Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day for October 2023.
Here in my USDA hardiness zone 6a garden in central Indiana, we had “a wee bit o’ frost” a few mornings ago.
It wasn’t enough of a frost to outright kill anything. Indeed, if you were not awake and alert as the sun rose that morning, you might have missed it entirely.
It was right on schedule. October 10th, when it happened, is what I consider the average date of first frosts around here.
But enough about the weather, this post is about the blooms.
For this month’s bloom day, I decided to do something a little bit different. I walked around the garden—front, back and both sides—and clipped samples of everything in bloom.
Then, I laid the flowers out on a blank sheet of dark construction paper and took pictures. I then used a graphics program to add numbers and…
Oops, I forgot to clip any flowers from the mums, which is why they are pictured above. This particular mum is a Dendranthemum, one of the Igloo series, which are more cold-hardy. It has reliably returned for several years. There’s another Igloo series mum, a bright yellow one, elsewhere in the garden but it’s kind of just hanging on because its spot is more shaded now. I should move it in the spring.
Honestly, I guess mums are so common in the fall that it’s easy to just look right past them. That’s my excuse for now.
Let’s move on to the rest of the blooms!
Here are the first ten.
- African Marigold, ‘Phyllis.’ I grew these from seed sown directly in the garden. You can get this variety Botanical Interests.
- A Signet Marigold, ‘Little Gem Mix.’ I also direct-sowed these in the garden. That picture doesn’t do them justice. They really are quite lovely right now. I’ll put a picture way at the bottom to show you.
- Snapdragons. I bought these way back in March and planted them out at the ends of the vegetable garden beds. They are still growing and flowering even though I don’t do that good of a job of deadheading them.
- Snapdragon ‘DoubleShot Orange Bicolor. This snapdragon one has been outstanding. I started it indoors from seeds sent to me by All-America Selections. It’s still growing in a container, and yes, they bloomed all summer.
- Red French marigold. I purchased a few six packs of these as little seedlings at a local Menards for cheap to put in the corners of the vegetable garden beds. They’ve grown substantially and will no doubt flower until the end of this growing season.
- Nasturtiums. I grew these from seeds sown directly in the garden in May. Gosh, they like the cold weather. They’ve really taken off since it cooled down.
- Profusion Zinnias. I bought seeds for just the yellow variety and started them indoors. They were slow to start flowering but are still going strong.
- Zinnia angustifolia, ‘Crystal Yellow.’, I also started these from seeds sown indoors. They also took their time getting going but they are still pumping out the blooms.
- Zahara zinnias. I bought seeds for just the yellow ones, sowed them indoors, planted them out and they’ve done quite well. The flowers were a little larger than the one I clipped.
- Zinnia. I always plant a row of zinnias along the back of the Vegetable Garden Cathedral and this is just one of them. I left the rest for the bees and butterflies.
Here’ are the next set of eight flowers.
11. New England Asters. These are offspring from some asters my aunt shared with me many years ago. I let them self-sow all over the place.
12. Russian sage. Not much to say about it, except it’s still blooming. I have it planted in Plopper’s Field, my sunny perennial border.
13. ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ viola. I bought these a week or so ago. Violas aren’t as easy to find in the fall as pansies, which reminds me that, yes, I have pansies blooming but forgot to clip one to add to the collection.
14. Geranium ‘Rozanne.’ This perennial has literally been blooming since May and doesn’t seem to want to stop blooming. It’s going to take a good strong frost to finish it off for the season.
15. Buddleia. This one is Proven Winner’s ‘Lo and Behold Blue Chip’ and is the only one of three I bought over ten years ago that has survived. It dies back to the roots each year. Honestly, I’m not even sure they sell this one anymore. They might have moved on to other varieties.
16. Crocus speciosa. I do love autumn crocuses because they make the neighbors think you are a really talented gardener, making crocuses flower in the fall instead of the spring. Little do they know…
17. Verbena bonariensis ‘Vanity.’ I winter-sowed seeds for this verbena in a gallon jug and then transplanted the seedlings to a small bed out by the mailbox. I got the seeds to try from All-American Selections. I hope they self-sow all around. I love it.
18. Leadwort, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides. This is a ground cover with lovely blue flowers in the fall and decent enough fall coloring on the leaves which turn shades of red.
Then there are these six pink blooms.
19. Cosmos ‘Apricotta.’ I direct sowed these in the garden with the marigolds above.
20. Delosperma ‘Ocean Sunset Orange Glow.’ This was sent to me as trial plant by Darwin Perennials. I must say, it has really increased in size and there are still a few blooms on it. We’ll see how it overwinters and returns for next year.
21. Pelargonium. One pink pelargonium representing several pelargoniumss still blooming. You know how they are. They’ll bloom until the end. Some of them have fancy leaves so I’ll overwinter them in the garage.
22. Petunia ‘Wave Carmine Velour.’ I started these indoors from seeds sent to me by All-American Selections. This petunia is still going strong while other petunias long ago gave up. I plan to start more petunias from seeds next year. I think they do better!
23. A random pink rose.
24. Hardy begonia, Begonia grandis. It should have another common name of procrastinating begonia, because it is one of the last of the perennials to come up in the spring and doesn’t start blooming until late summer.
Finally, there are these six mostly white flowers
25. Heuchera ‘Autumn Bride.’ This isn’t a fancy leaf heuchera but it is still blooming and doing quite nicely. It tends to self-sow a bit, but that’s okay because its roots are only about a half-inch deep, it seems, so it’s easy to pull out.
26. Alyssum. I planted these at the same time as the snapdragons, in March, and they are still going strong.
27. Fleabane, probably Erigeron annuus. Yes, this is technically a weed and in high summer, I usually pull it out wherever it pops up but I’m less likely to do so in the fall because I’m lazy like that and honestly, not much else is blooming where it is. Guess that’s why I will have seedlings to pull out next year too.
28. Japanese anemone, Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert.’ This perennial puts on a nice show in late summer and fall. Uh-oh. While I was looking up this name to make sure I had it right, I ran into Eriocapitella, which appears to be its new genus name?
29. A random little violet that re-bloomed. Just one. And I picked it just for you.
30 Viola ‘Sorbet Lemon Chiffon.’ Again, violas are hard to find for sale in the fall, but there’s a new garden center south of me that had them, so I had to get some. It was a matter of principle!
Now here’s the Signet marigold picture I promised.
Told you it was pretty!
And that’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day in my garden this month. What’s blooming in your garden as we approach the middle of October? Join us for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day to share about your flowers with us, and maybe give us some ideas of what we might plant in our gardens for next year.
It’s easy to participate. Just write a blog post or put a reel on Instagram or do whatever you do to get the word out about what’s blooming on or around the 15th of the month, then come back here and leave a link in the Mr. Linky widget so we can find you and a comment to let us know what you have to show us.
So easy. You do not need to clip flowers and do what I did!
Thanks for joining in!
Added: Oops, I also forgot the toad lilies. Tricyrtis sp.
“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence