Ahhh! Cooler temps

I’m in no rush for winter to arrive, but I’m all in for the recent cooler temperatures. The last hot day a week ago hit ninety-seven, so no one I know was sad to see days like that go away. Today, there are more signs in the garden from the heat and extended drought than from cool weather, but it won’t be long until the first frost, and soon after, the early freezes.

The first blooms of Winter’s Star camellia arrived with the onset of cooler temperatures. Winter’s Star will flower into late November, or possibly into December, and other autumn flowering camellias will soon follow.

I do a little something in the garden every day, weeding, digging, or just wandering and doing nothing productive, but I’d happily stay indoors to watch the pouring rain for a day or two. We’ve had a tenth of an inch of rain here and there, but barely that, and it’s as dry as I’ve ever seen it for this area. After another tenth of an inch last night, I hoped that cracks in the clay would fill in, but they didn’t, and won’t until there’s a day long rain. That’s not in the forecast.

Autumn Encore Carnation is the most dependable reblooming azalea in the garden. With summer heat persisting until a week ago, others are late to flower but coming on with cooler weather.

Assuming that it rains again, someday, this is the time to plant, or to do other things as I’ve recently been occupied by a larger project that I wouldn’t have started at ninety plus degrees. A bulk order of bulbs was planted a few days ago, and another that’s on the way will be planted quickly. How much nicer is it to plant when it’s sixty, rather than ninety?

Various toad lilies (Tricyrtis) begin flowering in late July or August, with the latest beginning to flower in early October. Even the early ones are flowering today, and late varieties will continue in bloom until our first hard frost.
Flower buds on mophead hydrangeas are unlikely to develop to flower before frost.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Linus says:

    Where is your Autumn Encore Carnation sited? Full sun? Eastern light? And deer don’t generally bother it?

    1. Dave says:

      Almost full sun. When I first started trialing Encores they flowered sparsely. The breeder told me his best repeat blooms are in more sun. Growers in southern Alabama have them in full sun, and I’ve had much better flowering with ones planted in sun.

      Deer nibble a few of my azaleas if I neglect to spray the repellent. Encore Amethyst seems to be their favorite, though it is near the bottom of my list. They have never bothered Carnation, though it is very accessible, and deer are regularly heard in the dense planting just above the area where they are located.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        That looks odd to see them bloom now!

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