october bloom day

This santolina sums up the state of the garden pretty well. Peak flowering was in the past or hasn’t started up yet, but I’m enjoying where it’s at right now. This particular plant bloomed four months ago, but I liked the dead flower heads so much that I’ve left them on the plant.

California fuchsia, Epilobium ‘Route 66’ peaked about 6 weeks ago.

We actually had some significant rain–0.4 inches–last week. It was appreciated, but it also knocked off some of the plant’s flowers.

But it still looks pretty good. Here it is giving a little shade and color contrast to a chalk dudleya.

Bladderpod (Isomeris arborea) is a reliable bloomer for the times of year when most of the other natives have stopped blooming. It’s never covered with flowers, but there always seem to be a few on each of the ends on its branches.

Not peak monkeyflower season, either. This is all that’s blooming right now. One flower.

Corethrogyne filaginifolia is another reliable plant for this difficult time of year.

And you can always count on the grasses. This is purple three-awn, Aristida purpurea.

Among the non-natives this stapelia (S. gigantea) pretty much owns the garden with its big floppy flowers that smell of dead meat. Charming, disgusting and weird. I don’t apologize for it anymore.

You know things are slow when you show pictures of rosemary blooming. I’ll apologize for that, however.

But there’s a ltitle bit more…

Oxalis bowiei
Don't put too much stock in plant names. White flowers, species name of Oxalis purpurea...
Salvia Hot Lips
Clerodendrum myricoides, butterfly bush
A pink Gaura lindheimeri that either volunteered or came up in a spot where I forgot planting it. That happens sometimes...
The ever-blooming orange epidendrum, an orchid that's definitely not a prima donna assoluta
Camellia Cleopatra, one of the garden's clear signals: fall is here


And there are a few other things:
Yellow waterlilies
A red aloe I’m forgetting the name of…
Red epidendrum
Gaillardia pulchella
A big magenta bougainvillea
A somewhat pampered orchid: Vanda roeblingiana

Hopefully autumn is bringing great things to all your gardens. Ongoing thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Take a look at who’s got what blooming all around the world: [ link ]

25 thoughts on “october bloom day”

  1. I bounced around your site a bit. I really enjoyed your photography and especially like the architecture. Even though that is my profession, I never post any on my site, but like seeing it elsewhere.

  2. I really like the story the third shot tells…the walkway makes me wonder what’s down the path…the fallen flowers suggest some kind of weather. It’s an interesting shot.

    Happy GBBD!

  3. Very nice contrasts, esp the Epilobium and the Dudleya. All of it, really, is so nice to look at, and I’m sure the light rain was better than nothing. Your comment on slow=rosemary blooming…very true. that is all we’ll have in 2 months!

  4. Love your ‘Route 66’ – haven’t tried that variety yet! And that Stapelia is just gorgeous! What a stunning plant! I few years ago, I had a smaller variety (not sure which one) that was so darn gorgeous, and its smell wasn’t too terrible. They’re really pretty, aren’t they?

  5. I feel like the Cheshire cat, my name show up as E ‘ E, a ghostly ghastly presence. Something odd happening in blogland, but this time it is NOT just your blog. At least mine leaves a ‘smile’ the others only show names when you mouseover.

  6. When I bought a Stapelia at the last HPSO plant sale, I had forgotten your report of its odorific personality. I just fell for the Op Art flowers. Oh, well…it may just have to live outside when in flower (fingers crossed).

  7. Nice blooms. I like the picture of your fuchsia laying across the walk. Although I suppose it was a bit upsetting for you. I love camellias. Mine have buds – no blooms yet. Happy GBBD!

  8. Happy Bloom Day and thanks for the tour! It’s always so interesting to see what is blooming in other people’s gardens, especially in such a different location as your own.

    Does the carrion flower keep you from the garden with it’s smell? I just learned of it this year. So bizarre!… yet so wonderful! Love that you even caught the flies pollinating it in the photo.

