Monday, October 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - October 2012

GBBD October 2012
Wow...somehow we are already at the half-way point of October...that's sheer craziness! This past weekend, we FINALLY got some rain here in Portland. I think I read somewhere that this summer marked the longest period without measurable precipitation since they started keeping records...ouch. I was actually outside on Friday morning when the first few drops started falling...and I can't quite describe the feeling of utter contentment that settled over me. After our long, dry Portland summers, that first rain is so refreshing!

Of course, the first rain also tends to collapse or topple some of the more top-heavy there were a few things I propped up this weekend, but, in general, the garden is none the worse for wear.

agastache blue boa  2262centranthus ruber  2287
Agastache 'Blue Boa'Centranthus ruber
Agastache 'Blue Boa' was new for me this year, and had bloomed non-stop since I planted it in June (I think it was June). I was amazed that for something newly-planted, it really didn't seem to need much water at all. Like everything in the parking strips, it's lucky to get a drink ever other week. Centranthus ruber is one of those plants I totally take for granted. It asks for absolutely nothing from me...but blooms from spring to frost.

salvia black & blue  2265
While I refuse to plant any more Salvia 'Black & Blue' in my garden due to how late they emerge (you can expect a big hole in the garden where they are until at least July), I really love the few that keep coming back year after year...nothing can quite compare to their rich, saturated blue flowers.

salvia purple rain  2282
Salvia 'Purple Rain'
Another Salvia, but one that is much earlier to awaken and fill in, 'Purple Rain' rewards me with blooms from June until frost, although right about now, they are few and far between.

geranium rozanne  2269
Geranium 'Rozanne'
While the 'Rozanne' that I have in the front have only a smattering of blooms, the one in the backyard still pumps out the blossoms.

rucbeckia goldsturm  2263persicaria golden arrow  2281
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'
While most of the Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' gave up the ghost mere days after last month's Bloom Day post, there are still a few stragglers, seen here cradles in the foliage of Panicum 'Rostralbusch'. Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' has also been a blooming fool this year...never letting up for a moment. I discovered, however, that it REALLY hates direct sun...the leaves scorched a little bit during the hottest days of summer.

rudbeckia triloba  2285
Rudbeckia triloba
I have a few of this short-lived perennial (sometimes biennial) around the garden, where it has seeded itself. While the largest one (as tall as me) is declining now, the smaller ones are going strong. I LOVE their smaller-than-usual golden charming...and with a more subtle effect than 'Goldsturm. I'm happy to see that there are quite a few that bloomed this year have formed basal mounds of foliage, which seems to generally indicate they will return next year!

persicaria lance corporal  2266
Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'
If you are afraid of plants that reseed like there's no tomorrow, turn your head now. By letting 'Lance Corporal' bloom, I definitely take the chance that I'll be greeted by millions of seedlings next spring. Luckily, the seedlings are easily removed, so I indulge it and let it those crazy, wiry blooms.

aster prince  2275
One of my favorite plants for Autumn, Aster 'Prince' (yes, I know they have been re-classified...but I'll never remember that other name). While most Asters have pretty bland foliage, this one has nice deep purplish foliage, so it provides interest all season, not just for the month or so that it blooms.

origanum hopleys gift  2279persicaria firetail  2270
Origanum 'Hopley's Purple'Persicaria 'Firetail'
One of my favorite little plants this year was the above Origanum 'Hopley's Purple'. It has the most wonderful blue/green foliage on wiry stems. Starting in midsummer, it begins blooming with deep lavender-purple blooms...and continues until frost. I actually need to move the other Origanum from across to path to be near this one, I think you really need multiples of this one to make an's a bit too diffuse as a specimen. Persicaria 'Firetail', like the other Persicarias in my garden, is a workhorse...blooming for months and months. Like the other Persicarias, it seems to revel in the cooler days of Autumn, pushing out more and more blooms.

persicaria firetail  2272
Another shot of Persicaria 'Firetail'

knautia macedonica  2284
Another totally care-free and ever-blooming plant, Knautia macedonica.

eupatorium rugosum  2289
While I main plant Eutrochium (Eupatorium) rugosum for it's lovely dark foliage, the flowers are such a nice treat in Autumn...purest white and so fluffy.

