Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra
We’re more than a month past our first frost date here in southeastern PA, and indeed, we’ve already had several frosts, as well as one night down to 23 degrees F. The garden as a whole looks pretty dismal, but there are still some scattered blooms, so closeups are the way to go for this last Bloom Day of autumn.
Trust the Knock Out roses to still be blooming, no matter what. Above is ‘Radcor’ (Rainbow Knock Out); below is a bud of that wonderful workhorse ‘Radrazz’ (Knock Out).
The miniature ‘WEOpop’ (Gourmet Popcorn) really needs to be moved to a sunnier spot next year, but for now, it’s still popping with a few new blooms.
Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is just getting started.
Seven-son flower (Heptacodium miconioides), on the other hand, is well past bloom, but its colorful calyces are doing an admirable job impersonating for-real flowers. (Or should that be “imflorinating”? Hmmm.)
It’s not a surprise to see a few violas here and there…
…as well as some lingering blooms on aromatic aster (Symphiotrichum oblongifolium)…
…some not-at-all-orangey ‘Terra Cotta’ yarrow (Achillea)…
…and good old ‘Sheffield Pink’ chrysanthemum.
But I got a little tired of shooting closeups against scrappy-looking leaves. When I saw this lavender that had gracefully draped itself against the prettier background of an orangey diabase stepping stone…
…I decided it would be fun to pair some flowers with the foliage they should have, such as Rosa ‘NOA83100B’ (oh, heavens, let’s just call it Flower Carpet Scarlet) with parsley:
‘Saucy Seduction’ yarrow (Achillea) with some orangey heuchera (‘Peach Melba’, I think’):
Knautia macedonica with Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’:
White heath aster (Symphiotrichum ericoides var. ericoides) with purple moor grass (Molinia careulea):
A pretty yellow passalong mum that Frances of Fairegarden shared with me last year, against ‘Chocolate Chip’ ajuga:
A ragged bit of monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii) with ‘Little Honey’ hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia):
Leavenworth’s eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) against ‘Swift Creek’ privet (Ligustrum):
‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) with dwarf fleeceflower (Persicaria affinis):
Oooh, I do like that one. But I think my top favorite is this one, ‘Imagination’ verbena with ‘Redbor’ kale:
What a fun way to celebrate two years of Bloom Days! Looking back at my very first GBBD post on November 15, 2007, I see that I have lots more flowers to share this year. Last year’s November post didn’t have any blooms, but the garden as a whole sure looked a lot nicer.
If you haven’t done so already, visit Carol’s Bloom Day post over at May Dreams Gardens to see what’s still looking good today in gardens around the world.
36 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – November 2009”
Gosh you still have asters and fleece flowers blooming. I will have to get out today and see if anything is still blooming. Love those knockout roses.
I bet you’ll find a few stragglers too, Lisa. Sounds like your weather this week has been kinder than ours!
What a clever way to display your November blooms Nan! I love the flower and foliage combos you created. Happy Bloom Day.
Thanks for visiting, Linda. As you know, these late-season Bloom Days can be a challenge!
I love your foliage and flower pairings! And of course, I found something I want. This time it is Seven-son flower (Heptacodium miconioides) that has caught my eye. I’ve never heard of it, but am adding it to my list to find out more about it. Thanks for two years of wonderful bloom day posts!
Thanks for taking the time to visit, Carol. The Heptacodium is a very cool tree: the foliage isn’t great, but the peeling bark is lovely, the late-summer show of white flowers is the delight of all bees in the neighborhood, and the pink calyces extend the “bloom” show well into the fall.
Great pairings of color. I particularly love the Knautia/Artemisia combo – but then I’ve always been a sucker for gray foliage.
Thanks for sharing your garden this month. It still looks so colorful it’s hard to believe you’ve had so many frosts.
The combo of Leavenworth’s eryngo and ‘Swift Creek’ privet is stunning.
Happy Bloom Day.
Honestly, it’s tough to make a bad combination with that eryngium. I also shot it against silvery cardoon leaves and fuzzy lamb’s ears, and they were good too, but I liked this shot the best.
Gorgeous and fun, Nan! But I think the ‘Terra Cotta’ yarrow stole the show by creating a knockout (pardon the pun) combination all by itself!
I agree! Spotting the “terra-cotta-notta” against the russety red blood grass was serendipitous.
Just love your “pairings” – and I agree the Verbena and Kale to be a favourite.
The Eryngium is gorgeous.
Thanks for stopping by, Lene. The eryngium takes forever to color up like that, but it’s always worth waiting for.
Oh where do you get those luscious colors-the Leavenworth’s eryngo, dwarf fleece flower and ‘Little Honey’ hydrangea.
Wish I could take credit for them! I just watch and enjoy.
It just amazes me how tough some Roses are, even blooming after a freeze. I must be doing something wrong with mine.
I’m taking notes on your creative combinations. They are so inspiring.
