Will You Hang On …

November 8, 2009 040 (2)
…hang on a little longer for the fifteenth of the month bloomathon, for Carol’s Bloom Day? You have already stayed in flower much longer than ever before, through several light sporadic frosts. Any frost has normally spelled the end to annuals like Pentas, shown above, still throwing forth a few.

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Purported to be an annual here as well, the collection of Cupheas are still blooming as heavily as they did when first planted. These seed grown C. miniata have been superb.

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Fingers are crossed that these will hang on a while longer. There were several shades of pinks that arose from the mixture. These seedlings were part of the too early into the cold frame group that got severely frozen in early April. The plants were too large to keep going under the lights and the temperatures seemed to have moderated so outside they went. Sudden drops into well below freezing range turned the lush green leaves into a tan mucky mess overnight. Most were discarded into the compost bin. These Cupheas seemed to still have a little green on the stem so were planted into the garden with hopes of resurrection. They have been blooming machines since early summer, untouched by the recent forays of frosty fingers.

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Several of the old roses have one or two blooms, like R. ‘Old Blush’ above. Knockout continues with many blooms and will surely hang on. The weather prognosticators are saying we are in for some high wind and hard rain soon, as hurricane Ida makes its way inland. Rose petals are no match for such conditions.

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Some of the flowering plants are just plain confused about what season it is. There has been cold, then rain, then warming. Does this okra think it is spring already?

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For the very first time, there is a reblooming iris growing in the Fairegarden. A gift from daughter Semi for mother’s day is I. germanica ‘Las Vegas’. The blooms are so welcome at this time of year. Quite special to have iris now. There is one bud left, but the weather forecast does not bode well for a November bloom day iris to be featured. Better show it off now to be on the safe side. Also growing here is an iris purported to rebloom, Champagne Elegance. It has been divided several times and is quite a looker with heavy bloom in the spring, but we have never seen it rebloom in fall, ever. We can vouch for Las Vegas however.

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What flowers can stand up to wind, rain and frost? Will these August sown zinnias hang on?

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What about the way out of season bloom of Echinacea ‘Harvest Moon’? These were lifted, divided and replanted behind the driveway muhly grass as part of that bed’s extension this summer. The soil had been heavily mulched with soil conditioner at planting time, and there has been regular rainfall to help settle in the new residents of that bed. Located where the frost most often gathers in the early mornings, it is astonishing to see this summer stalwart blooming now, even if the petals look a little malformed. That it might hang in there is doubtful, improbable, but not impossible.

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In the area under the arbor the frost has done no damage. The purple hyacinth beans, Lablab purpureus were planted in a hanging basket with a vision of the bean vines climbing the chain and forming a curtain of dusky hues. It is just now blooming, not enough fertilizer is the diagnoses for such a poor showing. The hopes for seeds to save from these is waning, as there are so few pollinators about now.

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The greatest success story of the entire growing season has to be the Cobaea scandens. Started from seed in the greenhouse last winter, one small plant that quickly grew to my height before even being planted in the ground has covered the top and three sides of the ten foot high by sixteen foot long by eight foot wide arbor. It continues to be covered in buds and blooms and is now forming large fruity looking seed pods. It is hoped that viable seeds can be collected to start new plants just in case this one does not survive our zone 7a winter. It is rated hardy in zones 9-10. It is also stated to grow 4 to 6 feet high, so what do they know? The blanket of Cobaea has offered great protection to the plants growing inside the arbor.

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Receiving the most benefit from this living frost blanket are the multiple, make that hundreds of pumpkin plants growing from last years fall decorations. Click here to read the Pumpkin Tale if you have not already, or want to refresh your memory.

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This takes the title to a new literalness, literality?. How this pumpkin is still hanging from the vine up in the air is a total mystery. The Cobaea is surely helping out holding the increasing weight of the cucurbit, but wind and heavy rain seems threatening to the strenth of the green growing vines ability to hang on. I am thinking of adding a little hammock to help out. After writing these words, a pair of fishnet pantyhose was slipped over the waist of the pumpkin and the legs tied to the cross pieces of the arbor. There were no regular pantyhose to be found in the sock drawer. It has been years since pantyhose graced these legs, but we should keep some around for garden duty. Hanging on is tough work.


