Garden in Bloom: October 2008

Purple Ornamental Kale

Fall is well and truly here in the Pacific Northwest. How can I tell? Not the position of the sun, the turning leaves, or the crisp cool air. I can tell because ornamental Kale looks absolutely beautiful to me. I have some in my containers out front, and the crinkly leaves have such lovely color, I was mesmerized.

Tomato Harvest

As I think I’ve said before (repeatedly), this has been an odd year. The garden has been odd, too. Case in point: this basket of tomatoes. We just harvested these last week–our plants were loaded with them. Our tomatoes only started turning in mid September, and the plants were still loaded with green fruit when the frost hit.

Rosa Guy de Maupassant Rose

I’ve also been surprised at the roses continuing to bloom. I found this floribunda, “Guy de Maupassant” (Rosa ‘Guy de Maupassant’), on clearance at a big box store a few months ago, and it smelled fantastic. I picked up four of them for $2 each. I love plant clearance.

Hydrangea Sun Spot

The hydrangeas have managed to put out a last few blooms, like this new one I found, “Sun Goddess” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Yellowleaf’), which has chartreuse leaves and seems to handle the sun better than most.

Hydrangea Nikko Blue

Then there’s the classic Nikko Blue (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’). It looks so pretty, glowing blue in the shade by the shed.

Salvia Black and Blue

This Brazilian sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’), is something I’ve not grown before. I saw the gorgeous deep blue color in a friend’s garden last year and snagged a cutting. Now I’ve got two and they’re going strong.


I left the Bacopa (Sutera cordata, not sure of the variety) in the containers–it’s so healthy and I can’t believe how many blooms are on it this time of year.

Moth Mullein

This ephemeral thing is actually a weed. I found it growing in the garden over the summer, and finally identified it online as a field weed called Moth Mullein (Verbascum blattaria). But I think it’s pretty, and it’s exactly like the cultivated verbascum I bought this year except yellow instead of purple. So I found a spot for it. We’ll see how my experiment works out.

How about you? Do you have things blooming that you weren’t expecting to in October?

~Angela :-)

This post is a part of the October Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, sponsored each month by May Dreams Gardens.

If you enjoyed this post, I would LOVE a comment. I read every one! If you want to keep in touch, consider subscribing to the RSS feed to receive updates in your reader.


  1. The ornamental Kale is just spectacular! I keep meaning to grow some and keep forgetting:(

  2. Hiya Angela,
    You are a clever girl. I still haven’t worked out which publishing system you use, but it is all ever so slick. I am veering towards MT, with very sophisticated modifications.Am I right?
    BTW, your flowers are lovely too :-)

  3. The ornamental kale is just grand! My surprises are hibiscus blooming away; odd bits of species clematis I started from seed; and how much I’m enjoying the various seed heads around the garden.

  4. Here in KS, I am getting more tomatoes now than I was in August! I’ll be sad to see it end.

  5. I never use to like “kale” but now I really like it in the Fall…beautiful pictures!
    -Sandy Toes

  6. Angela it is wonderful to see roses still doing fine this late Oct. Bloom Day! I have many myself
    and hydrageas..well I could have a garden just full of them! Nice to meet so many Bloom Day participants thanks to Carol!

  7. It has been such a treat watching your garden “bloom” over the past several days. You’ve really come a long way with it. Such a beautiful garden.

  8. Ooooh there is so much in this post that I love! Love the hydrangeas, love the bacopa, love that you’re purposely growing a weed (not growing weed, but A weed…big difference)!
    The first thing we did to the garden when we moved into this house was plant hydrangeas. They’d one so well and we love them so much we’ve planted 4 or 5 more in the years since. I love how they change color as they age, bloom well into October and dry so well. Their one of my favorite flowers and yours are lovely.
    I put bacopa in my window boxes one year and became absolutely besotted with them. But, alas, my husband didn’t like them at all! So I must admire from afar, so thanks for the opportunity today!
    We have wild violets that grow all over the place here. Most people consider them a weed, but as far as I’m concerned, they’re doing me a favor by filling up all the bare spaces in my flower beds. A plant is only a weed if it isn’t wanted!
    I think this is the longest comment I’ve left here! But this post was truly inspiring!

  9. I would give anything to be a flower blooming in your beautiful garden. Just lovely indeed.

  10. Ambrea Hanson says:

    Absolutely I have something unexpected blooming! There are corn stalks in my backyard! And this is the 2nd year we’ve had corn pop up in odd places in the yard. No, there has not been corn planted in our yard or in the fields that are surrounding us. It’s a funny thing. We enjoy it!
    Thanks for sharing your October Blooms!

  11. Ok, loving the pink hydrangea. Wonder if IZ would be upset if I dug up the huge blue we have and planted this instead. Hmmm…

  12. Oh, your plants are beautiful!
    Love the Kale and the pink Hydrangea.
    We are still picking tons of tomatoes and peppers. It was a surprisingly good year for our veggies.
    And the impatients that managed to survive the winds of Ike are big and bright.
    Kimberly :)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Moth Mullein is grown as a real garden plant here. ;-) You got hit by frost already? Did you manage to save your tomatoes?
    You got a great deal on gorgeous roses and even though you’ve had some frost, there is still quite a lot in flower.
    Happy GBBD!

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s me again, Yolanda from Bliss, I’ve just noticed that my posts come through as anonymous. Don’t know what’s going wrong exactly but hopefully it will be sorted out soon.

  15. Wow, that ornamental kale is beautiful, very striking.
    Thanks for joining in for bloom day again. Good to have you back.

  16. This morning, I woke up to my Black Eyed Susans having another go at things. :-) And it’s getting pretty darn cold in NJ.

Speak Your Mind