Friday, October 15, 2010

Bloomday, October 2010

I briefly considered just posting a link back to Septembers Bloomday and saying “repeat.” After all everything that was blooming then is still blooming now, with nothing new.

But I can do better than that! Instead I am going to share a couple of photos of blooms in the making in my garden, the subtle stage before the flower pops. Then a few blooms that you don’t expect to see when someone says “bloom,” these are not pretty flowers. But first a few of my favorite non-flower flower look a-likes. When is a pretty pink flower not really a flower? When it’s an Echeveria hybrid ‘afterglow.’
These Echeveria pulidonis remind me of a tightly wrapped bridal bouquet.
And the Graptopetalum paraguayense (Ghost Plant) look to be shiny flowers in a turquoise vase.
The purple Dyckia is a sharp flower contender.
A few of my favorite Agave rosettes…. Agave bovicornuta
Agave ovatifolia
And Agave potatorum
Aeoniums are also quite reminiscent of a big beautiful bloom. Aeonium ‘Sunburst’
Aeonium ‘salad bowl’
Aeonium Schwarzkopf
And another Aeonium Schwarzkopf, with friends.
Moving on to the real “about to be” flowers, we’ll start with the Pieris japonica.
Mahonia x media 'Charity'
My Tetrapanax looks like it may be about to bloom! (or maybe that's just another leaf and I'm getting all excited about nothing?)
And the Verbascum looks like it's about to bloom too. I’m not sure this is normal for October. We’ll have to watch this one closely to see what develops.
Now for the "atypical" flowers...Cotinus royal purple. Wait! Okay….I cheated. Really this is “after the bloom” but it’s still cool to see.
LilropeIsn’t this the oddest looking Lupine? It seems to be about to flower but what’s with mass of small leaves on the tall bloom spike?
Fatsia japonica
No name on this Rush
Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus')
And lastly Cyperus involucratus, or Umbrella Palm.
Thank you for joining me on this slightly unethical Bloomday post. For the real deal click on over to May Dreams Gardens and see what other gardeners have blooming in their garden today.


  1. hahahaha...unethical indeed! I don't blame you, that Echeveria in particular is spectacular and as lovely as any bloom. That purple Dyckia is awesome too...I need to get some of those. You've made me want to get some Aeoniums again, after the ones I got for free last year died over the winter I just kinda gave up...maybe I will give them another try :-)

  2. Very interesting plants here. Love the colors and textures.

  3. great looking photographs and the diversity of colors, shapes and sizes was eye candy !
    Everything looks so lush and full. Looks like you had a great gardening season.

  4. What an impressive collection! L

  5. You have quite a lot of texture and interest. I too have zebra grass, like yours, I get a lot of great photos from it. It is such a performer. Yours against the sky is lovely.

  6. No the Echeveria is not a flower, but it is just as beautiful. Happy GBBD!

  7. I love your succulent "flowers." It's all in the spirit of Bloom Day, right?

  8. I like most of my flowers best when they are just getting ready to pop. Your unflowers beat the real deal in my book. I have been unable to keep Echiverias from going all there a trick I don't know about?

  9. I'm not about to write off flowers altogether, but all your major cool foliage makes me think you could make a terrific garden without those bloomy-things! I love your first little suite of photos.

  10. Best bloom day post ever! Echeverias and broms are perfect flower lookalikes, and I REALLY love the purple dyckia. Really cool looking.

  11. Of course the agaves and echeverias count - this is danger garden here!

    Love seeing those unearthly fatsia japonica come into bloom. I hope you DO have a tetrapanax bloom - that would be something quite new to see. Please do follow up with us, if so!

  12. Loved all the flower look a-likes - especially that Echeveria hybrid ‘afterglow'. That one is quite a show-stopper.

  13. That's a truly bizarre lupine! It looks as if it's two different species, with large leaves below and small leaves in the clump on top.

  14. The echeveria photos pulled me right in, and I had to see the rest---which I enjoyed very much. Re echeverias getting leggy, yes the fancy ones do tend to do that, because (like aeoniums) new growth is from the center of the rosette, and old leaves wither and fall off, leaving a denuded stalk. They also lean toward light and look dull if they don't get enough. But you can always behead them and re-root the head as a cutting. And if you're lucky, the stem will sprout new little rosettes from the leaf axils!

  15. Beautiful photos and plants. Echeverias and dyckias are very flower like in structure.

  16. scott, you definitely need to go to the Rare Plant Research open house next spring! Late May, I'll post about it the week before. Aeonium and Dyckia heaven!

    thanks Darla!

    DD, Michelle, not really. It was a pretty pathetic summer (late to start and not much heat) but the fall has suddenly turned sunny and for that I am thankful.

    LC, thanks!

    gardenwalkgardentalk, it's time to start bringing these potted tender plants in for the winter...I hate to see them have to hunker down and eek by an existence for the next 6 months...

    Les, and the same to you!

    Pam, I am so happy you understand...hopefully you will also understand my cheating foliage follow-up!

    ricki, I've only had one go leggy and it also then started to die so I chopped off it's head and what do you know it then sprouted about 6 new necks! Also when you do chop off the head you can "root" it...just enjoy the head as you would a cut flower for a few weeks (only without the water) and then stick it in the soil...chances are it will root just fine!

    thank you James! I too couldn't really give up flowers but it's fun to see what can act as a temporary substitute.

    RFG, thank you! I've thought of you several times over the last few days as we've been enjoying several conservatories and lots and lots of Bromeliads! Pictures to come...

    Jane, good to hear from you! I've missed your posting. I will definitely follow up if I get a Tetrapanax bloom...not to worry!

    RBell, thank you! I was very excited that it made it through last winter (inside) and managed to put on a little growth over the pathetic summer.

    QBC, you should see it now! (I'll have to take a pic) it has bent over and now looks like 2 separate plants. Freaky!

    Debra, thank you for stopping by! I was lucky and a beheading of my original A. schwarzkopf resulted in 6 babies which are all living on...

    Spiky O, thank you!

  17. Thank you so much for this unusual but enriching virtual garden tour! So happy to find your blog.


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