Not the end

By late October there have been a few warnings of frost and freezes, but so far no temperatures low enough to put an end to the gardening season. Certainly, that will come soon, at least for plants not tolerant of cold, and toad lilies (Tricyrtis, below) that remain at peak bloom will shrivel overnight. Several that have flowered since August are now fading, but others that begin to flower later are still going strong. Toad lilies will survive mild frosts, but with the first freeze, they’re gone until next year.

Flower buds remain on toad lilies, though seeds are also evident from spent blooms (above and below).

This garden has been planted so that frost does not end the season. While there will be something flowering every day through the winter, unquestionably winter blooms are fewer than in other seasons (and spring is anxiously awaited). But, there are ample goings on to pull me out of the warmth into the chill, and occasionally to see how flowers fare through a snowfall.

I’ve planted Japanese anemone again, after it has faded and disappeared when planted in years past. I’ve seen anemone become overly aggressive, and where I planted it has room to spread. Maybe this time.
The hybrid daphnes (Daphne x transatlantica ‘Summer Ice’, above) have flowered continuously since late March, and will continue until overnight temperatures regularly drop into the twenties.

As temperatures turn cooler, with the possibility of frost imminent, buds of many winter bloomers have been evident for weeks. But, before leaves fall and a freeze starts the dormant phase for perennials, abundant flowers remain in the garden.

A few of the autumn flowering camellias are in bloom (Camellia ‘Winter’s Star’, above), and buds on most others are beginning to crack. These will not be bothered by frost or freezing temperatures, and most will flower through December. Scattered buds will remain into the winter, and in spells of mild temperatures there will be a few flowers that are usually damaged quickly by the next twenty degree night.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. sallysmom says:

    Have you collected toad lily seeds before? If so, what did you do to germinate them?

    1. Dave says:

      I have not been ambitious enough to collect and grow seedlings. I get abundant numbers of seedlings naturally from Tricyrtis hirta, and seemingly none from the dozens of other species. These just appear in close proximity to parent plants, and I pluck them out as weeds or transplant them as needed. It seems the most prolific seeder is Miyazaki, with most seedlings appearing identical though a few have a more upright form and slightly smaller leaves.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    It seems that those who grow the best anemones do not like them, but just acquired them when they moved into a house where they were already established. Those who have difficulty growing them are those of us who really want to.

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