The Head Gardener Speaks: Bloom Day, October 2009

She Who Must Be Obeyed has charged me with the task of writing the October Bloom Day post for our corner of Katy, since she is too sunk in despondency and despair to speak. She spent the morning moping in one of the green chairs out back, sipping coffee and muttering about the return of summer weather, the fickleness of Mother Nature, and the utter unfairness of it all. One would think I did not caution her last week that her wanton celebration of fall's arrival was unseemly and could only lead to heartbreak. I take no joy in being proven right (although SWMBO would doubtless claim otherwise). Another cool front arrives tonight, according to the forecasters, but SWMBO will be occupied with helping me pack for a long weekend in New York City so do not expect any rapturous video documentation of the front's arrival to be forthcoming.

On to happier topics: complain though she might about the weather, even SWMBO would admit that we have much to celebrate bloom-wise. Time constraints only permit me to show a few of those blooms, however. (I don't trust her to pack without me!) First up is the favorite fall perennial of us both: the charming Tricyrtis, aka Toad Lily. This little beauty is part of a passalong clump from our late friend Amy and we cherish them dearly.

Having finally convinced her that Clematis will bloom on our corner of Katy only if planted and then allowed to remain in the SAME SPOT henceforward, we are both delighted by the multiple blooms now appearing on one of the plants rescued from Lowe's 2 years ago. The tag has been lost or misplaced but I believe it to be Niobe. If anyone can confirm or dispute that identification, kindly let me know. I will do my best to ensure that it is properly tagged.

The Salvia leucantha, Mexican Bush Sage, are tempting bees and butterflies alike. We caught a Gulf Fritillary nectaring on the plant in the rose bed.

This Aster has been absolutely covered in lavender-blue blooms. I've spoken to SWMBO and believe she is in agreement with me: we need more fall-blooming asters here at Wit's End.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Pride of Barbados, is still small but packs a powerful punch of color.

I must admit to being greatly perplexed at first as to what is going on with the Abelmoschus. In the first picture, you see this member of the Mallow family attired in the rosy hue I expect of her.

This one, however, is a bloom of a different color. The first is in partial shade, the second in full sun. The soil conditions are similar, as are moisture levels. Interesting. I shall ponder it further.

Since neither SheWMBO or I planted this Cassia alata (Candlestick plant) in the front beds, we're still pondering how the seeds made it out there from the stash that was stored in the garage. She collected them in January from Amy's garden and left them in the potting closet. Perhaps birds are responsible. Or perhaps the Head Gardener is playing mind games with SWMBO. I'll never tell.


Kathy said…
You Southerners grow such strange plants, and the normal ones bloom at the wrong times!
LindaCTG said…
Whoa, looks like you've got them to obey! Everything is gorgeous, but I've got to have the clematis and the toad lily. Yes, ick on summer coming back when it's supposed to be fall. I hope the "cold front" that's hitting Austin comes your way in a few hours. We need a good gardening weekend! Beautiful bloom day post, especially after all our recent trauma.
Lots of nice blooms Cindy! I'm guessing the sun/shade equation is going to provide your answer on the mallow. My Rosa Berries and Cream and Rosa Flower Girl bloom really differently in heat and cool.
Are there garden fairies in Katy? Maybe they planted the Cassia. It's such a striking plant. You're lucky somebody planted them. It's good to see Clematis blooms, especially such a richly colored one. I can't confirm that it is 'Niobe,' but it looks like it.
I agree with you totally! Here it is October--we shouldn't have to contend with temps in the 90's. After the summer we have had, we deserve a nice cool Fall! Love your Toad Lily and that Clematis is gorgeous.
Gail said…
Cindy, I have been eying that cassia~~I love the candelabra blooms. Whether a gift from the birds or SWMBO, it's lovely. I've not had much luck moving the clemies either! Please feel free to send us a bit of warmth! it's not going above 50 today!
Way to take charge Cindy! Your garden looks great! We missed you at A&M last month...are you thinking about coming to the Feb. class?

donna said…
Beautiful photos to go along with a very entertaining post. I ALWAYS enjoy a good sense of humor. My first time visiting here.
Rose said…
I'm sorry the summer heat has returned, Cindy; I'd send you a few of the snow flurries we're supposed to get tonight if I could:) I'm convinced I must add some toad lilies here! Enjoy your trip to the Big Apple!
Love your Queen's Wreath vine; it's one of my favorites. I'm with you about asters. Why don't have I have more of them (or any)?
EAL said…
Well it looks great to me. I like that little pink one at the top.
Cindy, MCOK said…
We now have proper fall weather on my corner of Katy and life is good. Thanks for stopping by, y'all!