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October 2010
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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day October 2010

'Raydon's Favorite' aster. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Raydon's Favorite' aster. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

In many ways, I’m glad this summer is over. Not that I want to wish time away, but this summer has been brutal. As it passes into fall, our hopes for a better summer next year are what nourish our souls.

But for now, the asters are in full glory. I really like ‘Raydon’s Favorite,’ because it blooms a bit later than other asters (Symphyotrichum), has incredibly clean foliage and bright blue flowers with yellow centers.

Slightly Strawberry cape mallow. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Slightly Strawberry cape mallow. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Slightly Strawberry (Anisodontea), a new plant I’m trialing from Proven Winners, has hung on even though the literature says it does not like hot, humid temperatures. The cape mallow is a native from South Africa and prefers cooler temps. Mine looks beautiful right now and I give it good marks for its performance the rest of the summer, too.

The new Cool Igloo mum from Blooms of Bressingham has been in bloom for several weeks now, pretty much all on its own. The trial plant arrived in early summer and I planted it and forgot about it. The Frosty Igloo, which I’ve had for two years, is still growing strong, but this year, it turned pinkish much earlier.

As I scouted the landscape for more blooms, I found my Cool Splash Diervilla had sprouted the lovely, orchid-like flowers of a toad lily, Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome.’ Actually, the toad lily is growing through the diervilla, each in its nursery pot awaiting planting.

<p>'Sinonome' tricyrtis and Cool Splash diervilla. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp</p>

'Sinonome' tricyrtis and Cool Splash diervilla. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

After the planting of the 40+ plants I have in pots, moving the tender stuff to the basement or garage, I have a bunch of tulips to get in the ground.

I’ve already pulled out all of the veggie plants and composted them, and accomplished a few other fall clean up tasks. I might even cut the lawn one last time this weekend.

Really, fall is almost as busy as spring.