Added: The rains came. The wind howls. It is still raining, update: it has stopped raining, so we don’t know if the pumpkin and others are hanging in. There will be another update when the sun shines again and we can survey the damage. Update: The pumpkin is hanging in, the fishnets have held so far. The iris is mush, but there is another bud that will probably open and be done by the 15th.

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34 Responses to Will You Hang On …

  1. Amazing that you can find all those treasures still in your garden, you are a lucky girl. We have a few days left and tomorrow I will go and see what I can find in my November garden for GGBD. Beautiful post dear Frances…as always.
    xoxo Tyra

    Hi Tyra, thanks. We have not had a hard freeze, yet, and there has been lots of rain. There seems to be more in bloom than usual for this time. Is it the global climate change perhaps? I look forward to seeing what you find for bloom day as well, your photos are always superb! πŸ™‚

  2. lotusleaf says:

    The purple hyacinth bean flowers look like what we use as a vegetable here.It flowers in winter and the pods are regarded a great delicacy.

    Hi Lotus, thanks for visiting. Those beans are edible, although we have never eaten them ourselves. I like the way they look on the vine as ornament and want them to mature so the seeds can be saved for next year. We’ll see if they swell with that promise! πŸ™‚

  3. lynn says:

    Hey Frances! The outer petals of the cupheas remind me of bouganvilleas. And I really like that C. scandens vine. YAY on your reblooming iris! I still have several daylily scapes with buds but they are struggling! Have a great day πŸ™‚

    Hi early bird, or late bird Lynn! Those cupheas have been such a pleasant surprise. The photo on the seed packet did not do them justice. I see that Thompson and Morgan, the place where they were ordered from are sold out. I am hoping they might reseed. I can’t see anything that looks like seed to collect, yet. The iris is amazing, the Cobaea just keeps on blooming like mad. We have one daylily with buds, but the flowers never open properly for some reason. Maybe not enough daylight hours, I had hoped to included a photo of it but no luck. You too have a fabulous day! πŸ™‚

  4. Les says:

    I’ll be surprised if I have anything to show for GBBD. It looks as if all of the blooms will be beaten down by the rain and wind (no frost yet). We are also supposed to receive the worst tidal flooding since Isabel, so I may be showing flooded streets on the 15th and not flowers.

    Hi Les, I do hope you are spared that awful flooding. There is a lot of rain in this system. I had taken down my rain gauge to protect it from breaking with the frosty temps, so don’t have an accurate number for how much rain we received, but it was a lot, several inches at least. Now it is all about the wind. Batten down your hatches!

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You have so many pretty blooms Francis. Here there are tiny splotches of color. Not really a full bloom. Here is hoping something is abloom in a few days.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. There will be some things in bloom for bloom day, maybe not these things though. Definitely not the iris. It is nearly light outside and I am straining at the bit to go check things out after Ida’s visit. The wind is blowing but the rain has stopped. Need to wear the muckboots! πŸ™‚

  6. Gail says:

    I hope they hang on, too…I want to see the cupheas in person! They are the most interesting looking flowers. The gravity defying pumpkin is indeed a wonder…and that’s the best use of pantyhose ever thought of…What a torture it was to wear them! It just hit me that they are fishnet! LOL. gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. I think the Cupeas will still be in bloom, and some of the others, if not the iris. The pumpkin looks quite stylish in the fishnets. The rain has stopped and the wind is howling. I loved your bottle tree, BTW! πŸ™‚

  7. tina says:

    I just checked the weather and am not sure if yours is much different from ours but there is no freeze in sight at least for a week! Unreal! I think you’ll be in luck for bloom day indeed. No rain here and I was kind of hoping for some. That iris rocks!

    Hi Tina, thanks. No freeze in sight for us either, but they are not good with the longer term forecasts. The iris really took me by surprise. I didn’t know it was a reblooming one when she gave it to me. Thank goodness it still had the tag on so it could be identified and researched. I love it! πŸ™‚

  8. Janet says:

    Hi Frances, I hope Les is wrong, I am tired of flooding. It is raining as I write, but the tides are not high. Will have to check the paper for high tide time.
    Like you hedging your bets and getting pictures now and not waiting for Sunday. Good luck!

