Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Mandevilla (Dipladenia) 'Sun Parasol Crimson' and 'Sun Parasol White'

I usually grow Mandevilla vines every year. This year I came across these two and thought it would be nice to have them grow on the same arbor. Red and white have always been a great color combination. They have been the most floriferous varieties I've ever grown. I plan on overwintering them inside the house so I can have them again next year!


Mexican Mint Marigold ( Tagetes lucida)

This fall blooming plant has many virtues. Come September, it begins to pop with bright yellow flowers. If you let the flowers go to seed, you'll be able to enjoy more and more each year. It is also a culinary treat, as it has the flavor of tarragon and anise. The flowers are nice to add to salads, while the foliage is great to add to soups, sauces and my favorite egg salad sandwiches. Some say you can tell when a freeze is coming, by the blooms on Mexican Mint Marigold. If it is in full bloom, which mine almost is, it will be two weeks before a freeze. I guess we are going to have an early winter this year - we'll see!


Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' etc.

My Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' (Ipomoea tricolor) has just about turned my front garden arbor into a tent. At first, I wasn't happy with the color combination of the red of the Castor Bean plants (Ricinus communis) to the right of the arbor. The weather has cooled even more and deepened the shade of red, however, so I've come to like the combo. I like too, how the Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), to the left, echoes the ensemble.

Monday, October 27, 2008


October 2008
October in Texas is, in my opinion, the best garden month of the year. Annuals have matured and begin thriving during the cooler days. Fall blooming perennials like Asters and Chrysanthemums exhibit their exhilarating pallet of colors, and the roses begin their last flush of the year. The foliage of trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses also begin to turn all their autumn hues. It's a toss on which month, April or October, is my favorite. I guess in April, April is and In October, it's got to be October. The photos above are from my backyard garden. Stay tuned for the front!


Rose 'Burgundy Iceberg'
This relative of the 'Iceberg' is an unusual color that is beyond description. The blend of white also contributes to its beauty. Add black stamens to the mix and you have a classic. During the cooler months of October and November, the burgundy is deeper with purple accents. She will never outwear her welcome to my garden!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Roses 'Knock-Out' and 'Perle d'Or'

When I saw the blush pink with apricot undertones in the blooms of 'Perle d'Or' I imagined it would be a good partner for my 'Knock-Out.' I think they make a pretty good marriage. Both bloom more than most roses for our area and have been given 'Earthkind' status by Texas A&M University. For more information on 'Earthkind' roses go to: http://earthkindroses.tamu.edu/EKroses.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Salvia farinacea 'Victoria' and 'Evolution'

I started seeds of Salvia 'Victoria' and 'Evolution' last winter. At first, I had planned on planting them in different beds. I changed my mind thinking it would be nice to see the different shades of blue together. When they finally started blooming I was pleased. Next year, since they return in zone 8, they will be larger and hopefully even more exciting. They are growing in with some 'Black Pearl' peppers that re-seeded from last year. The peppers are not completely 'true' but they've held on to some of the qualities of the original.


Pink Muhly Grass
(Muhlenbergia capillaris)

This is my favorite ornamental grass in the fall. The pink seed heads float in the air like a pink cloud. Who says grass is boring? They haven’t seen this one!

Friday, October 17, 2008


'Black Pearl' Peppers (Capsicum annuum)

I'm addicted to growing this pepper. It is beautiful at all stages. I've yet to eat one of the peppers as I've heard it is very hot. Maybe I'll throw one in my vegetarian chili some time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Rose 'Knock-Out' and Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

I like how the purple undertones of the cherry red blooms of 'Knock-Out' are accentuated with berries of the Callicarpa. The outcome is better than what I had envisioned, a few seasons back, when I planted them together.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor) 'Heavenly Blue'

Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' takes much longer to bloom than most of the other varieties. While the others bloom from spring on, these usually don't start until October. Once they start, however, they are incomparable. The blooms are huge and on cloudy days stay open all day.


More Aster photos! They were just getting started the other day! Now they are really putting on a show! I can't stop photographing them!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Flame Acanuthus 'Pumpkin,' Salvia 'Wild Thing,' Tassel Flower

I love hot color combinations. This time of year Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus) Salvia greggii and Tassel flower (Emilia javanica) are putting on their show. I call it a 'garden fiesta.'

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Aster oblongifolius

Aster oblongifolius and Helianthus maximiliana 'Santa Fe'
Aster oblongifolius
In Texas, almost everyone I know, looks forward to autumn. The break from the heat is one reason. My favorite reason though is to finally see the buds and blooms from all the fall blooming plants. Aster oblongifolius and Helianthus maximiliana (Sunflower) are two autumn stars that are hard not to miss. What can be better than a purple and golden yellow color combination for fall! These two drought resistant plants were made for each other! As the Asters multiply I plan on extending them closer and closer to the Autumn Sunflowers for an even better display.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Amaranthus caudatus 'Dreadlocks'

I'm a sucker for new plant varieties. I discovered this new Amaranthus when I saw it in the computer window and just had to have it! I planted the seeds in the spring and have enjoyed the 'dreadlocks' all spring and summer and now, fall.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Zinnia 'Profusion mix'
Zinnia 'Profusion mix' and Salvia 'greggii'
Zinnia 'Profusion mix'

Zinnia 'Profusion mix'

I've tried to keep up with all the new Zinnia Profusion varieties. Through the years I've planted White, Cherry, Orange, and Fire. Last year I planted Apricot. I always save and plant a few of the seeds each year and let the rest go to seed naturally. They never fail to come up in all their glory. Profusion White are left in my moon garden and as of yet I haven't had a stray show up with the colors. I've seen already this year that there are new profusion varieties. I plan on trying them all! This Zinnia, unlike Zinnia 'elegans' is very resistant to powdery mildew. You may notice from the photos that they grow in my Salvia 'greggii' bed. I doubt I will ever not want these zinnias in my garden somewhere!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Sedum telephium 'Matrona' and 'Autumn Joy'

Sedum telephium 'Matrona' and 'Autumn Joy' with Cosmos sulphureus
Sedum telephium 'Matrona' and 'Autumn Joy' with Cosmos sulphureus etc.

Sedum telephium 'Matrona' and 'Autumn Joy' etc.

Some of the prettiest plants to bloom in the fall are Sedums. I grow 'Matrona' and 'Autumn Joy' in my mixed front perennial border. Some annuals also reseed every year such as Cosmos and Gomprena, which I don't mind at all. The Sedums in my garden have struggled this year, but they've finally perked up for a final show.