Sunday, October 30, 2011

10.24 Last Call

Some flowers still blooming in the last week of October are pictured here. White Montauk daisies with yellow centers. A reliable October bloomer, but I’ve let this plant grow too tall and leggy. The flower-loaded branches fall to the ground as soon as they start to open. Someone told me the way to combat it is to cut back the branches each month in the spring. Sounds radical, but I may have to try it.
Lots of garden mums, like the lavender blossoms in this photo. They bloom (so far at least) every autumn and last a good while. Again, the branches have grown too long, but I almost prefer them falling to the ground, the way the colored leaves do in autumn, to staking.
The zinnias I grew from seed are still holding up too and making new blossoms. I started to cut and dry some of the blossoms indoors, and plan to save their seeds. Will find out whether the seed lasts over winter and can sprout next year.
The oddly shaped pink flowers are “Spotted Toad Lilies,” a reference to the dark spots on bright blossoms. The species name is Trycirtis. The flower stalks grow about three feet high, and the buds wait until the end of September before they begin to open.
A wild aster grows and blooms this month in a quiet corner in front of the white fence. It’s a true volunteer. The flowers are white until they start to fade, and then for about a week they have a delicious violet tint.
The maiden grass lifts up its seed heads against the front of the house. In full sun the grass grows very tall and very thick, and the seed heads turn a coppery brown color this time of year. The wiegelia in front of it is blooming a fall round of pink flowers; it’s big season is spring. We have to cut it back severely to allow the grass behind it to show off.
After a serious late summer slump, in which they lost most of their leaves to brown-leaf disease, the pink roses are rewarding my pruning, spraying and feeding attentions with a strong October.