GBBD – Fresh October

I arrived home too late to join in Bloomday last month.  Although there had been major rainfall the temperatures were relatively high and the garden still had that faded summer look.  October has brought with it more rain in significant quantities and now the temperatures are lower especially at night.  At last the garden looks FRESH, with many of the roses re-flowering so I’m happy to be joining in this month.

Small Island

Small Island

The Small Island is the bed that is looking better than I’ve ever seen it at this time of year.  This is one of the beds that receives no irrigation at all (I did give the tree a little water with the hose in August as it was very hot (another month that has beaten records for the extremely high temperature).  Last autumn I added more Sedum (taken from cuttings earlier in the year) and I encouraged Achillea seedlings from the plants that had died in the 2012 drought, Stipa gigantia made its presence felt from Late June, last year it lost its wonderfully wafting seed stems but this year has retained them all, luckily I found some seedlings growing around the parent plant that have now been planted strategically around the garden, I added a couple to the slope.

Small Island looking in the other direction

Small Island looking in the other direction

A couple of Hemerocallis have new blooms which make it feel more like spring than autumn; but the sedum and Miscanthus tell me that isn’t true and that I should enjoy the sunny days when they happen as soon the walnuts trees will lose their leaves making the view from the kitchen window seem wintery when I look at the bare branches.


Salvia - this pink is difficult to combine well with other plants

Salvia – this pink is difficult to combine well with other plants

Crimson Salvia in the Crimson Zone

Crimson Salvia in the Crimson Zone

P1120163 P1120150

Salvia Indigo Spires

Salvia Indigo Spires

Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathana on Salvia 'Indigo Spires'

Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathana on Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’

Salvia Indigo Spires is another plant that benefited from the rains in July, it has never looked better and this afternoon was covered in bees and other pollinators and several different butterflies were vying for the nectar.

Salvia Indigo Spires is another plant that benefited from the rains in July, it has never looked better and this afternoon was covered in bees and other pollinators and several different butterflies were vying for the nectar.  Actually all the Salvias are looking happy this year and have flowered for a much longer period than past years; salvias don’t thrive in very long hot summers although you’d be forgiven for thinking that those are the conditions they desire; in my experience even the humble culinary sage needs water throughout the summer to perform well and these other varieties are no different.

Click on the image below to see a slideshow of the blooms making My Hesperides Garden look colourful today

Rosa Mutabilis, didn't stop flowering all summer this year

Rosa Mutabilis, didn’t stop flowering all summer this year


An un-looked for pleasure has been the number of bees and butterflies visiting the garden; in summer I felt their numbers were lower than in other years but this October I have seen butterflies than I’ve never seen at all before, although I thinks the number of small blues is lower than previous Octobers.

Asters are performing quite well; I say ‘quite’ because their stems are very ugly which really detracts from their pretty daisy shaped flowers, a particular favourite, partly because the stems are green and healthy, is A. Monte Cassino, masses of small flowers shine in the sunshine.

Aster 'Monte Casino' a cloud of tiny white stars

Aster ‘Monte Casino’ a cloud of tiny white stars

Aster 'Monte Casino'

Aster ‘Monte Casino’

If you’re interested to see more of what is flowering in gardens around the world do visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, there’s always so much to read and enjoy I usually visit a few times during the week.

38 thoughts on “GBBD – Fresh October

  1. It’s so nice to see things resprouting just in time for winter. I much prefer the dormant look of winter to the dried up, near death look of a summer drought. But it looks like most of your plants weathered it well this year!
    I love the Indigo Skies. It’s not hardy for me and I haven’t seen it for sale locally for a couple years, the color is so nice this time of year.

  2. The crimson salvia is lovely Christina. I suppose it’s not a very hardy one though – I envy you your mild winters! The small island is also looking good.

    • It isn’t that the winters are mild, Cathy (minus 10°C isn’t mild), really it is that the soil is so free draining, plants roots are never sitting in water or even damp soil.

  3. I am glad you are enjoying such a glorious autumn in the garden, the flowers are beautiful. You have the same tiny black bee as I have but I don’t know what it is, If you find out please tell me.

  4. Your Island bed is looking very fine Christina, which achillea is it? I think I am going to be very busy next Spring taking cuttings from myown sedums – and euphorbias, ahilleas, escallonia… Like the others I love the salvia, though it doesn’t seem to be readily available round her. I am still pondering blue vesus violet-purple for my salvia choice, and whether if I pick ones with similar forms I can actually have both! It must be lovely to have such lush growth and wonderful flowers now, after the dreadfully hot summer. Happy GBBD! I won’t be taking the pics for mine until after we have moved the boat to the harbour for the winter, firt year of what is to become an annual ritual, I think!

  5. Plenty to enjoy in your garden. These sedums look splendid and the sages too. I’m a great fan of Aster Monte Casino, such a delicate creature. Unfortunately it’s not that easy to get perennials around here.

  6. I agree with Sweetbay–your sedums look beautiful. I forgot to cut some of mine back and they flopped over so much this fall that they look pretty pitiful. So many beautiful salvias! Happy Bloom Day!

  7. What an amazing amount of colour you have in your October garden, it has come to life again with your rain. You have such a good collection of salvias, I think I will try them here but will have to lift them and take cuttings to get them to survive, they provide much needed colour I think.

    • The salvias provide a long period of flower but they are more obvious now. They strike very easily from cuttings (although the Indigo Spires hasn’t much suitable material), I have increased the crimson one.

  8. Seems like you are reviving as we are fading! I love the Indigo Spires, and I’m glad to hear that your butterflies have returned. This has been a very poor year for butterflies in our region.

  9. Nice you’re enjoying another round for fresh garden blooms. The Salvia Indigo Skies is a great color–will have to be on the lookout for it. I too find that many plants one might think don’t need much water really will look much better with it. rain has made such a difference this year in my garden. Happy days in the garden Christina!

    • Yes, that is very true, Susie. I was almost shocked at how much better many Mediterranean plants looked in gardens in Southern England because they were recieving regular water and not such high temperatures.

  10. Hi Cristina, thanks for passing by my post. I an not apologizing for our reds and orange, my words just express my almost being bored by these colors because they are colors i see all year round. But this is bad, i should be thankful and must not be bored with them, that is what is given for the hot climate.

    Your colors are beautiful for me because maybe i only see them in photos. I can see ther big differences in the intensity of colors between world’s temperatures. I love most specially those miniature asters.

  11. What a beautiful fall you are having! Many butterflies too. Nice to seeing them returning.

    I envy your pink cabbage types roses at this time of year…. Hoping to add more David Austin roses in the future so they are blooming in fall! Your small island looks quite nice as well!

    Happy October to you!

  12. Your salvias are lovely, and the aster too – I’m going to look that one up because I don’t usually like asters, but the small white flowers are really pretty.

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