Thursday, November 15, 2012

Barely Blooming...Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day November 2012.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Finding blooms in our garden posed quite a challenge this month, as we've officially welcomed fall with not one--but two frosts in our zone 7b garden.

Still, while most of the plants sustained quite some frost damage, a few trusty blooms hid from the cold.

'Rozanne' geranium, lurking under the overgrown lantana, survived the frost and continues a profusion of cheerful blue blooms. Thank goodness for this lovely little perennial. It's disappointing in the summer, succumbing to the heat, but boy--it works hard in the fall to liven up the garden.

Most of the lantana blooms disappeared, but a few blooms remained on the lower, hidden-from-frost portion of the plants. They look tired, though, having worked hard to feed butterflies and hummingbirds all summer and fall. They deserve a rest.

A few blooms remain on the tall verbena... well as the Mexican sage. Newly planted in the garden, I'm anxious to see how the sage performs next year. So far, it's been a stunning addition to the fall garden.

Here I go love affair with fraise des bois is well noted. Still blooming, still producing fruit. I won't bore you with my continued ravings...

Even a bit of gaura remains in the garden. A few whirling butterflies, ready to tuck their wings in for the season.

Ah, but the camellias...I'm becoming obsessed with camellias. Honestly, I wish I had planted dozens of camellias throughout the garden. I also wish I had noted the varieties I planted years ago. Keeping records of ornamentals was not my forté when I began gardening long ago.

A few sprigs of 'Provence' lavender fight the cold, willing one more flush of blooms. I fear they're losing this battle. 

What the heck is happening here? An azalea bloom appeared in the front garden. This is not an Encore azalea. These bushes only bloom in the spring. 

Well, usually.

Of course, the azaleas might be confused by the flush of blossoms on our daughter's cherry "birthday" tree. It blooms both spring and fall. In hindsight, I wish we had planted a normal, spring-only blooming cherry tree. Cherry blossoms in fall are just...bizarre.

'Blushing Bride' hydrangea looks like a tired old housewife these days...

...but the viburnum--wow! The huge, lacy blooms apparently enjoy the chill.

I'm thrilled about the newly planted witchhazel. I've been coveting it for awhile, and when I found it at a local plant sale, it followed me home. I'm so excited, I'm about to burst--just like these buds.

Now, this Encore azalea is supposed to bloom now.  Sadly, most of the blooms succumbed to frost.

The tiny blue blooms of rosemary are rare in our garden, as we don't have much sun to encourage flowering. I'm always envious of the bloom-filled, enormous rosemary bushes I see in sun-rich gardens. Still, I love rosemary regardless of its lack of prolific blooms. It's truly my favorite herb.

We've been harvesting sweet peas for a few weeks, thanks to a fall planting and some low tunnels to protect the kitchen garden from frost. With the abundant blooms, I'm hoping we'll be eating peas for quite awhile.

In the herb garden, the mint is the last bloom standing...

In the back garden by the pool, the tea olives' tiny blooms appeared.

And soon, soon, my favorite winter bloom will appear--Winter Daphne. Just a little bit longer until its sweet scent welcomes visitors at our door.

While most of the perennials only sport seed pods... 


...a few fall annuals remain. I've never been a fan of mums, but these mounds of cheerful yellow flowers found homes in wicker pumpkin shaped baskets.  


But pansies and violas will forever be some of my favorite flowers.  

As you know, I often curse our overly shady garden. But then, fall arrives...


...and from every window, the intense colors of the forest remind me to be grateful for our shady gardens.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! To visit more autumn gardens, please visit May Dreams Gardens.

XO ~



  1. We have had snowpeas for a few weeks. They are so nice at this time of year. Your autumn garden looks so nice with so much color. Happy GBBD!

  2. Hi Julie - First time to visit your blog and I love your flower choices! Yay for Sweet Olive in winter. I'm jealous you have the real, fragrant Snail-Corkscrew - mine was the wishy-washy no-scent lavender phony.

    Happy GBBD from Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. beautiful post! I grew the Mexican Sage a few years ago...but it died overwinter and I've resisted planting it again...but then I see yours and want to try one more time!

  4. You started your post saying it was a challenge finding blooms in your garden, but you have many! And so lovely! I absolutely adore camellias, mine are spring flowering so I have to wait another couple of months, but I wish I had a winter flowering too, they are so lovely. And your flowering azalea was a nice surpise, one of my rhododendrons decided to produce two flowers last month, completely out of season. Happy GBBD!

  5. Is your Mexican Sage also known as Perovskia? It looks very similar to my Russian sage!

    We won't have Camellia flowers here until the New Year...

    I love your autumn colours :)

  6. You have so many lovely plants in your garden and I enjoyed visiting. Your Rozanne Geranium and Mexican Sage look great and it was nice to see their colorful blooms. Wishing you a happy GBBD!

