06 October 2008

A Light On for October

Suddenly, we're into definite autumn, as October has sneaked into play while I've been mulling over work, upcoming surgery, and other exasperations. The month blew in with a little presentation of wind and rain, mostly wind, to further irritate the already weather-beleaguered garden and gardener. 

Despite the vagaries of weather, there are still some wonderful floral and foliar surprises to be found here at Sunflower Hill. The sunflowers are done, but the Sweet Autumn clematis has come into bloom. 

All the helenium is doing fabulously. I have this perennial in several sizes, from the more compact types that grow only 1-2 feet tall to the towering yellow variety in the back garden that is five feet and more in height. 

This luscious, deep red one is my absolute favourite, however. And there's some Spirea 'Crispa' in flower near it, with magenta blooms that add a nice contrast. 

Another star performer this year has been the catmint, which is still blooming pretty well nonstop since it began in late spring. It's not a hugely showy plant, but I love its grey-green foliage and the lavender-like flowers, and it's become a large clump this year. Probably because the late lamented Tigger isn't around to chew it down to the roots. I'd sooner have Tigger here...still miss him deeply, especially when I'm working in the garden. 

My favourite tall phlox, David, just keeps right on blooming, even though some clumps had many of their flowers blown OFF this weekend. There are other phloxes still flowering, but the pure white flowers and awesome scent of this one makes it the winner in my books. 

Speaking of Davids, my favourite solo musician has released his new single, and it's promising to be a terrific hit. It's called 'Light On' and you can listen to it at his official website or purchase it from iTunes. There will be a video for it in coming weeks, and his new album will drop on 18 November. I love the new single because to my mind it's all about hope, and that's something we need, at this time of year and this particular year in general. Despite that, the song does make me soggy at times, especially when I see tribute videos such as this one. Have the tissues handy if you do go look at it. 
Back to the plants, now! This is a Canadian bred miscanthus, 'Huron Sunrise'; Rob Baldwin gave it to me several years ago and it's turning into a handsome clumping showpiece of this time of year. Other miscanthus varieties aren't always so well behaved; I have one that will need dividing and moving to a larger spot come spring, as it's getting a bit overexuberant for where it's located. 

Echinacea 'Green Envy' continues to put out new flowers, even though the weekend gale beat down some of its stems rather harshly. I've been so, SO thrilled with this coneflower's performance in the past two seasons; it seems hardier and more vigourous than most of the Big Sky series, so that bodes very well for becoming more and more popular. 

Although the butterflies and hummingbirds have departed for warmer climates, sunny mornings such as this see the bees out in full force. 

Our various sedums are coming on nicely, with Autumn Joy showing off its richly coloured flowers. 

I grow sedums as much for the foliage as for the flowers, as they make such a terrific colour display. These would include 'Frosty Morn', 'Angelina', a tricolour variety and the original spruce-blue sedum from which 'Angelina' is a sport (if I remember correctly).

Purple flame grass is another perennial grass I grow mostly for its foliage, though its just-emerging flowerheads are an added bonus too. This one has also remained politely clumping. 

The barberries are beginning their foliar fireworks in earnest. This is 'Nana Aurea', showing even better autumn colour than it did last year. 

'Coppertina' Ninebark is showing off handsomely as well. Last week a gardener asked me if I'd had any mildew in my Coppertina, and I said I hadn't; have any of you had this problem? 

Limelight PG hydrangea never disappoints me, and this year her flowerheads are enormous, and the plant's growth incredibly vigourous. I can see some pruning in the works for next spring, lest she block my office window completely. 

Simon Q Snark has the right idea; October is the time for starting to huddle in warm slippers, basking by the wood stove and dreaming of lovely days and cool nights and gardening adventures yet to be explored. That keeps a light on in my heart at the best and worst of times.


  1. It is definitely autumn with the first frost scheduled for this evening! We shall see but it feels like it is coming....keep warm!

  2. Hi Jodi, your garden still has lots of brilliant color. I am in love with the heleniums, but didn't know there were very tall ones, will have to watch out for that. We will be sending good thoughts your way for your surgery. And that it will stop what is troubling you. Sweet kitties always cheer us.

  3. Autumn is coming to your garden before mine, I think, but there is still a lot to enjoy.

    I hope all goes well with your upcoming surgery.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Your garden is still in full colour, very bright and brilliant looking. In a few weeks I presume we are both with 'black and white' gardens.

  5. Wind blowing the blooms off David must have been a real storm. I am glad he survived. I wish you well with your stormy health issues too Jodi. Your garden looks great as I know you will be better after surgery.

  6. Jodi ... Hello there ! I'm sorry I haven't dropped by more often .. and I'm sorry you have to go through surgery .. I know it will be a very painful time for you, I hope they give you affective pain killers !
    I have both Coppertina and Center Glow Ninebark and YES ! .. both of these have had horrendous powdery mildew problems. I have moved them to spots in the back garden where they will get clear air flow and lots of sun hoping that will help the problem .. I don't want to lose them to this constant problem. I also have Summer Wine which has NEVER had that problem and looks fantastic .. go figure ?
    We share a lot of the same plants I am seeing, and they do look gorgeous in Autumn (I have to move Huron Sunrise to show it off better) .. I love my grasses : )
    The best of luck with the surgery and recovery. Things will get better !
    Joy : ) Happy Thanksgiving for the weekend !

