Blooms worth waiting for

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks moving back into the greenhouse; a touch of frost fell this past Saturday morning; and we’re mentally preparing to take the gardens apart this week to make way for tulips. But the season isn’t over. There are a few plants that only just got started and I think they were totally worth the wait. Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) came back as robust green mounds of sweetly fragrant but otherwise blah foliage until finally deciding to bloom its heart out. It’s really too bad the hummingbirds missed this one. Trumpet spurflower too (Rabdosia longituba) was pretty boring looking until the muppet-lipped cobalt-blue water droplets finally appeared and I’m only sorry that anyone who chooses to visit other times of year instead of right now misses its magic.

Nobody ever minds waiting for mums. I don’t think ‘Sheffield Pink’ would be as pretty without a backdrop of fall color, in this case the dawn redwood hedge beginning to color up. And of course asters. But we have been frustrated enough by their tardiness – and in some cases, the enormous mass of their plain foliage through the summer – that we moved most out the North Garden where they also always got in the way of our fall game of musical perennials. But the bees love them so here they are (I believe this one is ‘October Skies’) in the Display Garden instead.

Plectranthus ciliatus is interesting enough pre-bloom with its army-green, purple backed leaves and stems that the glowing lavender flowers are like icing. And speaking of icing: Orostachys iwarenge. Nothing is cuter in or out of bloom.

It’s hard enough to take apart gardens that are still in bloom – dahlias, nicotiana, amaranth, African blue basil, tassel flower, coreopsis and a truckload of other things are in bloom still or all over again in the Cutting Garden, slated for pitching tomorrow – that if we didn’t have a few true late bloomers tucked in strategic places where they won’t need to be disturbed, I’d be heartsick.

What’s blooming new or still or again in your garden? For an inspirational look at October blooms every-which-where, head over to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.