  7. Lots of beauties in your garden!! My Rozanne has been eaten to a nub by deer (I think). I too have Mexican sage for the first time this year, hoping they survive the winter and go gangbusters next year!!
    I can't believe the viburnum and cherry tree blooming! Crazy indeed.
    Love the photo of the beech tree(s) in your woods.

  8. Oh you've got some lovely blooms for bloom day and I love how you included the seedheads aswell as they have such character and appeal too. You sure have some crazy things in flower too - can't imagine a cherry in flower here at this time of year. I've one Rozanne bloom in flower here.

  9. Julie, you have a lot in bloom and in color. The tiny, delicate blooms look so pretty at this time of year. Do you still have bees?

  10. So many lovely flowers to grace your November days. We are finished with anything in bloom here for the season....

  11. Hello Julie, thanks for dropping by. You have lots of blooms left there, but like your affair with that French-bearing-white-flowered plant, mine is with anything blue! And of course the pansies and violas. The problem is pansy is a temperate climate plant and blue is a temperate climate color. So you can imagine, we have all the reds, orange and yellows but blues are so seldom here! Whew!

  12. Really beautiful blooms!
    Gorgeous leaves!
    Even the dried seed heads are pretty!
    Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  13. You still have lots of lovely flowers blooming! It's always a shame when things start succumbing to frost. We have had a few late frosts here which have knocked some things back but luckily I don't seem to have lost anything. I'm hoping our weather settles more in summer!

  14. Hi Julie thanks for visiting my garden in Portugal. I love seeing the beautiful pictures of your garden and the autumn colours. Reminds me very much of home.

    Reading one of your posts, frost in Oct sounds very much like the UK.

    We get frosts in Portugal but not where we live on the headland by the sea. Probably too windy.

  15. Hi Julie,
    Your flowers are all beautiful but I'm especially fond of camellia sasanqauas. They're so fresh and spring-looking at a time when much of the gardne is at the other end of the spectrum; such a lovely contrast!

  16. Julie, you have a lot of blooms for November! I am also a fan leaving seedpods in the garden for winter interest. And your photography is amazing!
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Brenda

  17. That lantana is a real cracker - so bright and jolly. We dont seem to have autumn flowering camellias here in the Uk, well not thats I'vv noticed but I might have a look to see if they are available.

  18. Julie your garden is always a picture, regardless of the season, but the fall colours are particularly beautiful. Just stunning!

  19. So many beautiful blooms this month! I long to be in zone 6 instead of 5 so that I could enjoy all of those beautiful camillas! You have a nice selection of plants about you.

    Always nice to meet another mommy gardener... especially one with the same name :) I look forward to reading more soon.
    ~Julie in PA

  20. Not too bad over there! I'll enjoy watching what blooms over the next few months thanks to your acidic soil and moisture...the camellias are such an attractive element.

  21. We are alike on the camellias. No other flower is such a good winter flower as the camellia. I just learned a little tidbit at garden club last night. Southern gardeners plant tea olives amongst their camellias because of course these smell good when the camellias have no smell. I thought that was interesting!@ Just enjoy them no matter their name. Now on the mums I've always loved them as they are so drought and shade tolerant here. Such a sunny yellow basket you have!

  22. Daphne: love this plant and its wonderful fragrance.

  23. It's all beautiful Julie. I especially love your cherry blossom and viburnum, and so envy you your daphne.

  24. Being one zone warmer you have lots of things giving you fall blooms yet. I love those Camellias. I have always wanted them since I saw them on a winter trip to FL years ago. Of course they aren't sold up here. I will get to try one though. Southern Living Plants sent one for a trial. I can't wait to see if it lives. It has a pretty white bloom. Happy GBBD. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  25. I just left a comment on another blog saying I have coveted witch hazel for some time...I can totally understand your excitement about your new plant, Julie! I didn't realize until recently that camellias bloomed in the fall; yours are so lovely. Gorgeous fall foliage, too;Happy Bloom Day!

  26. How lovely to find so many blooms for GBBD ... even if some are tiny and singular. Thanks for sharing. These are especially appreciated by those of us with few blooms in November.

  27. Wonderful post. A couple of frosts haven't damaged your garden's beauty at all. I especially love the photo of the cherry blossoms, wrong season or not. And 'Rozanne' seems to be a champ all over the world, in all sorts of climates, in different seasons. Truly an amazing plant!

  28. Lots of really lovely blooms still and some great Fall color. Our Fall color really was pathetic this year still being in drought.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  29. What alot of blooms you have found for November! Many plants seem to be hanging on in my garden too. Happy Bloggers Bloom Day and thanks for visiting my Northern Ireland garden blog.

  30. so many lovely blooms, and beautifully photographed. I love the variety in the post - flowers, seeds, foliage. Especially the seeds - continuity for next year.

  31. What an exhaustive review of your garden in mid-November. Share your passion about fraise des boise. Grew camellias back in Sydney but can't in zone 6. I know there's hardier varieties but my nurseryman isn't recommending them yet. Selfishly, only upside of global warming is we may be in zone 7 twenty years from now.