persicaria inverleith  2260knatia melton pastels  2274
Persicaria 'Inverleith'Knautia macedonia 'Melton Pastels'
One of my favorite Persicarias due to it's shorter and fuller habit, Persicaria 'Inverleith' also has the wonderful habit of blooming continuously for months on end. Knautia 'Melton Pastels' might win the prize for longest-blooming plant in my's been going since May!

echinacea purpurea  2277
While most of the Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus' are pretty much done blooming, there are always a few straggling blooms right up until frost.

clematis tibetana  2291
The wonderfully exuberant Clematis tibetana has been amazing this year, blooming for months and months. Instead of slowing down, it seems to be ramping up the bloom production right now!

clematis tibetana  2268
In case you weren't sure of it's vigor...there it is, smothering the copper arbor we made. It actually has grown over the fence, across the roof and out INTO the garden itself. I finally chopped it back a bit this's a beast!

sedum matrona  2288teucrium  2261
Sedum 'Matrona'Teucrium hircanicum
Another plant that is, for the most part, done blooming, Sedum 'Matrona' has a few lingering fresh blooms, while most of them have faded to their russet winter coloring. Teucrium hircanicum has really proven itself this's tough and ever-blooming...I can't recommend it enough.

agastache purple haze  2276
Agastache 'Purple Haze' is one of my favorite Agastaches, at the moment, due to it's dependably compact form. It doesn't open up or flop, even in heavy rain. Plus, it blooms forever.

agastache desert sunrise  2278
Another favorite, Agastache 'Desert Sunrise', has bloomed all summer and shows no signs of stopping.

agastache blue blazes  2298
Agastache 'Blue Blazes' is almost TOO vigorous in my back garden, but in the parking strips, with minimal water and more sun, it stays more compact. One of the best features of this Agastache is that even after the flowers have faced, the colorful calyces continue to offer colorful interest.

verbena bonariensis  2271impatiens balfourii  2273
Verbena bonariensisImpatiens balfourii
Here we have a few plants that can be devilish reseeders! I'm always amazed at how many of the Verbena pop up every spring, and I seem to spend weeks moving them around to better spots, but rarely just chuck them in the compost...they are just such great plants...and fairly un-intrusive. The Impatiens, while lovely, has proven a bit TOO prolific, and while I'll always let a few reseed around, I spent a fair bit of time this past weekend pulling up a rogue plants to keep their spread a (tiny) bit under control!

eupatorium  2258
While it's sort of in the "faded bloom" category, I've been really pleased by this particular Eutrochium 'Gateway' this year. While the other Euthrochium in my garden fade to a beige color, this one has faded to more of a somber mauve...I like it!

north border from east  2290
As we wrap up this Bloom Day post, here's the North border from the east...

north border from west  2259
...the same border looking from the west...

back yard  2292's the back yard just before I chopped things back a bit to open up the path again...

home  2295
...and here's the big picture of the whole affair!

I hope October finds you in good spirits, and hope you're enjoying the weather, wherever you are. For more Bloom Day Posts, check out May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Black and Blue has a different constitution here. It comes up in early May for me, begins blooming by June and goes until the first frost. My beef with it is that it marches on and on taking up more garden than I am willing to give it. Happy GBBD!

  2. You are always so good about labels and descriptions. If I ever remember to do a GBBD I'm pretty skimpy with info.

    I'd love to see a post on all of your Persicarias someday soon. Compare foliage, flowers, habits.

    Right now though I love that you posted an image of the front of the house -- it really puts things in better perspective! (can we see the side now too?)

  3. You really have an eye for photography and your photos are outstanding! I always love visiting your gardens and they are looking wonderful as always! Happy GBBD to you!

  4. Excellent photo of your back garden, and I pray someday I too can call my Clematis tibetana a beast!

  5. I am sure people love walking by your homw, what a treat!


  6. I love Black & Blue Salvia, but for me, it's an annual that never seems to manage to reseed itself.

    I have got to find that Clematis and add it to my collection. It's stunning!

  7. As always, a top notch post and wonderful photography (sigh....). I can't believe how much you cram into your city plot. I stand in awe! Our outdoor flower season is just about over here in upstate NY - I hope you will help me through the winter months to come. Happy GBBD.

