I’ve made you traipse around other flower spots with me for the past couple of weeks, so today, we’re stepping out my back door. We’ve been in a cool, dry spell, and things have slowed down considerably. I’d like to say there’s not much to do out there, but that’s rarely true. So we’ll overlook the weeds and focus on some little bright spots.
The top photo shows the huge firespikes at the back of the yard, many of them towering above my head. But then, I’m only 5’1”. When I bought these plants at the Botanical Garden, the label called them cardinal spears. I thought they should know. But my research indicates they are odontonema cuspidatum, with the apt common name firespike. Hummingbirds are still enjoying the red elongated flower clusters before their final journey south.
Mexican heather really starts to look good this time of year. The small perennial mounds of greenery aren’t showy at first glance. However, a closer inspection shows tiny purple or white flowers. This is a good bed filler when summer annuals have faded.
The gaillardia is getting a second wind now. It has struggled through our wet summer but seems to thrive in dryer conditions.
I have two sweet olives by the back fence blooming again, right on time. I wish I had planted them closer together to maximize their lovely scent. When I was at Bellingrath Gardens a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the powerful fragrance of a group of sweet olives (aka tea olive) before I saw them.
The bleeding heart vine is blooming at last. I think it was late this year. This big, unruly climber will have flowers until the hard freezes of January kill it back. I’ll prune it down to a few nubs in early spring, and the process will start over again. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy using it in cut flower arrangements.
Last week we were supposed to have our first freeze of the year, but I don’t think it got down that low – maybe mid to upper 30s. Thinking I would lose the tender annuals, I cut a basketful of flowers to bring inside. Freeze or not, I’ve been enjoying the bouquets of summer color in the house.
Just a reminder, Jim Stephens of Garden Ruminations is hosting Six on Saturday now. You can find him here: https://gardenruminations.co.uk/ He has a good blog too.
Shalom for this week, Dottie