    Hi Janet, thanks. I hope Les is wrong too, no one needs flooding anything. I knew the iris would not still be blooming, even in good weather those flowers don’t last long. Who knows what is going on with the crazy pumpkin. It appears to be green. Odd. πŸ™‚

  9. Wow, you have a lot still blooming! Hopefully I’ll have a mum, marguerite, and guara still blooming by Sunday!

    Thanks Monica. November is a transition month here, with warm days and also frost. Which flowers can withstand those swings is always a guess. The mums are quite tough and we also have a few guara flowers, what a wonderful plant that is. πŸ™‚

  10. rosey pollen says:

    Love that reblooming Iris, Las Vegas. I enjoyed your roses, zinnias, etc. If I posted for bloom day, it would maybe be lowly viola. Would a blooming houseplant count?

    Thanks Rosey. As for what is allowed for bloom day? Anything goes!!! When I first began blogging in December of 2007, we had to buy blooming plants to have something pretty to photograph, Carol even suggested it! I believe we bought a primrose at the grocers. Do join in, and use your imagination. πŸ™‚

  11. commonweeder says:

    It is wonderful to see how the bloom season progresses across the country. I have nothing in bloom outdoors except a single annual potted verbena that has amazed me. The Thanksgiving cactus indoors might be right on schedule though. I just posted about the amazing chrysanthemum blooms and art forms at the NYBG.

    Thanks Pat, I will head right over. We came across a mum show at the North Carolin botanical gardens last month on a cold rainy weekend and were thrilled to see the colorful blooms. Those verbenas have great staying power! πŸ™‚

  12. Rose says:

    I’ve been wondering, too, what I might possibly have to show for this Bloom Day. You have so many pretties to show off, Frances; I hope they survive the wind and rain for a few more days. I love the Cobaea scandens, but now I really want to plant some re-blooming iris now! I’m sure the little pumpkin appreciates the support…hmmm, fishnet stockings??

    Hi Rose, thanks for being in the same boat! Most of the plants are pretty bedraggled after the rains and now winds, but the fishnets have saved the pumpkin. I am sold on the reblooming iris as well, I wonder if they all bloom like Las Vegas, or if they need something special to do so. The fishnets were in the drawer, I don’t know how they got there. πŸ™‚

  13. Anna says:

    I have my fingers crossed that the pumpkin appreciates its support and has not fallen to the ground. We are predicted heavy rain and gale force winds this weekend 😦 I enjoyed your early GBBD post and you have encouraged me to have another go at growing cobaea scandens next year πŸ™‚

    Hi Anna, thanks so much. So far the pumpkin is still hanging there, supported by fishnet stockings. There will be a regular bloom day post besides this one, but without these flowers. The iris is done, but there remains one more bud. It will open and be finished before the 15th I am sure. The Cobaea has been worth every penny. I believe there were only 5 seeds in the packet, one grew. None of the C. alba germinated. I used the heat mat. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  14. ourfriendben says:

    The Cobaea is fantastic, Frances! And of course I love the pumpkins. You have a wealth of other blooms to share, a comfort up here when I’m basically watching seeds disperse, leaves fall, and rose hips wither. But at least the greenhouse offers the promise of blooms to come throughout the winter, and my houseplants refuse to acknowledge the diminished light!

    Hi OFB, thanks. The Cobaea has been most delightful. I would never have predicted it could cover that arbor the way it has. It is still blooming like crazy and growing all over itself and the pumpkin. You are fortunate to have that greenhouse, although I know there is never enough room for everything you want to grow in there, no matter how large it is. πŸ™‚

  15. Sweet Bay says:

    Frances you still have a lot blooming! I love your Cupheas and ‘Las Vegas’. You’ve convinced me to try Cobaea next year, yours is so gorgeous.

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks so much. I used the heat mat to start the Cobaea and only one seed out of the five in the packet germinated. We also bought the white, and none of them grew. I do hope to have viable seeds from the fruits, fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

  16. Lola says:

    What a fantastic array of beauty you still have Frances. I think the okra may be confused. I am most interested about that pumpkin. Do keep us informed.

    Hi Lola, thanks. The pumpkin is still hanging there. I am sure the fishnets have helped with the wind we are currently experiencing. πŸ™‚

  17. Jean says:

    My hyacinth bean didn’t bloom that much either. I think my expectations were too high. πŸ™‚ I can’t believe you have a November blooming iris. So pretty. I was just reading about Cobaea and wondering what it was. Very nice. Hope everything comes out okay after your rains!