  8. an oasis in a desert of average!!

  9. Lovely photos as always Scott, I could park my keister in any part of your garden with a nice glass of wine and be very content indeed ! I saw A. Blue Boa at Terra Nove when my friends and I visited inb June, and bought one at Swansons Nursery in Seattle a few days later. I have never seen it offered down here in Norcal..I love it ! Hope I can find a couple more next summer.

  10. Happy GBBD! I always looks forward to snooping through your garden on Bloom Day. Everything is so beautiful. I want to mention specific plants but finding myself liking at least every other shot. I will have to start taking notes on how you are able to arrange such a wonderful garden into a smaller, city lot. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I always love looking at your wonderful variety of gorgeous Agastaches. I'll have to keep an eye on my Persicaria Golden Arrow next year. I planted it two weeks ago, while it was still sunny, in the front bed under my new trees, which is a very sunny spot. It drooped almost immediately.

  12. The final photo helps me grasp the big picture of your Rhone Street paradise.
    Here in Ontario, Salvia Black & Blue is usually available from the nearby nursery in early spring. I plant it in containers and would hate to be without it! It is toast after the slightest frost. Rudbeckia triloba is also a huge favourite. My Golden Arrow was moved to a less sunny site here where I hope it will flourish in the future. Knautia macedonica did especially well in the heat and drought this summer. Your Aster Prince is lovely! Mine vanished about 5 years ago and I've not seen one for sale since.
    Is the light in your part of the world really as gorgeous as it appears in your photos? I hope so!

  13. Beautiful as always! We have some of the same favorites - Rudbeckia triloba and Eupatorium. And I'm crazy about that Clematis tibetana.

  14. Lucky you that you still have Rudbeckias in full bloom! Actually many, many incredible blooms! I was just sharing some of your earlier grass shots with my husband tonight. He was impressed, too. No one captures grasses with a camera as well as you do.

  15. What a beautiful blooming garden! Thank you for posting all the pictures!!!

  16. So much beautiful colour, and your grasses are starting to turn too. We must be a few weeks behind you; our Aster Prince has only just opened its first couple of flowers, and similarly our Eupatorium rugosum Chocolate. I'm still hankering after Persicaria Firetail - I love the echo of its flowers in the grass you have planted beside it.

  17. I've always admired your Persicaria but REALLY want one now that I've seen one in real life at the Mendocino Botanical gardens. Wow-it truly is spectacular. I really gotta quit reading your posts....I've got a wish list a mile long.......

  18. So much in flower. You garden looks amazing settling into it's autumn colours.

  19. Absolutely gorgeous. A magnificent fall garden. As always your photos are outstanding.

    Really love that Aster Prince. What is the latin name and is it hardy in Zone 5?

  20. Love all the vignettes and closeups. Despite the decidedly fall feel, you still have planty of cheerful color. Love the "big picture" shot at the end that brings all that curb appeal together.

  21. I love the far away shot of the whole front yard (though I wish you had snuck in a recycling bin). I swear you could take a photo of a dandelion and I'd be like, "Man, I have GOT to get some of those." Beautiful!

  22. Hi Scott,

    Lovely blooms and photos; many similar plants as my garden and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with Persicaria which blooms seemingly, for ever.
    The longest blooming here, are the Erysimum, which haven't stopped since last year when I bought them! Bloomed through winter and are still going strong. Apparently they bloom themselves to death!

  23. Look at that tibetan clem go! I'm trying to choose an oregano for next year -- Hopley's might just be the one. What a great summer for your garden, Scott, even in spite of the long drought.

  24. Great pictures and great plants. Thanks for the tour. Fall may be my favorite.

  25. Scott you need to check out this site:

  26. Awesome as always. Love, love that photo of the clematis peeking through the grass. Outstanding.

  27. Your images are always great! This time I especially liked the Agastache 'Purple Haze' with the yellow/orange blades of grass cutting diagonally across - Stunning.