You have plenty of surprisingly late/early bloomers of your own, MMD, including “roses,” of a sort.
You have lots blooming yet, too. Yes, I needed to do close-ups, too. I love the creative way you paired the blooms with other foliage. I want to see if the eryngo grows here. It reminds me of sea holly, which I do grow, but need to replant from time to time.
Good news, Sue: Eryngium leavenworthii is an annual. I rarely get the perennial sorts to overwinter here because of my winter-wet soil, but this one is a winner. My only disappointment is that it hasn’t yet self-sown, maybe because it flowers so late.
I enjoyed your mix-and-match Bloom Day, Nan. You’re always creative with your posts.
Thanks, Pam. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
Hey Nan… love the flower/foliage mix photos… quite stunning! Yep… I agree that last shot was my fav too :-D
Ah… you did get it chilly… we got as far as 25 deg F last weeks Two years of GBBD… well done you :-D
Nothing as exciting as having a *gunnera* in bloom, but I did my best. Happy Bloom Day!
Now those were some interesting combinations! Our witch hazels still have their leaves, I’m wondering if I might see some flowers this year. Love the artemisia!
The fall-blooming witch hazel seems to defoliate early up here. It’s always a surprise to see the first bloom, but once I notice one, there are always plenty more to be found.
Lovely compositions & beautiful colors. I have only seen photos of witch hazel, would love to see one in person!
Witch hazels are pretty cool, Susie, and many have great fragrance, as well. I think I like the spring-flowering ones best, but the fall species is neat too.
My favorite is the mum/ajuga combo, or is it the tansy/fleece flower. I can’t decide, they are all great pictures. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
I like the mum/ajuga one a lot too. It sure makes ‘Chocolate Chip’ look like dark chocolate!
Your flowers seems so strange and exotic to my climate that I find your photos fascinating even without the mashups. However, your combinations (that violet of the monkshood against the russet hydrangea) are gorgeous, too. Since most of these plants are unknown to me, I’m still trying to match the name to the photo.
I wish witch hazel grew down here. At least we have lavender, roses, and violas in common.
It’s funny that you’d use “exotic” in relation to my poor offerings when you have blooms I’ve never heard of before, like Commelinanta and Pavonia!
Lovely combinations;- I adore the colours of the Knautia macedonica with Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
Thanks, Karen! I do like that one too.
Hi Nan, I’m a new fan! What a lovely post and gosh how many gorgeous blooms you got ‘in floribus’ on this GBBD
Kind of you to visit, Tyra! How nice to make a new friend thanks to Bloom Day.
Beautiful combos — and besides making a great shot, it’s a neat way to re-imagine how the flowers might look against a foliage colour backdrop. An annual sea holly? The colour is surreal.
That’s the real color, honestly! The heads are silvery green until early to mid-October; once we get a good spell of cold weather, that rich purple appears quickly.
All beautiful – I love the color of the Eryngium.
Thanks for visiting, Phillip. Happy Bloom Day!
Very fun and great combos! I’m surprised at how many blooms you still have going up there. Yes, I agree that close-ups are what’s best this time of year.
It’s almost a little scary how mild the weather’s been recently, but it is a treat to still find scattered flowers around.
Your fanciful pairings are just as beautiful as those purposeful ones in the garden. Love them all but the Hydrangea and monkshood is a beauty.
If only that combo would happen in real life! My ‘Little Honey’ has been here at least 5 years and is barely 30 inches tall, so I’m not anticipating seeing it tall enough to pair naturally with the monkshood 6-foot bloom spikes anytime soon.
Hi Nan, what a pleasant surprise to see the button mum featured here, thanks for the link love! This mum was recently being sold at the University of Tennessee gardens plant sale as Ruth Baumgardner, the owner of my favorite nursery, Mouse Creek. She had supplied it to them, and I got mine from her as well, but she got it from a local gardener named Ann Wright. We would love to know the real name. Your idea of placing blooms with pretty foliage is most excellent, Nan, I might borrow that sometime. :-)
I appreciate the update on the mum, Frances! Maybe it doesn’t even have a “real” name; it might be a seedling. But it certainly deserves a nice name, so either ‘Ruth” or ‘Ann’ would be great.
Great closeups for Bloom Day. I love my Rainbow Knockout, Double and original too. I do want to write a rant though on those silly numbered cultivar names. I won’t do it on your blog though. :) Happy Bloom Day, my dear. Time for the garden to get its rest, I think. We have cold weather today.~~Dee
Ugh, don’t get me started about those cultivar names, Dee. I try to be consistent about using names correctly, but it’s really a pain (and awful-looking too) sometimes.
With close-ups we can imagine we still have wonderful color going on, right? :) Isn’t it amazing what we can find though when we look closely? You still have quite a few lovelies to show, Nan, and pairing them with pretty leaves is a bit of creative genius. Wonderful photos, all. It’s hard to choose a favorite. I love the lavender that inspired you. What a great shot! I see Sheffield still has some pretty blooms.
