14 November 2010

Blooming After The Frost

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
What's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month.

The frost came on Tuesday morning of this week. There was no warning - the temperature forecast was for lows above freezing, but upon waking in the morning, there was frost on the grass and on the cars. This was not heavy, and plants near the house and in the backyard with a bit of tree cover were not harmed. Still, it was time to continue with the fall cleanup.

There are a few hardy souls still blooming and loving the cool weather. Rudbeckia with its large blossoms makes great cut flowers for indoors at this time, and punctuates the barren side yard where annuals have left.

Nicotiana is now on its third blooming cycle (or is it fourth) in the back. The plants are now enormous with leaves large enough to resemble real tobacco. I would not be surprised to find them there come spring if we have a mild winter. This has happened in the past.

The Coconut Lime echinacea, I am happy to report, has bloomed consistently throughout the summer after being deadheaded. The foliage is none too pretty in late fall, but new blooms still appear, albeit smaller. The plant ends up shorter than its native parent, at only about 1-foot tall (30 cm), but the blooms extend above the plant well.

Last, and certainly enjoying the coolness as always, is the calendula. This roughneck will stay blooming into December. Frost doesn't affect it, although a hard freeze will. As with the nicotiana, the plants will sometimes overwinter and fully bloom in early spring. Otherwise, new spring seedlings germinate and begin to bloom in later spring.

Overall the fall has been mild and dry, but not hot. The cool temperatures are coming gradually.

9 comments:

Cherry Lane said...
I don't think frost has touched my yard yet. I'm not sure, though, since I was out of town last week. My peppers and tomatoes are still alive, at any rate. I pulled the basil at the first frost warning, or that would be a sure indicator.

I love that nicotiana. I'd considered planting some this year and never got around to it. Next year for sure.
Janet said...
Our frosts have been light and with leaf cover, there has been very little frost damage...so far.
The Redneck Rosarian said...
We have had a light frost here in Alabama, but not much damage as of yet. Your Coconut Lime Echinacea is new to me. I like the color....
Darla said...
Nice blooms here...great plants. Love the apricot face of the calendula.
Mac_fromAustralia said...
What a cheerful colour that calendula is. I didn't know echinaceas came in such different colours.
Kenneth Moore said...
Gotta love heat island effect--in downtown DC, where I "landscape" for a froyo shop, I harvested seven 2-3-feet-long trombetta squash on Thursday. Last year, the vine along with the Datura, Alternanthera dentata, and other sensitive plants were hanging limp and frost-killed by late October!
Swimray said...
Cherry,
These are the non-hybrid offspring from 'Only The Lonely' nicotiana, - they end up being tall, need some support, but reseed themselves every year and smell great in summer evenings. I have an earlier post on them.

Mac & Rosarian,
I also have a new salmon colored echinacea. Next spring I expect wonderful photos.

Frostless Kenneth,
Go ahead and rub it in...
J.C. said...
I like the frosty "paint" I think I see on a couple of leaves. Nice!
Ramona said...
These flowers should be our models in life. Despite the hardships brought about by the rain and the snow, we should keep standing and blooming.