  7. Your garden still looks lovely, jodi, with so many things still in bloom, despite this early cold. And haven't the sunsets been particularly beautiful? You captured a beaut! Love "Light On", as you know, and it is a perfect song for this time of year. :)

  8. Jodi, What a beautiful sunset photo! I can't believe you still have an echinacea blooming--I will have to check out the "Green Envy." I just purchased my first "Limelight"--good to see that yours is blooming so well. Your garden is looking lovely despite the wind and cooler weather. Good luck with your surgery; I hope the garden will cheer you up as you recuperate.

  9. Just checked out the tribute video by David Cook...it is so moving!

  10. Simon is right; cats always know the right thing to do. I like to curl up by the fire and enjoy the cools nights, too.
    The hummers are migrating through here like crazy (zone 8A, N Central TX). There were 7 along my fence having breakfast on my hummingbird vines this morning as I sat on the patio and had coffee!

  11. Hi Jodi, wow, that's a gorgeous sky shot!

    There are so many lovely blooms in your garden even with autumn in the air.

    Best wishes for your upcoming surgery and a quick recovery.

  12. what gorgeous color in your garden! Your white David is quite impressive *wink*. Hope he keeps the Light On during the upcoming winter. Autumn is down here, too, though not as dramatically yet. Be well, dear heart.

  13. Jodi, so good to hear from you and thank you for your kind comments.

    Your garden is looking so lovely yet and I love all your fall colors. We are having a bland fall here-too dry I think. And I have not much in fall flowers this year. Need to work on that. :)

    I hope your surgery goes okay and it fixes your problems. While not something to look forward to, if it helps it will all be worth it. Take care and let us know how you are doing.

  14. Hi again Jodi :-D

    How nice to have you visit my blog tonight. I'd like to thank-you both for your comment and for sharing your Autumnal garden with us all especially when you have been poorly.

    Your garden is looking great and fingers crossed that you will be feeling great one day soon too. Good luck with the op. Thinking of you :-D

  15. Mildew? Hmm, never heard of that on this ninebark. Nope, none on mine! I see you are a sedum collector, too. Sometimes I am ashamed, what with how popular they seem to be, but I sure do love their fall show, and their early spring risings.

  16. What a lovely autumn array, Jodi - still lush but with the colors blending into a farewell to summer scene.
    They look delicate but I'll bet most of them are surprisingly tough and while they might look a little rumpled while you're otherwise engaged, like you, they won't give up. The plants will be waiting for you when the surgery is over and you're ready to garden again.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  17. Lovely photos, as always. And I covet your Limelight hydrangea! :-) Plus, bonus, thanks for the tip on the David Cook single/album. I love him!
    ~Angela :-)

  18. I hope your surgery isn't too invasive. I'm sorry you have to go through that ordeal.

    We really need to trade climates. I need the cool autumn you're having and you need the summer heat we're having in October that we shouldn't be having. Crazy!


  19. lovely to still see come colour, the kitties have the right idea, mine are curled into oppostie ends of the bed quilt, it has to get really cold before they lie right beside each other..

  20. I love the 'second wind' I get in the fall when my thoughts turn to stone once again :)

    And the sunsets are far nicer. I like the earlier reason to go home.

    Glad you made it over to my place and reconnected.

  21. Jodi - Beautiful sky photo and it's so inspiring to see all your fall blooms. I'm going to try a few of them in my garden to see if I can keep the color going a little longer. All the best on your surgery - Please let us know when it is so we can send all the good healing vibes your way.

  22. The Ninebark is beautiful. I am thinking about putting on in my yard next year. I just love the leaves. Have a great day!!

  23. Wishing you 'Autumn Joy', Jodi. Soon this season, both 'beautiful and beastie' will pass. As Scarlet O'Hara says ..."Tomorrow is another day." Be well, dear friend.

  24. Glad I popped in this morning...I've had my eye on the Green Envy for a couple years now while catalog shopping. Now that I've heard your rave reviews on this coneflower,I will place an order.

  25. Simon is a clever kitty! It's fun to see that we both grow Hydrangea Limelight although mine is a bit further along now. What would we do without some Heleniums to brighten the garden up at this time of year, eh? And the asters of course. Big asters. ;-)

    Good luck with the op!

  26. Hi Jodi-
    Your garden is putting on it's fall clothes but still looks beautiful and colorful. In Los Angeles, I have a little more wait to see some fall changes.
    My best on a successful surgery!
    shirley bovshow

  27. lovely autumn garden , you have given me some plants to look for next spring

  28. Visiting here is such a feast for my eyes and soul. Wish I had some kitties - they complete a home!

  29. It looks beautiful in your garden. I sorta felt badly for you though. It was a short summer with lots of rain. I hope all goes well with your surgery.

  30. October seems to have the most beautiful twilights. Enjoyed your Fall flower line up as well. Hope all goes well with your surgery.
    Princess Haiku

  31. Jodi ~ I've been away from Sunflower Hill far too long and have enjoyed your glimpse of autumn, as well as your cozy cats. My 'Rosy Glow' Barberry and 'Diablo' Ninebark are still coloring the landscape, along with many other fall specimens. My last Monarch just departed, leaving my floriferous cosmos plants at the whim of a myriad bumblebees.

    I, too, wish you success with your surgery and know that you will derive much strength and healing from all your passions - especially writing and gardening.

    I'll try not to let life, and working at the garden center, intervene quite as much in the future, so I can visit all my favorite blogs ~ Deb


Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment! It might take me a bit, but I will return the compliment whenever possible.
Spammers--need not apply. Because I delete your comments and they will never make it here. Kthxbai!

Search Bloomingwriter

Custom Search