A Gloomy November Bloom Day ... Or Maybe Not ...

The skies are overcast and there's a chill in the air this November morning.  There's a goodly amount of damp in the air as well since it rained last night; there's a slight chance of more today.   I'm not complaining, mind you ... we are still lagging behind where rain is concerned and I'm happy any time rain falls.  I'm also smiling because on dismal gray days like this one, the blooms in the garden are even more uplifting than usual.  Cooler temperatures intensify flower colors and overcast skies give those colors an opportunity to shine that sunny skies deny them.

Zinnias, those stalwarts of the summer garden, are lovelier than ever.  For those of you who  garden in areas with similar climates, I'm noticing that the 2nd, maybe even 3rd, generation Zinnias are much stockier and healthier than their predecessors.  Many of us deal with fungus and mildew problems on our Zinnias in the summer and my plants tend to get overgrown and lanky by August.  I leave those 1st generation plants in place, manky though they may be, until the next generation has reached bloom size since butterflies don't care how ugly or leggy the plants may be as long as they're blooming!

Gartendirektor Otto Linne seems to be a deeper shade of pink each day.

Senorita Rosalita Cleome is loaded with blooms like these.

Rose 'Aloha' has a fragrance as lovely as her flowers.

'Souvenir de la Malmaison' makes me sigh in appreciation.

I'd swear that when I first started growing 'La Marne', her blooms were much darker than this, almost fuchsia. A rose rustler friend confirmed that he remembered the blooms being more vivid, too, so 'tis a puzzlement.  Perhaps they'll continue to deepen in color as the weather grows ever cooler. 

'Caldwell Pink' has certainly grown more colorful.  It's closer to Souvenir in color in summer months!

I love how Pink Skullcap looks against the rocks.  A Pigeonberry seeded itself  in the gravel just underneath. 

Leonotis leonorus, Lion's Tail, is roaring along in the corner bed.

Clerodendrum paniculatum, Pagoda Flower, was one of the plants Otahal suggested for the front garden renovation.  The flowers definitely have the WOW factor!

'Madame Antoine Mari' is one of my favorite roses for her soft blend of pinks and apricots, as well as her blue-green foliage. If she had a fragrance, she'd be perfection!

Echinaceas fascinate me with the variety of forms and colors they sport over their bloom cycle.
This rose was a passalong from a neighbor: it's either 'Hermosa' or 'Mrs. B. R. Cant'.  Melampodium leucanthemum, Blackfoot Daisy, nestle beneath.
'Aloha' and Happy Trails to GBBD November 2010! Visit the instigator, Carol of May Dreams Gardens, to see what's blooming around the world!


Anonymous said…
hey cindy, it's looking good over in your corner of tx! it's cool and dreary here too, but it's a welcome seasonal change! enjoy it... :)
Dorothy Borders said…
Your garden looks gorgeous as always. Those roses are to die for.
Alison said…
Everything is looking good, especially the roses. I'm curious about the Lion's Tail, I've wanted to grow it, but all I ever see online is pictures of the flowers. I've heard it can get really tall, and I wonder how to fit it into my sunny bed?
Gail said…
I remember the first time I ran across the phrase 'rose rustler' I loved it then and still do now. Someday I hope to have at least one rustled rose to ooh and ahh over. Yours are lovely and when you add fragrance~yummy! gail
RBell said…
Beautiful rose blossoms (alas, a plant that does not do well in my shade). Lots of color in your garden.
Such beauty, such color - what a delight your garden looks! Just wonderful.
Anonymous said…
Definitely not gloomy at all. Lovely selection of blooms. At least in Texas, no frost or snow yet I am guessing. The roses look gorgeous.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Andrea, I welcome the change of seasons although I hope there aren't too many such gloomy days. They make me lazy!

Birdwoman, November is such a great month for roses here. I need to make a trip over to the Rose Emporium!

Alison, this Leonotis plant froze to the ground last winter. I can't remember if I cut it back once prior to letting it reach this size but I'm thinking I did. I've read that it can be pruned for size, so you might be able to keep it at 3-4 feet.

Gail, many of my roses came from cuttings I received at a Rose Rustlers' meeting.

RBell, some folks claim that Zephirine Drouhin will bloom in shade. She's so beautiful & fragrant, it would be worth a try!

MMD, thank you! Having seen your garden, I'm honored by your words!

GWGT, nope, no snow or frost! Since I'm on the cusp of zones 8 & 9, it's rare to see even frost before mid-December. Last year's December 4th snow event was unprecedented in my lifetime!
Not gloomy! You've got lots of wonderful blooms.I notice my roses are more colorful in the cooler weather also.
Everything is so lovely over in your corner of Katy! I've got to find me that orange clerodendrum -- beautiful! One of my roses is doing better now that it's cool. The other 3 I pruned WAY back in preparation for moving them. Yours look better.
I loved this dreary day. The colors are getting pretty here in the Dallas area. You have so many things still in bloom. Those roses are amazing!
scottweberpdx said…
Great post! I've always loved those Leonitis...I always chicken out every year about planting it...and every year I swear I'll do it the following year! That cleome is truly stunning...I'm loving that color!
Wally said…
Beautiful photos. So many gorgeous plants.
Anonymous said…
Cindy, is that white Verbena with your zinnias? I love that combo, and I'm thinking I'll have to steal the idea! Where did you get your seeds for your zinnias? I notice you have some lovely double ones, too. I'm planning on a zinnia/gomphrena sun garden next year and looking for choices.
Commonweeder said…
You want to see dreary come to Massachusetts. You Texans are so smug.
Rose said…
Lots of lovely blooms, Cindy! I love zinnias, so it's a real treat to see them here, especially since mine didn't do well in our flood-then-drought summer. Oh well, there's always next year. The pagoda flower certainly does say "Wow"!
Cindy, MCOK said…
Leslie, even my white rose seems whiter! I forgot to take a picture of that one.

Elizabeth, the Clerodendrum should be available through most of the local independents. Mine came from Treesearch.

MT, since we can't have fall foliage color, it's nice that we have bloom color in fall!

Scott, I think I have seeds for the Leonotis if you want some. Anyone else?

Hey, Mac! Thanks for taking a peek from Down Under!

Robin, that's Blackfoot Daisy with the Zinnias. It's a great plant for hot/dry areas.

Pat, I know I couldn't take the amount of dreary that your winters provide! I am in awe of those of you who can.

Rose, the only bad thing I can say about the Zinnias right now is that they're reseeding & growing at an alarming rate. I need to pull seedlings by the hundreds! A freeze will kill them but that won't happen for weeks.
LindaCTG said…
There's nothing gloomy about your garden! Just lovely. I'm so happy you got the rain. Next time, can you please send it over to Austin?! I sure am hoping for some misty gloomy days soon!