I always find new things to try in your Bloom Day posts. Thanks for the inspiration :)
Thanks, Kerri! Finding that lavender – and having the photo come out so nicely, too – really was a pleasant surprise. And yep, Sheffield Pink’ is still going. Its few remaining blooms are very popular with the bees during the unusually mild days we’ve been having.
We have had frosts, too, and even a morning snowfall (twice!) that covered the ground, but in between we have had wonderful mild weather, and rain. I had very little for Bloom Day, but I add my voice to all the bloggers’ praise of Knockout roses – even though mine quit at the end of October. I think PA must have the most wonderful climate for gardeners.
I haven’t traveled much, but I have to agree that Pennsylvania is a great place to garden!
What a color treat this post has been Nan! Can they all be my favorites~because they are. I was pretty sure that A ragged bit of monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii) with ‘Little Honey’ hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) won then scrolled to see Leavenworth’s eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) against ‘Swift Creek’ privet (Ligustrum)…just too lovely! So much inspiration…thank you. gail ps If this is posted twice it’s because i corrected it!
Thanks, Gail! No limits to the amount of favorites. I rather like all of them myself; a half-dozen others didn’t even make the cut for the post.
One of the fine things about fall roses seems to be a certain thickening of their cells so they have more intense color and last a bit longer. Today I just brought in a single bloom of the English Rose ‘Evelyn’ that is gorgeous. As a child, we grew Rosa ‘Medallion’ and it routinely had blooms that graced our Thanksgiving table.
One of the advantages to getting out and down in the dirt to plant fall bulbs is getting to have a close up look at the few straggler blooms that remain. Last weekend I found Toad Lily, achillea, Begonia grandis, and nicotiana all blooming–long after the purported first frost. These surprises, like the wonderful pictures you provide, certainly bring a smile in this cold fall air.
Thanks for sharing that bit of insight about the roses, Dan; I’d never thought of it. How cool that you still have tricyrtis and Begonia grandis; they’re usually the very first things to get zapped by any amount of frost.
my garden is still at the stage where close-ups are the only way to convey the view i have through my rose colored glasses. one day, i hope to be able to pan out and see a garden like yours.
You’re very kind, Ricki, but you’re sure wouldn’t covet it at the moment; things are pretty sad-looking out there. I’m thinking it may be an all-close-up kind of winter.
OOOOh, I WANT that Leavenworth erygium–it’s gorgeous, and the fact that I’ve never seen it before suggests to me it wouldn’t winter here. Alas. But now I’m inspired and will go learn more about it.
As always, your posts are fun and inspiring, Nan. Things are in a state of dishevelment here, but I’m still trying to practice wabi-sabi. Emphasis on TRYING.
Check out the Thompson and Morgan catalog for the eryngium seeds, Jodi. No worries about the hardiness issue, since it’s an annual. But I think you’d want to give it an early start with indoor sowing.
Really notable the combinings, adore your way to approach the plants!!
You has especially struck me the ajuga chocolate, that also I have in garden, with shine of the Tanacetum.
To also copy the approach of the Verbena with the ‘Redbor’, from fable!!!
Great Nan!! your photos are always fascinating =)
Hi Tiziana! It’s so interesting to hear that you grow some of the very same cultivars that we enjoy here in the U.S. I look forward to learning more about what you grow through your new blog.
thank you very much!
I wanted to signal that Sage Iathina (or Guaranitica as claimed by our friend Robin) has finally blossomed. You can see in the next few days on my blog, posters when pictures taken in my garden on Sunday.
A hug! Bye!
Hi Nan! I cannot believe how long it’s taken me to get here!! Are you still having such beautiful blossoms outdoors? We are not. This morning it was back to 32 degrees F. I would anticipate Winter’s arrival before long… but these days, who knows? ha. Have a great weekend! :-)
The holiday is a great time to catch up some blog visiting, isn’t it? The cold weather looks to be settling in for good in the next few days, so who knows what we’ll do for the next Bloom Day?
Very clever! I love it all, but my favorite picture is the witch hazel, which never ceases to fascinate me.
Hey there, Elizabeth. Your comment gave me an idea: I’m getting one of those new Plant Cams soon, and I might try it out on some witch hazel blooms. It would be cool to watch how the petals unfurl and then crinkle back up over the course of a day.
I very much enjoyed your color and plant combinations…lots to look at this time of year:)
Thanks for visiting, Jan. I think that’s the last of the good color until spring!
Hi Nan –
These photos are amazing – so great to remember what might have been blooming a mere 2 months ago. I’m a new blogger (and blog reader) and have just stumbled across your amazing garden – great to see fellow Pennsylvanians getting the garden going. Look forward to following you.
Hey there, Kelly. It’s always great to meet a new blogger – especially one who’s almost a neighbor!
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