    Hi Jean, thanks. I have grown hyacinth beans before and they took over. I should have put them in the ground, I think. The iris was a total surprise. It is new and I didn’t realize it would bloom now and wasn’t even looking at it. Then one day there was this tall stalk with several buds. I am glad the tag was still on it. The Cobaea has been great. I doubt it will overwinter, but I am doing everything possible to help it out. The pumpkin is still hanging there, in fishnet stockings. πŸ™‚

  18. Catherine says:

    I hope to see that they made it through the wind and rain. I wish I was as lucky to still have so much in bloom here, the rain and hail we had really beat up most of what was left. It’ll be interesting to see what’s blooming for bloom day for everyone.

    Thanks Catherine. I hope your own garden survives what’s coming. Right now it is very windy and overcast, but the rain seems to have moved on. The iris and rose didn’t make it, but the rest are hanging in. πŸ™‚

  19. Nell Jean says:

    I’ve been wondering what would hang on here until Bloom Day. Should I pull up the waning Madagascar periwinkle to see what might be waiting underneath? What will survive the rain and wind? Will a rosebud magically open that I wasn’t expecting? Will the Night Blooming Cereus open by the fifteenth?

    Sound like you have lots of ifs going on there, Nell Jean! I can’t wait to find out the answers to your burning questions. πŸ™‚

  20. Alice Joyce says:

    Morning Frances!
    Cupheas are among my most treasured bloomers, as they go on and on … feeding the hummers to my delight, right outside my kitchen window.
    I’ve also had blooms on and off through the seasons on my native Dutchman’s Pipevine – swallowtail vine – which I can’t quite figure out. I’d expect it would bloom once and then rest. It does produce strange-looking fruits!

    As always, your garden offers a trove of fascinating plants. Never disappointed when I stop by!!

    Thanks Alice, so glad you enjoyed your visit. The Cupheas have been fabulous, I hope a couple will winter over, but will replant them even if they don’t. Last year the cigar plant, C. ignea returned. That is what prompted the Cuphea population explosion.

  21. I hope your flowers last just a few more days…

    I especially love your Cuphea.

    Thanks Noelle. There are other blooms for bloom day that will certainly survive to be shown. The storm actually damaged little and the fishnets have helped hold the pumpkin. Cupheas are just wonderful. So many blooms all season long. I loved your agave posts! πŸ™‚

  22. Hi Frances

    You shown that Cobaea scandens again and gues what, I’m jealous again.

    I know that at Sissinghurst they grow them in the white garden, so I reckon I must have had bad seed or something. It really is the most perfect bloom, I know it’s called the cup ‘n’ saucer plant and for good reason.

    PS you should enter that Cobaea photo into something, you’d win.

    Hi Rob, I knew you would mention the Cobaea. I wish you could see it in person, it has covered every surface and grown and regrown over itself, all the while blooming nonstop. There are pods hanging too, I do hope to collect viable seed from them. If not I will have to order some, I want to have this again and it most likely won’t winter over, although there is hope and lots of mulch on it. Thanks for those kind words about the photo. This is a very photogenic flower. πŸ™‚

  23. Kiki says:

    What a magical post! I felt like a child in garden-awe! Beautiful photos, I love the irises…I am enchanted by the wonderful colors and abundance of nature all around you! Awesome post!

    What a nice thing to say, Kiki, thanks! The garden does take years off when we enter. No wonder we love being there so much. πŸ™‚

  24. easygardener says:

    I like the Cupheas – they look like they have had a fright and are shouting “Eeek”.
    Brave pumpkin – hang on in there!

    Hi EG, thanks. They are wonderful plants, non stop blooming machines. We shall see how they overwinter, but I will plant them again. The hummingbirds loved them. The pumpkin is still hanging in, supported with the fishnet stockings. πŸ™‚

  25. It looks like you have enough blooms that something will surely be blooming for bloom day! Can’t wait to see what it is.

    Thanks Carol. There will be something for bloom day this month without a problem. It is later on, in December that it gets a little sketchy. There are always the orchids. πŸ™‚

  26. Kate says:

    Hi, Frances! Very pretty. Oh, what I would give to have a zone 7 garden… Alas my growing season is long over. I hope Carol is okay with indoor flowers for bloom day. What a neat idea. I’d like to join in the fun…

    Hi Kate, thanks. We are very fortunate for our zone. Four distinct seasons but short winters and bearable summers. The diversity of plants that will grow here is most welcome. Carol encourages indoor flowers for bloom days, winter or anytime. She even said it was okay to go buy something in bloom if need be. The rules are quite lax, imagination encouraged. πŸ™‚

  27. Benjamin says:

    Reblooming iris? Coneflower? UNFAIR. I think I still have some sanguisorba blooming, and some nodding pink onion. Maybe a few aster blooms left. Barf. At least it isn’t snowing like it was 1 month ago today!

