Thursday, October 16, 2014

Garden bloggers' bloom day October 2014

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." --F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Ignoring the fact that the quote above is uttered by one awful person to another awful person in a book I didn't really care for, I agree with the sentiment. Fall weather is finally here! I have been cooking and wearing socks and bringing tender plants indoors and I am so freaking happy about it. The bird feeders are up, my Netflix queue is full and I am so ready to hibernate for a bit. This is that nice time when we're finally getting rain and cooler nights but the castor beans haven't died yet and things still look okay.

All of the salvias and agastaches are still going strong, acting like they just might bloom all winter if you let them. This canna popped up in a pathway and I left it to be a surprisingly effective hosebreak all summer.

My bloom is sad because someone didn't water me all summer.

These Aster oblongifolius are my favorite right now. They cooked all summer next to reflected heat of the chimney without a drop of water and they couldn't be prettier.

I've spent more time than I'd care to admit internally debating whether Dan Hinkley was on a bender or responding to a dare when he named this Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress.' Its blooms aren't quite as showy as its relatives but I'll take them.

Eutrochium rugosum is sited right next to some large clumps of snowberry, making this fairly uninteresting part of the yard look gift wrapped.

Eutrochium rugosum and Symphoricarpos albus
Plectranthus ecklonii was a spring addition to the dry shade under the cedar tree and I'm very happy with the late blooms.

Is it early for Fatsia japonica to be blooming? It feels like it.

Happy bloom day and happy fall weather to you! Be sure to visit our host Carol at May Dreams Gardens for the full show.


  1. Nice blooms, Miss Heather....I'm ready for socks and soup and hibernating, too. The asters are the champs, aren't they? Your Eutrochium rugosum is a plant I must look up.

  2. Your line about the Netflix queue made me smile, ditto here and we rediscover the joys of tv during the colder months.

  3. Now I'm even happier that I planted a couple of Fatsia japonica in my son's front yard. I hope they will be tough enough to survive his neglect. The Plectranthus is dreamy. And I say this every year: must have more Asters (thank you for ignoring whatever the naming gods have newly dubbed them just to confuse us).

  4. I totally neglect my Fatsia so I think your son will be just fine!

  5. The white flowers confused me, as they look just like white snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) which used to be called something else but isn't as tall as the plants you have. I'm going to have to look more into the Joe Pye weed family.

  6. I think it used to be Ageratina but then got moved to Eupatorium. Then the taxonomists blew up Eupatorium, though they might not have moved this one to Eutrochium. I just assumed because my other joe ones were moved to Eutrochium. So confusing!

  7. Maybe Dan Hinckley is a bit of a masochist. If a stabby plant is his idea of a soft caress, then if I ever meet him perhaps I should just slap him instead of shaking his hand. I love how sprawly those asters are. All they're missing is a beach towel and a good book.

  8. I'm envious of the asters and your hibernation plan. The down side of living in California (in addition to the drought of course) is that our garden season never stops, which can get quite exhausting. Your Plectranthus ecklonis reminds me that I must replace the one I killed by moving it to an excessively dry spot - once my former lawn area is ready to plant, I'll have a perfect spot for one.

  9. Happy GBBD! I'm so relieved that the rainy weather is back too. Although today was quite warm and sunny.

  10. Hi Heather, I've just discovered your blog and will be following. It's great to know all the Pacific NW gardeners. I'm in Portland, Oregon too and over the moon that it is finally raining and we don't have to water constantly. (Hate to complain--we are lucky to HAVE water...) Your Fatsia japonica is gorgeous--I'm envious. I write about lots of stuff--working on a second book about aging with panache, but you may like my humor garden writing, i.e. failures! Check out my worst beet failure at on the sidebar called Food Fight. Recognize Haystack in my pic? Happy Autumn to you fellow Portlander.

  11. Heather! I thought of you last night. I (FINALLY) bought the plants for my (long overdue) rain garden at the audubon native plant sale and unloaded all the plants (and one stowaway salamander). Saturday, that bitch is going in! And then I should be certifiable.

  12. Ooh, what are you putting in yours?

  13. Tall Oregon Grape
    Indian Plum/Oso Berry
    Mock Orange
    Choke Cherry
    Common Snowberry
    Red Columbine
    Pacific Bleeding Heart
    Wild Strawberry
    Oregon Iris
    Large-leafed Lupin
    Dewey Sedge
    Tufted-Hair Grass
    Roemer's Fescue
    Patens Rush

  14. Damn! How big is your rain garden?

  15. 70ish square feet, I think. I may have gotten carried away. It's okay, there's always room in my life for more plants.

  16. I cram-scape too. :) that's going to look awesome! Tell me when you finish so I can stalk-gawk.

  17. My kidlet's daycare is very near your place. I maybe drive by occasionally. That's not creepy, is it?

  18. You should stop by and say hi! It's been forever.

  19. Okay, I definitely think I need some Asters. Those you have look fantastic! Moved most of my indoor plants in today except for a couple that are so heavy I'm debating just putting them up on Craigslist. It did wonders for the appearance of my yard, but now my family tell me they feel crowded. But, what's a girl to do...?

  20. I have a couple I haven't moved for the same reason. All this rain isn't making those plants any lighter, either.

  21. OK, love the Aster oblongifolius. I'm growing the "October Skies" variety (first year with it) and it's done marvelously here in Tennessee, as you can see -- Tough as the dickens, gorgeous and seems to attract loads of pollinators over a long bloom season. What's not to like? :)

    As for the Soft Caress Mahonia, I hate to be the one to suggest this, but perhaps you got a misnamed/mislabeled plant? Because the foliage on Soft Caress plants I've seen in the nursery doesn't look anything like the spiky foliage in your post. Here's a pic that shows what I've seen labeled as Soft Caress -

    And another pic -

    The reviews on Dave's Garden indicate that Soft Caress can be finicky to grow -

  22. Aster oblongifolius is one of the best asters both for color, quantity of flowers, and not growing too tall and then flopping over. Nice patch you got there. I have snowberry but it's not doing nearly as well as yours, though I always heard it was indestructible. And why is it that The Great Gatsby is supposed to be such a masterpiece? I'd take Sinclair Lewis over Fitzgerald any day.