October Blooms in Zone 4

October blooms

There is not usually much still looking good in this zone 4-5 region of Eastern Ontario. This year the recent spot of warm weather has encouraged some October blooms. Many perennials are reblooming and annuals are perking up in my gardens.

Annual Blooms

Annuals are those type of plants that get killed off by frost and must be replanted every spring. Their claim to fame is that they bloom all summer. By this time of year though they often look leggy and washed out.

On a stroll through my gardens this (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend, I found a few annuals still looking cute including portulaca, zinnias, dahlias. Annuals in all the containers I planted are still looking marvelous too!

Perennial October Blooms

Perennials are my go to plants as you only have to plant them once. Although you can move them around season to season if you (or they) are not happy where they are located. I do that all the time.

Unlike annuals that bloom all summer, perennials only bloom for a specific time through the growing season, a month at most. Some though rebloom after their initial bloom time, offering a bonus of colour when you least expect it.

I have several roses for example that do just that. These bloom and rebloom and sometimes rebloom again!

Other perennials sporting reblooming features include sage, butterfly bush, tickseed, blanket flower, geraniums, lavender, false sunflowers, asters, achillea, tickseed, daisies, and clematis:

The silver lace vine, asters, ornamental grasses, hibiscus, and hydrangeas are not reblooming, just fall blooming perennials that are still going strong:

What’s still looking good in your garden?

Late October Blooms in Gardens4me

Late October Blooms

Due to the beautiful weather we have experienced so far this fall, (yesterday we hit 25 degrees C or 77 F) I still have blooms in late October in Gardens4me. Not many, but a few.

Still Blooming

Roses, in particular, are still pretty cheerful, one of the reasons I love and plant roses of all types in my gardens; many of the new varieties bloom from June until the ground freezes. One of my hardy hibiscus is still producing blossoms too, as are the daisies, sage, silver lace vine, and perennial geraniums.

Our Canadian winters are typically long (cold and icy) enough without an early freeze up, so hopefully, that won’t happen too soon. I do still have a few gardens to put to bed for the season.

Gorgeous Seed Heads

Even though the foliage on most perennials has yellowed (time to tidy it up), I love the look of the seed heads many produce. Especially the ornamental grasses; the cool season varieties are (still) gorgeous!

Fall Maintenance

Some grasses I leave as is over the winter, to let the seed heads blow in the wind. Others, particularly the ones I cannot see from my windows, I chop back to 6 inches from the ground. This gives me one less chore to get to in the spring.

Most of the annuals I have around Gardens4me have seen better days and need to be put out of their misery, but the colours in this coleus are still brilliantly beautiful. The sedge grass, heuchera and lamium around the coleus are all perennials whose foliage continues to look nice until covered in snow. I will leave the coleus there for a bit longer…

Late October Blooms
coleus top, sedge bottom left, heuchera bottom center, lamium bottom right

Looking Ahead

With the temperature much more fall-like today and in the forecast this coming week and next month, I am pretty sure this will be my last post about my Gardens4me. One of the best things about the restrictions surrounding the coronavirus is the increased amount of time I spent in my own gardens this 2020 season. I hope you enjoyed my pictures as much as I loved taking them. What did we ever do before cell phones and their ever-accessible cameras? Even my grandkids are getting proficient at using mine.

October blooms in Gardens4me

October blooms

Who can believe that October is here already? Not me. Not Gardens4me either as they are still producing lots of blooms.

New this month is the silver lace vine I have adorning my garden shelves/work bench. What a mess this shelving unit is, another job for my fall to do list.

Another fall blooming perennial is the aster, a little soggy in this picture, cheerful none the less…

October blooms
aster

Also putting in a (late) appearance is my beautiful white and red hibiscus…

Roses are still blooming beautifully…

…as is tickseed. Did you know if you cut tickseed back immediately after it first blooms in the summer it will rebloom? This picture is my proof..

October blooms
tickseed

Also reblooming for the third (!!!) time this season is my weigela. It requires no maintenance to make it rebloom, just warm weather…

Annuals in containers are still eye catching, including a gorgeous pal blush pink hibiscus, even though we have had a few frosty nights.

One annual I was disappointed in this summer was the cardinal flower vine on my bamboo teepees. Although the foliage is unique, the blooms (other than a sporadic one mentioned earlier) have only just shown up in earnest….

The frosty nights have caused the leaves to start their colour transformation. From green to red with various shades in between. The vine on my back deck (or green room) is no exception…

We can’t complain about the advancing calendar too much though as our summer here in Eastern Ontario has been awesome. A tad too hot and dry for our lawns, but awesome for we humans. With one daughter-in-law on maternity leave, I was able to spend more time than usual at the lake with her and two of my grandchildren. With pandemic restrictions in place we were not allowed to do much else, so cottage life was the perfect answer.

The rain this week has been great for the fall lawn repair my yard so badly needs. The temperature has been warm too, so my Gardens4me blooms should last a while longer.

Never Have I Ever

never have I ever

Never have I ever seen lavender or clematis blooming in late October!  At least not in our zone 4 to 5 gardens here in Ottawa.   I have cut back June lavender blossoms before resulting in late August, even early September reblooming, and have seen spring-blooming clematis rebloom in August, but never late October…

Ornamental grasses are at their peak, waving in the breeze.  Other perennials still in bloom or reblooming include clematis, lots of roses, phlox, butterfly bush, Russian sage, periwinkle, and more…

I am supposed to be doing fall cleanups on my GARDENS4U clients’ gardens this week, but their gardens are still so nice I hesitate to cut anything down. Containers of frost-tender annuals are still looking great too, so those were left to continue their beautiful displays as well.

The problem is though that the cold, miserable weather is sure to be here soon. Then I will be in a panic to get all the gardens put to bed for the winter.

I did get covered in burs and seed heads removing some weeds though; a peril of the job…

Even the butterflies and bees are loving this warm fall weather; this butterfly bush was covered with both. Never have I ever seen so many in one spot.

I am in no hurry for frost to send these beautiful perennials into dormancy.

Happy Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  We celebrate the second Monday in October, while other countries celebrate in November.  I believe the reason for that is the fact that our winters arrive sooner here, so our harvests are earlier.   After all, Thanksgiving did originate as a celebration after harvest was complete.

Regardless of when you celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to remember all the things you are grateful for.  This previous post listed the things I was grateful for two years ago.  All of these still apply, with the wonderful addition of my sons’ significant others and two (with a third one on the way) grandchildren.

With the arrival of grandchildren comes a new addition to my dining room furniture, just in time for Thanksgiving…

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Mother’s Day Rose in October

My son presented me with a rose for Mother’s Day this past May.  He decided it would be best to purchase a potted plant as they “don’t die like cut flowers do”.  I guess this apple didn’t fall far from the tree; sounds like something I would say!   After it bloomed for weeks in the house, I planted it in a nice sunny spot in my front garden and it is now blooming again, in October!

mothers day rose

 Since it is planted near my front door, I see and smell it every time I come home or leave the house.

 Mother’s Day in October; i love it!