Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Still Blooming

The calendar says November but the garden doesn't mind. Attention shifts to fall foliage colours at this time of year but I'm thrilled to say there is lots still blooming.

The calendula seem to be taking the cold evenings in stride. A light frost this morning made the calendula even more delightful. I love the variety of colours.

These flowers came to my garden courtesy of Connie at Notes from a Cottage Garden. Thank you Connie for making a usually dreary November than much brighter this year. I'll be sure to save some seed so I can enjoy these flowers again next year.

The calendula enjoy full sun all day long. Blooming right alongside them is the lesser calamint. Towards summer's end this little plant is covered in white blooms that are barely visible through the swarms of bees and other insects that love it so much. In fall, the flowers are more of a violet. They are as plentiful as at the height of summer and the fragrance is as intense as always.

Even in the shade, the blooms keep coming. The toad lily tricyrtis lasiocarpa is a stunner. The blooms are as impressive as the buds, of which there are many. I will protect this plant well this winter as it described as a toad lily for warmer climates. That certainly doesn't apply to my garden in February.

The toad lily "White Towers" has returned reliably for a few years now. It takes its time getting started in spring but is a reliable performer once it gets going. The spotty foliage is of interest all season long until the blooms take to the spotlight starting some time in October. There are flower buds at regular intervals along the entire length of the toad lily stems. As one cluster of blooms fades, the next comes into bloom. As a result, this plant produces blooms for a month or more.

Also still blooming in the shade is the bugbane. If it were standing up straight, this plant would easily reach five feet. I have it in very dense shade, however, so I find it grows at more of an angle as it reaches for the sun. I had three of these remarkable plants at the start of the summer but a team of painters wiped out two. I am hoping they reappear next year. I am very tempted to move them to a sunnier spot to achieve a more upright appearance.

I also grow "Black Negligee" bugbane. It is a much shorter variety, topping out at about three feet. The name refers to the dark foliage. Out of three plants only one bloomed. I fear my shade really is too dense to allow these plants to thrive so, again, a move to a sunnier locale may be in order.

The calendar says November but there is lots still blooming. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of the all-season garden.


Northern Shade said...

Your lasiocarpa has a terrific blue colour, so nice for the end of fall. It is worth giving a little extra leaf covering, to help save it for next year. Darn those February temperatures.

I like bugbane for their late blooms, too. Although mine only get a short bloom time in before the frosts take them down.

Connie said...

Yep, those Calendula's do look familiar! So happy they bloomed well for you....did any of the other seeds germinate?