  9. Beautiful! There’s a lot in bloom in your fall garden, James! Most of my Cal Fuchsias peaked about a month ago, but oddly enough, the Route 66 just burst into full bloom last weekend. It is one of the most spectacular of the Cal Fuchsias. I like the dried flowerheads of Santolina – in fact, I have a habit of collecting the dried inflorescences of certain plants like Pearly Everlasting (Gnaphalium californicum), which grows rampant like a weed around here, Matilija Poppy, Long-Stemmed Buckwheat (Eriogonum elongatum) and St. Catherine’s Lace (Eriogonum giganteum) for dried flower arrangements. Does the Clerodenron (Butterfly Bush) actually attract butterflies, and how big does it get?

  10. Donna, thank you for stopping by and for your comments. My days are neck-deep in libraries, and I don’t seem to do many postings on them–like you and architecture…

    Noel, aloha to you too. The California fuchsia is definitely one of our showiest plants in bloom. Out of bloom, not so much…

    Rose, I do enjoy the variety of things that I’m able to grow. Still there are lots of Zone 5 plants that elude surviving here.

    Cat, thanks for your comments. I’m trying to include a little more of a storyline in some of the photos, and that was definitely one of them.

    David, I suppose I should be more thrilled at seeing the rosemary blooming. There isn’t much that is that reliable at this weird transitional season.

    Rebecca, I had one of the smaller–and I’d say “prettier”–species in bloom last week, but not with my camera handy. The ‘Route 66′ is nice in the garden with its leaves that are greener than most other epilobiums.

    Sage, I didn’t mention another motive…The years I’ve deadheaded this plant it took me forever. I’m rewarded for my laziness with this plant.

    Helen, I’m leaning more and more on plants that provide structure and not necessarily flowers. But like you say, it’s fun to see the surprises around the garden.

    EE, not to mention the unpleasant santolina odor… Yes, the rain wasn’t much more than a good drizzle, but it was our first storm from the north of consequence for over four months. Water is good. As far as your Cheshire name, I’ll try to keep an eye out for it. I haven’t noticed it so far.

    Ricki, one man’s putrid is another prized aged cheese, so you might do okay when your stapelia blooms. Mine wasn’t so bad except for the fact that there were several blooms open at once, and the pot is right outside my studio window. Bad planning on my part.

    Pam, thanks so much for your comments. And really, I enjoyed your photos. They spoke to me about a fall different from the one I experience in California.

    Holley, is yours the fall- or winter-blooming kind? The fall ones (the sasanquas are my favs because they’re small and delicate flowers).

    Jocelyn, thanks for visiting! My garden definitely isn’t doing much of what the neighbors’ “California” gardens are doing this time of year. There’s lots of ways to express “California-ness.”

    Jane, the odor outdoors isn’t grossly awful unless you’re nearby or down-wind–or indoors on the other side of the window as I mentioned to Ricki.

    Arleen, it’s definitely a thin season for natives. I was at my society’s plant sale earlier today, and it wasn’t about the flowers…some monardella, one early-blooming ceanothus, grasses, gutierrezia, but mostly epilobiums there too. I’ve seen butterflies on the Clerodendron, but it probably has its name more because of its flowers. The plant gets to about five feet for me, pruned. Unpruned I hear it can get double that size, thought the frost would probably prune it down a bit where you are.

  11. Ah, yes, I have to agree I’m also guilty of a rosemary picture ;-> But then, it would have been odd to show 5 pictures of Epilobium – it really does bloom everywhere right now.

  12. Beautiful post…I LOVE that Purple Three-Awn grass…so gauzy and delicate-looking. So glad you left the faded blooms on the Santolina…they give it such amazing texture!

  13. The cal fuchsia has a nice battered but still blooming look to it. A few of the others too. And then that purple three awn looks great. Gotta love those golden grasses.

  14. So much lovely colour! Sorry I went missing for a while, I’ve been struggling to keep up with the blogs I didn’t have an email subscription for, and no sooner did I discover how to handle this better than I discovered your “subscribe” button, so no more missing your posts…

  15. Wow, that Cal­i­for­nia fuch­sia ‘Route 66? is stunning. Yes, everything quiets down as far as bloom goes but I’m trying to settle in with the seasons and go with the flooow. Cooler weather means ‘work on big projects’ to me!

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