Minnesota has experienced an extended Indian summer this year, with nearly two weeks of 70-plus degree temperatures and sunny skies. Since forecasters are predicting a snowy, tough winter, enjoy these October blooms while you can!
As a result of the warm temperatures, some of perennials and annuals are still looking great. Here are October blooms I’m especially pleased to see.
‘Victoria Blue’ Salvia. I planted these after reading Terry Yockey’s profile of Donald Mitchell’s hummingbird garden in Red Wing. Mitchell is a big fan of blue and red salvias for their ability to bring in the hummers. I did not see any hummingbirds at these, though last week a large white-lined sphinx moth (sometimes called a hummingbird moth because of their resemblance to each other) fed on the plants for several minutes. Bees also seem to love them. The plants bloomed slightly late because of our cool spring, but they have continued to bloom with no sign of stopping. They also make a pretty backdrop to these white ‘Profusion’ zinnias.
‘Going Bananas’ daylily. This plant will be introduced widely in 2012. I got one to try through the Proven Winners plant trial program. While many of my daylilies look sad and spent – and I’ve cut a few of them down, this creamy yellow plant is still going strong. If you see one in the nursery next year, give it a try.
Autumn Joy sedum. Yes, Autumn Joy is almost a cliché in northern gardens, but there is a reason so many people love these hardy sedum. They grow vigorously and can flop if they get too tall. I cut this one back in mid-June, per advice from Don Engebretson. For awhile, I did not think it was going to work, but voila, it did and the plant is just the right size to support its lovely pinkish flowers. I’ll leave this up all winter to provide sculptural interest in the garden.
What’s still blooming in your garden?