Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dying embers of November...

Geranium dalmaticum

Since November is ending very shortly, I better sneak in these last few dying embers while I can! Surely the warmest, mildest most delightful November imaginable...There are dozens of random flowers here and there--I even passed a mat of creeping Phlox in full bloom on the street (you will have to take it on trust--I didn't stop to photograph it! The geranium above shows that the REAL display is in foliage: lots of great fall color still on oaks, pears and mountain ash...but...

Crocus cartwrightianus
I am thrilled that the last autumn crocus are STILL blooming--almost in time to join the first of the spring bloomers! This is the ancestor of cultivated Saffron--but seems a more willing captive in my garden...

The contrast of yellow orange and the striped purple lavender is simply out of this world...don't you agree?

The other great delight this fall is having Galanthus nivalis v. monostrictus finally settle in. Nancy Goodwin gave me a hefty clump two Novembers ago which I describe in a blog about Montrose (you can even see the bag with the snowdrops in it!). Having a snowdrop that blooms this time of year is of course a great boon. But having it come from Montrose is added value multiplied and more!

Only three of the bulbs bloomed this year--I'm hoping the half dozen or more others that came with them will chime in next year.

Othonna capensis
One of the best collections I've ever made was this Othonna which I collected in 1994 on a spur of the Drakensberg, and a few years later in the East Cape alpine. It starts blooming in late April and has flowers all the way to November--that's eight months of effort! Bluebird Nursery in Nebraska has been the only nursery to offer this consistently.

A wonderful new Edelweiss from China I obtained from Edelweiss Nursery--one of America's greatest!

Tetraneuris herbacea
One of the rarest native daisies, restricted to the shorelines of the Great Lakes in nature (and not common there), this has been an outstanding garden plant that blooms repeatedly through the season. This late bloom is a bit strange (it's showier in midsummer!), and the dying leaves give it a tragic air...

Common snapdragons always have late flowers...

As do the common pansies

And the more winsome Johnny Jump-ups...

There's even a late flower on Delosperma cooperi (this is the alpine form from Oxbow)

One of my worst weeds, but hard to begrudge this time of year...

Erodium chrysanthum
Touted as the "REAL" chrysantha, this resembles the common beastie by that name, only this one produces viable seed!

Daphne x susannae 'Anton Fahndrich'
Daphnes are usualy good for some late season rebloom...

I was delighted to see this late season flower on Diascia integerrima 'Coral Canyon'

And the piece-de-resistance was finding the first Christmas rose in bloom at the Waring House the other day: we're reasonably sure this is the cultivar 'Jacob'...a nice segue to December and the hubbub of the Christmas season!


  1. Are you familiar with Shakespeare’s reference to Johnny Jump ups in a Midsummer Night’s Dream?

    1. I don't think he called it Johnny Jump up: either Heart's ease or Love-in-idleness (neither of which I quite get). Billy loved his flowers!

    2. Looking at the cottage where Shakespeare's wife, Ann, had been raised I would say Ann loved flowers more.


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