to do that, or did it used to bloom later and then moved it back? Not a lot still blooming for me, just some deeply rust-colored rudbeckias my mom gave me starts of (very goth) and the last of the Japanese anemones, mostly. Happy Halloween!

  4. nonlineargirl
    1 November 2009 @ 9:10 am

    I saw a witch hazel blooming yesterday and thought “that can’t be good” but I do know there are those plants that just ignore the “should”s and bloom when they want to every year. A cherry down the street from us blooms in february every year. More than once I have seen it blooming while snow is falling.

  5. linda
    1 November 2009 @ 10:30 am

    After seeing your post I went out and had a little wander around my own garden… I had just planted a toad Lilly .It has one lovely flower, just opened.

  6. ricki - sprig to twig
    2 November 2009 @ 3:45 pm

    If you are not focused on flowers, maybe the rest of us are just trying too hard. Lovely, lovely.

  7. Urban Eden
    2 November 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    Your Liriope is ‘Silver Dragon’ – it’s one of my fave go-to plants for texture, variegated color & sturdiness!

  8. Jane
    4 November 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    Q: Why do your flower images look especially lovely to me in November?

    a) I have almost no flowers in my garden now.
    b) You have such an amazing eye for plants and photography.
    c) I’m feeling very inadequate as a gardener.
    d) This is a problem I need to remedy.

    A: all four.
    Thanks for the inspiring and beautiful photography.