Not counting the cool and crisp fall weather, which is a joy and a delight like no other ...
When I worked the Master Gardener plant sale back in September, several of us were lamenting the lack of blooms on our Bleeding Heart Vines (Clerodendrum thomsoniae). Last winter's low temperatures set their bloom time back by almost a month. Happily, my vines (C. thomsoniae var. delectum)are now blooming beautifully.
Two or three years ago, I bought Lobelia chinensis at Mercer Arboretum's March Mart. It struggled along in its spot near the southwesterly corner of the house, not really doing much of anything. This past spring I moved it into the rain garden over near the pond and to my delight, this small-leaved groundcover responded to its new location by actually growing! Even better, it started blooming last month ... isn't that bloom the cutest thing?
My favorite fall perennial makes me swoon every time I look its way. Prepare yourselves for a really awful pun: I am ribbited by the sight! Even I'm groaning ... sorry. Despite the crispy edges of the foliage due to too little moisture and too much sun (the latter caused by freeze damage to the Persian Vitex which shaded the Tricyrtis), the plants are hopping with blooms.
Since I'm a day late, I'll throw in a fourth for Friday: this is my Mary Rose, a David Austin rose that I planted in memory of my cherished friend Mary Beth. Her birthday is a month from today and I will spend it as always working on her gravesite, then toasting her with a split of champagne. MB's physical presence is just a memory but she is very much with me at this time of year and I smile to think of all that we shared in our many years together. Cherish your friends, y'all, and even more importantly, let them know that you cherish them and all that you have been and will be to each other.