    Hi Benjamin, you have a plant that I am struggling to get going here, the sanguisorba. I have bought several types and started seeds. I love that it is still blooming for you. The reblooming iris is a total surprise. Look for it, Las Vegas! Barf, when is the last time I heard that term? HA πŸ™‚

  28. I think you have nothing to fear, unlike me. (I might end up with only 2 things in bloom for the 15th, one of which is that crazy Hellebore that never went out of bloom.) That Cobaea is such a fantastic flower, I’m so jealous you can grow it.

    Hi MMD, thanks. You can grow the Cobaea too, look for seeds. I see they are still available from Thompson and Morgan. I did use the heat mat to germinate them. We do live in an enviable zone.

  29. It only rained on you today, Wednesday the 11th Frances? It started here sometime in the night on Monday and has been raining non-stop since I woke up Tuesday morning. At least there hasn’t been any wind to speak of. It is still raining now. I would be tempted to try the Cobaea on the rickety fence in front of the roadside vegetable garden as an added outrageous floral weirdness to the passersby, but I don’t think it would ever get warm enough for it to actually grow. Anything that likes it hot tends to sulk here.

    Hi Christopher, our rain began Monday night and all day Tuesday and that night. By Wednesday it was howling wind and very overcast, looking like it could rain any second, but it was dry. Today is sunny, but the wind is still blowing hard. Why not give the Cobaea a try? Seeds are cheap. I don’t know if the pods will have viable seeds or not. If they do I will surely share. I won’t know for several months. Chuck might have better ones than me, but he deadheads the flowers.

  30. RobinL says:

    I am very excited to try Cup and Saucer vines myself next year. It’s gorgeous! I’m sure it will be an annual here in zone 6, did it take too long to start blooming? Thanks for the warning about Maypop, but hopefully our colder winter will keep it under control.

    Hi Robin, do give it a try. It seemed like forever before it started blooming, mid August. But it has made up for being late with so many blooms and still going strong. Very worthwhile.

  31. Racquel says:

    I’m glad I took photos earlier this week before the rains and winds set in. It is still blowing like crazy here…no sign of let up until Saturday.

    Oops I forgot to tell you how much I love the Cup & Saucer Vine, it’s a beauty.

    Thanks, Racquel. It pays to take photos ahead of predicted bad weather. Hope everything is okay in your area. It looks like Les and some others might be getting hit hard.

  32. Hope the blooms hang on! The wind and rain have kept me hanging on INSIDE! At least the power is back on this morning!


    Oh Cameron, I do hope you and yours will be okay in the storm. It looks like a lot of wind and rain for those nearer and on the east coast.

  33. Mona says:

    To have a garden like this…or even near to this is a dream of mine. Recently I had to leave my home and begin again and I was up to the task, though I knew it was going to be difficult! Blogs like yours have inspired me but yours is exactly what I have in mind. Of course I am not in the beautiful hills of Tennessee but I need to try. I simply love what you have done, what you are doing and how you are photographing it to share with us.

    I have enjoyed my visit this morning so much.. and again..I have hope. Starting over from scratch is something I didn’t think I would be doing at this age! πŸ™‚
    Your tiny grandson…so cute! I am looking forward to seeing more and more!
    NOT even a drop of rain here in California…How I would love some rain and some beautiful clouds!
    What a wonderful blog!

    My goodness, Mona, what kind and wonderful words. Thank you so much, and welcome. You can always begin again with gardening, wherever you might find yourself. Good luck on figuring out how to best use your space. My advice? Evergreens and grasses along with nice pathways and walls to begin. The rest can be added later. πŸ™‚

  34. TC says:

    Are fishnets and pantyhose one and the same? (Do you find it odd that I didn’t ask about any of your blooms?)

    You are too funny, TC! Fishnets can either be of the pantyhose, all one piece variety or stocking, needing something to hold them up on each leg. The knit is very open and wide, with spaces of bare leg showing through. Regular pantyhose, yuck, are very finely knit. My mother used to call them nylons. Pantyhose have a waist and body attached to the legs. Not comfortable and they always get a run or snag on the first wearing, usually before one is out the door.

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