While out in the garden Saturday, I noticed two more plants blooming that I would not have expected so late in October. In my front bed, a rose has more than a dozen buds on it. These are Flower Carpet Roses, a long-blooming, hardy rose, though I don’t recall ever getting buds this late. In addition, on the north side of the house, several daylilies now have blooms. These are Stella d’Oro, a yellow daylily that is known for its long bloom, but it’s usually wilted by now. Stellas are a particularly hardy daylily and I noticed several of them blooming away in a parking lot bed at Walgreens in Northfield. Sunday morning, while walking the dog, I spotted three other yards nearby with roses blooming, and a purple bloom that looked suspiciously like an iris! If I see the homeowner, I’ll ask what it is. In addition to in-the-ground blooms, my container plants continue to put out flowers and foliage. Two trailing coleus (Lava Green and Lava Rose) look great and the Fiesta Ole double impatiens planted with them are still blooming. A lovely Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Blue) is also blooming like crazy.
After my last post on blooms, I decided to check out how other northern gardens were doing. Kathy Purdy, who runs the Cold Climate Gardening web site, and gardens in USDA zone 4 in New York state, recently listed the plants blooming in her garden as of Oct. 15. She also has blooms on larkspur and catmint as well as mallow and yarrow and a few stray blooms on her phlox (mine also has a few flowers). She has petunias in pots, Johnny jump-ups, and colchicum, a flower that grows from corms (or tubers) and is sometimes called autumn crocus.
One reason for the sustained blooming may be the lack of low night temperatures. September 15 the temps dipped to 30 degrees F in Northfield. That knocked out my tomatoes. The night-time lows have been relatively high since then. Perennials usually require a hard freeze, several hours of temperatures in the 27 to 28 degrees F range, to shut down for the season. The National Weather Service is predicting lows in the low- to mid-30s to low-40s this week, with highs in the mid-50s to mid-60s on Thursday. Who knows what will be blooming next.