Thursday, October 15, 2020

Blooms in October

Somehow we’ve arrived at Garden Blogger’s Bloomday for the tenth month, October. There’s not a lot of blooming going on in my garden this month, and I’m okay with that. Even though I’m a monthly participant in May Dream’s Gardens Bloomday posts, I am not a gardener who gardens for the flowers. My regular readers know this, but I, occasionally, still feel the need to explain. Evidently so does Dan Hinkley, who—in his book Windcliff—carries on about the importance of foliage and quotes Christopher Lloyd as saying “It is an indisputable fact that appreciation of foliage comes at a late stage in our education. It is undoubtedly an acquired taste, one that grows on us.” So, foliage acknowledged, let’s have a look at the flowers. First up, as you walk into the back garden, is Schefflera delavayi…

The blooms have the pollinators all aflutter…

You can’t walk into the back garden without hearing a hum.

When you’re short on flowers, berries make great stand-ins. After all you can’t have one without the other. Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet'…

And buds! They’re the promise of future flowers, especially like these on the Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’, which will open to bright orange florets in February of next year.

I was surprised to catch a glimpse of this pink begonia flower; these are usually pinched as soon as I see them. I missed this one!

I bought a single Echeveria NOID early in the spring and planted it in one of my dish planters. It quickly sent up three bloom spikes (one was accidently snapped off by a garden visitor), all have bloomed the entire summer long. I and my hummingbird friends have appreciated the long-lasting beauty.

Oh, and it also made new plants! One (the larger rosette in the center) became eight.

The blooms of Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ are going to miss being able to lay on Ceanothus ‘Dark Star’ (I’m digging the ceanothus out this winter) …

Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'


Somewhere along the line my Murdannia loriformis 'Bright Star' bloomed. I didn’t even notice, not that the flowers are all that showy.

NOID Bromeliad…

Now we’re passing through the driveway, I keep pinching the basil when it tries to start a flower, as here…

But sometimes I miss…

I grew a packet of Gomphrena seeds this year, one flower is all I got.

I think these will be the last papery bracts of the bougainvillea for the year.

Out front I discovered my newly planted cyclamen have fallen from the heavy rain. Then again one of those rocks is on top of a couple stems. Perhaps the squirrels have been working nearby?

Rosemary close-up

And a photo of the overall plant.

Poncirus trifoliata (aka Citrus trifoliata) has progressed to the colored-up fruit stage.

I love this plant, for the huge thorns and the colorful, fragrant, fruit.


Mahonia fortunei 'Curlyque'

Fatsia japonica

The tall Tetrapanax papyrifer have begun their annual push to bloom.

They are so determined, and sadly struck down by frost every year. Although there will eventually be a year when the flowers are finally able to open, I just know it.

Mahonia gracilipes close-up.

And an overall of the plant.

The Loropetalum 'Jazz Hands' mini I bought in July is looking good and starting to bloom, well, there’s one bloom!

Finally, I wrap up this Bloomday post with a photo of my neighbor’s hydrangea. It’s the time of year all the bright blue flowers fade to a dark purple mauve. Well, all except one. It’s still flying its summer colors and I couldn’t love it more. I am as well, less in a blue sort-of-way, and more in a still wearing flip-flops sort of way…

Weather Diary, Oct 14: Hi 64, Low 46/ Precip .04 

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to plant an entire packet of seeds and get one measly flower! Why do you pinch off your begonia flowers?

  2. Lots still happening in your garden with a lot of things still blooming in October. Maybe this will be the year for the Tetrapanax?

    1. Anything is possible, however since we're going into a La Nina winter it's not looking likely this year. I thought the year we didn't get a freeze until after Christmas would be the one, but they just kind of rotted in place that year.

  3. This is the first year my Tetrapanax has buds, since the last couple years allowed the stems to grow and mature without any significant winter damage. I just keep looking at them and thinking, "who do you think you're kidding?" That Murdannia blooms a lot more than I expected. The flowers are cute when you catch them fully open. Little 3-petaled white blooms. Kinda messy indoors, though. I keep thinking I should just cut them off, but I still haven't.

    1. They (tetrapanax) look so confident busting out like that. Unfortunately there's about 4ft of planted space on front of the murdannia so I wasn't ever able to get my eyes close. That said I need to be brining them indoors soon so if they bloom anymore maybe I'll be able to experience the messy factor.

  4. I adore that Mahonia gracilipes, which I've never found locally. I just put my name on Digging Dog's wishlist. That Tetrapanax is wonderful in bloom or not but I'll celebrate with you the day it finally flowers. Every garden needs at least one holy grail.

    1. Have you tried Cistus mail order? I bet they've got it.

  5. I still miss Pam Penick's Foliage Follow-up, so this post was perfect. Some flowers with lots of foliage in view. Personally I would plant that Hydrangea but only if the purple flowers were the only color. Everyone wants the blues but they are just too pretty for me.

    1. Ya I like the dark hydrangea blooms better myself. They blue is just so damn cheery! ;)

  6. A great look for Loropetalum 'Jazz Hands', arching it's branches over the edge of the pot.
    I'm struck by Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’: I always see blooms displayed on bare branches, and it has lovely foliage too... who knew.
    (Well, probably most everyone knew, but it somehow it escaped me).

    1. I do wish the edgeworthia were evergreen...

  7. The beauty of the texture, leaf shapes and blooms was exactly what I needed to see today. Thanks. No comment, just pleasure in your photos.

    1. I always appreciate your stopping by Sheila!

  8. I like your Mahonias, each so different from the others. The M. gracilipes reminds me of Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar).
    What is the silver plant near the Echeveria?

    1. OH yes! I can see that (the flowers at least). Silver near the echeveria...(pages up to see the photo)... that's Brachyglottis greyi.

  9. Citrus Trifolita seems drool worthy.I have been searching this variety of Mahonia from long time in nurseries.It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to Gardening here

  10. I see you have a book coming out in the near future. Quite impressive! I do not know many of your plants, so it was fun reading this post.


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