  28. Such wonderful use of grasses in your garden. I was especially impressed by aster 'Prince' and the yellow clematis.

  29. Dang, I always lust over your lush garden. Even without your usual rain, Portland's awesome.

  30. Love the shot with the grass seed heads going one angle, the agastache bloom stalks at a mirror to that angle. The Centranthus is something else, and one near me has almost been blooming since May, on a north wall...wild considering the drought. Fall is quite obvious there in that one sidewalk / street scene!

  31. Fabulous, you have so many lovely blooms for October. I love the shots of your street border and the last one with your house, the textures are wonderful. Impatiens balfourii is considered a prohibited plant in the UK, it is choking out all the natives along rivers and streams; I’m sure with you as with me here in Italy it doesn’t cause so much problem as it is thirsty and certainly here doesn’t survive outside gardens. Christina

  32. Hi Scott, you know I've always been a fan of your shots, in fact I am trying to get something like yours! The semblance of that first one I am fond of taking now. I bet your photos are lovelier than the real ones! But your last wide angle shot of the house and garden is so lovely, colors are changing, and I can anticipate the big works ahead when they finally dry!

  33. Wow. Your gardens are fabulous. I'm amazed at the variety of colors and textures that all blend so seamlessly. It's simply gorgeous. I'm now in plant lust with your clematis, as well as 'Desert Sunrise.' I'm so glad I visited your garden this morning--very inspirational. Happy Bloom Day to you!

  34. Thanks for the long view, love the whole setting. :-)

  35. What unusual blooms - I also like the look of that wiry one. And all your spiky ones. The cottage garden look is great, and I love how you photograph the blooms.

  36. Very beautiful images. I really love the one of the Persicaria. It is an artsy plant and photo.

  37. Ah, great fun. That first rain, isn't it amazing? We're supposed to get a storm next week - I'm ready! It was over 80 today.

    Great plants! Love that clematis!

  38. Your garden still looks great, Scott. I hope my Knautia will look like yours next year, I just grew it from seed this year. Isn't Rozanne geranium great, still blooming so strong.

  39. What a delightful stroll, Scott. Your photos are so pretty. I must get me some Persicaria 'Inverleith.' I love its smallness. Have a great weekend.

  40. I agree with you on the color of your Salvie 'Black and Blue'. I have some lobelia that are similaryly colored, but they seem to be hanging on by a thread right now. I've never seen Persicaria before, but I can see why you let it do its thing. :) Beautiful garden!

  41. Oops-*Salvia* and *similarly* Maybe 3:00 in the morning isn't the best time to be trying to comment!

  42. Your street side photos show that autumn is quickly approaching, but there is still much color in the garden. What is the grass(?) in the photo with the Agastache 'Purple Haze'?

  43. I absolutely love the big picture Scott! Too bad about your issue with 'Black and Blue' salvia. I wouldn't be without mine because of the hummers it attracts. But I get more than one bloom period out of it. After the late spring first bloom I cut it back by about a third or half. Yes, it then takes about 6 weeks to get blooming again but it stays bushier and better looking. And it blooms pretty much non-stop from July through the fall. I really love your selection of fall plants.

  44. I love the overgrown backyard pic! What a great place to get lost. I hope you didn't trim it back too much! The agastaches are tremendous, I totally forgot about them. I could swear I used to have some, but they disappeared. So nice to see so much bloomage at the end of the dry season!

  45. Beautiful stuff! I love seeing the view of your house in the middle of it all! So many beautiful photos and plants. Happy October!

  46. I don't think that I've ever seen a picture of the whole front yard and house together before... GORGEOUS! You've done an amazing job, creating such a beautiful garden!

  47. Great Pics of garden and Fresh Flowers. I Loved "Magnus" of all. It Looks so fresh and stunning. And carry such a soothing color. Nice One.

  48. Lovely to visit your October garden. Thanks!

  49. Fab photos! You've some super plants. I really like the aster 'prince', what a great plant.

  50. Great pictures! I love the variety of your perennials! Salvia Black and Blue is very late in my garden, too. It's blooming right now. I'd be very happy if someone shared verbena bonariensis seeds with me!

  51. Nice post and it will amazing to visit your October garden for me.

  52. Great article and right to the point. I don't know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any idea where to employ some professional writers.

  53. Marvelous posting!
    Great Pics of garden and Fresh Flowers.