October Blooms: Late Comers and Dance-All-Nighters

Around this time of the month Chloris of the Blooming Garden invites us to share our top ten or so blooms, so on this damp and grey October day I am sharing mine; thanks to Chloris for facilitating this.

Firstly, and I have shown it many many times before, is Persicaria ‘Inverleith’; quite rightly, for this is definitely a plant that dances all night. Its cousins, ‘Red Dragon’ (left) and ‘Painter’s Palette’, are latecomers in terms of their blooming habits, just popping into the party to pay their respects before nipping home and going to bed for the winter. Their token attempts at flowers are more than made up for by their glorious foliage, which has been to a different party.

Many of the remaining roses have been affected by the dampness of the month, but Darcey Bussell, Susan Williams-Ellis and The Mayflower still have some perfect blooms on display:

I had a cutting of Chrysanthemum ‘Mrs Jessie Cooper’ (right) from Chloris and this is flowering prolifically – how best to keep hardy chysanths in decent shape though? Another blogging connection is dance-all-nighter Erodium manescavii, highly recommended by Ali the Mindful Gardener; as promised it has flowered non-stop from May or thereabouts:

Salvia ‘Neon’ (left) has danced seemingly non-stop throughout the season and has reliably come through every winter; unlike the more well-known S Amistad which sulks every year, turns up its toes if left outside over winter and has only just produced its single flower spike. S ‘Phyllis Fancy’ (below), however, flowers well but not till Late September or October, and didn’t come through last winter but grows quickly from cuttings. At Wollerton Old Hall their Phyllises were stockier than mine, which tend to be overly tall – I will try mulching it this year and hope overwintering it will produce shorter and chunkier plants.

I cut back all my astrantia after flowering, and A ‘Bloody Mary’ (right) and ‘Buckland’ have both rewarded me with more flushes:

I suspect my tentative Chelsea Chop of Sedum spectabile was just a little too tentative, although perhaps it has sprawled a little less than normal:

In the Coop I have had a modicum of success with nerines for the first time, but only about 5 flower spikes over four or five pots. I love the deep pink of Mr John (right) but will still be well chuffed when N Bowdenii ‘Alba’ (left) and ‘Isabel’ (below) open fully:

And finally, to the bottom of the garden for what might be the last hurrah for the dahlias – they deserve a symphony of hurrahs for their staying power:

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18 Responses to October Blooms: Late Comers and Dance-All-Nighters

  1. rusty duck says:

    My sedums have sprawled too. I chop them hard every year and they’ve never done this before. I think this year’s rain has just been too much.. it certainly has down here.

  2. Chloris says:

    I love all your persicarias and how lovely to have roses still in bloom. Phyllis Fancy is a beauty. Like you I leave my salvas outside and take cuttings. Funny, my sedums collapsed too, I wonder why. Great that you have nerines in your coop. Mine are very late this year and several are still in bud. Mr. John is a stunner isn’t he?
    Thank you for joining in and sharing your October beauties Cathy.

  3. Heyjude says:

    My persicaria haven’t flowered well this year. I think they are too crowded out by the sprawling Gaura. I see you have yours growing in a container, maybe that’s what I need to do. Or cut the Gaura right back. You still have a lot of loveliness in your garden.

    • Cathy says:

      It isn’t in a pot actually Jude, but I do wonder whether it and the P Blackfield near it do especially well because it is a little damper there

  4. Cathy your Persicarias are wonderful. Having blooming roses is fabulous: I love them. The Chrysanthemum is divine. I love all nerves. Congratulations on the dahlias, they are fantastic as at their best, divine: I love them all. Take care Good weekend. Greetings from Margarita.

  5. Oh it must be so exciting waiting for those nerines to open Cathy! I’m wondering how tall the stems are and whether they require any support. Should that be an erodium dancing all night long rather than an erigeron? 😄

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Anna, you are quite right about the dancing erodiums – I will go and change it, thank you. Silly me! Mr John is shorter than the others, which will need staking – his relative shortness is one reason why Mr John attracted me

  6. Brian Skeys says:

    Thanks for the October ‘Waltz’.

  7. tonytomeo says:

    ‘Amistad’ salvia sees to be quite popular nowadays. Has it always been popular? I really don’t remember seeing so much of it.

    • Cathy says:

      They are a fairly new variety I think, Tony – very striking but they are not fully hardy here

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, that would explain why it did not seem popular before. It looks like something familiar from before that just suddenly became popular. There are so many salvias in California that I can not keep track of them.

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