Fall Bloomday Flowers And Blog Action Day

Welcome all to the first official fall Bloom Day of 2011. It also happens to be Blog Action day #BAD11, soon, and the subject this year is food. What better way to combine the two, as is done each October, than to open with a shot of food, swiss chard, and flowers, Dahlia ‘Gallery Singer’.

This is the plant that has lit the fire of desire, returning larger each year in the raised box planter. This space must be situated just so for protection against winter’s chill and filled with fast draining compost for the Dahlia ‘Gallery Cobra’ to be so happy.

When several of these large potted Dahlias were seen marked way down at the big box store, impulsiveness took ahold of the shopping cart and all were brought to live in the Fairegarden. Most of the tags were missing, but this one is another member of the Gallery series, Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’. The Gallery series is named for famous artists. There were three of these, they were planted in other very well drained and sunny spots as an experiment to check their winter hardiness in our zone 7a. It may have been a mistake, time will tell if they emerge next spring.

One more Dahlia before we move on, the seed grown Dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’ has switched from single petals in previous years to a double row somehow. Derived from D. ‘Bishop Of Landaff’, this offspring appears nearly identical to the pater, with dark foliage, upright growth habit and red flowers that fade to burnt orange.

Bulbine frutescens had been on the wish list for some time and was purchased last year on a trip to Florida for spring break. It was overwintered in a large pot in the garage with a smaller piece in the greenhouse/sunroom. It is now planted in the ground and is just now blooming. It will not winter over again, the affair is kaput.

Fall blooming Crocus speciosus is reliable in its yearly return in both the front raised stone covered planter..

…And along the pathway in front of the porch amongst the Ajuga reptans. I like both groundcovers with the pale blue petals and firey orange stamens of the crocus.

This lavender, grown from seed saved from dried flower heads long ago, sited by the old concrete stairs has rebloomed with abundance. It is difficult to photograph, the flowers are small and move about in the slightest breeze.

Maybe if a pink slogger is placed underneath, the flowers will show up better. Yes, they do.

Speaking of pink, the pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris on the hill is nearly at peak. The combination with the Rosa ‘Knockout’ brings out the best in both flowers come fall.

The massive planting of pink muhly grass along the driveway with the Aster oblongifolium ‘October Skies’ is still not gitting along fast enough. Maybe next month’s bloom day will see it in full regalia.

Check out the blooms from around the world at Carol of May Dreams Gardens official linky list.


Food and gardening go hand in hand. The great gift of soil, seeds, sunlight and water being able to feed humans and critters is precious beyond measure, not to be wasted or trifled with. Growing your own or letting local farmers do the growing for you, shopping at farmer’s markets, is to be encouraged. It affects us all. Read what other bloggers are saying about food for action day by clicking here-Blog Action Day.


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20 Responses to Fall Bloomday Flowers And Blog Action Day

  1. Ewa says:

    Hello Frances! Wonderful autumn flowers. I am in love with your pink muhlbergia since over 2 years, since I’ve seen it on your blog. I can’t buy it 😦

    Hello Ewa, my friend, I miss you! Perhaps you can persuade some local nursery to carry the pink muhly, they could surely obtain seeds of it, if your climate is warm enough. We are on the northern edge of its hardiness, although with the way the climate seems to be changing…

  2. Carol says:

    A lovely showing for bloom day. Yes, the first Fall bloom day of the year. It will be interesting to see who has what blooming. I know I have some surprises to show tomorrow. Thank you, as always for joining in.

    Thanks, Carol. I wouldn’t miss a bloom day, haven’t missed a single one since blogging began in December 2007, although not the best of months to begin a bloomday. Lots of flowers still, I can’t wait to see your surprises!

  3. 7aces/Darla says:

    Ms. Frances, those Dahlias are gorgeous. It appears that the first one is actually blooming from the Chard. I look forward to your Muhly Grass every year!

    Thanks Darla. I have been trying for years to have the chard/dahlia combo after seeing a Martha Stewart gardening article with a similar vibe. We are getting closer! The muhly is dragging its feet!

  4. Gail says:

    Frances, The dahlias are lovely~Great find! The Muhly Grass may not be gitting along fast enough but that final photo is stellar! I am sorry to say that the local rodents ate my fall crocus~Must remember to buy more next year! Yours look beautiful as do the peppers in their perfect blue bowl xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. Those Gallery Dahlias have given their money’s worth of delight already, even if they don’t return, but fingers are crossed that we’ll see those beauties again next year. So sorry about the crocus loss, those evil devils! This was a banner year for peppers, if not tomatoes.

  5. Layanee says:

    I am thankful of the early reminder of Bloom Day. Your blooms are luscious and the muhly grass…who needs traditional blooms?

    Thanks Layanee, happy to be a gentle reminder for the real date of bloom day! We consider the pink muhly grass to be traditional, for Fairegarden! HA

  6. So beautiful Faire. So beautiful. Happy early bloom day!~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. This is a pretty time of year in the garden, the leaves turning, the lower light, yummy!

  7. hope6309 says:


    I love your pictures. When is the best time of year to plant muhly grass?

    Hi Hope, thanks. I would plant the muhly whenever you can find it for sale. I bought mine in the fall, but have moved and divided it in spring also. Summer is not a good time, too difficult to keep it watered.

  8. Wendy says:

    You may not think that Pink Muhly Grass is gitting along… but I find it intoxicating swaying alongside your driveway like that… *making mental plans to do the same!!* 🙂

    That bulbine frutescens is GORGEOUS!! I’ve never heard of it, but yet again, I have found something in your garden that MUST be added to my own ‘wishin’ list’. 🙂

    You’re always such an inspiration!!

    Thanks Wendy. The pink muhly grass is lovely, even not fully open. It seems to get later and later each year. It used to peak in September! The Bulbine is very photogenic, it is not as wonderful in real life, but still cool. It is a tropical, not even close to hardy here so this will be the end of it. I am thrilled you feel inspired!

  9. Hi Frances,

    I’ve got several Dahlias in my yard, which are currently blooming in glorious oranges, pinks and yellows. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that their heads are so large and so top heavy that the stems can’t support them and they fall to the ground. I hate resorting to stakes but I might have no choice.

    Do you perhaps have some other good idea for me?


    p.s. Thanks for the blogroll.

    Hi Hanna, thanks for visiting. I don’t do the large dinner plate type of Dahlias, they are not as hardy as these smaller ones and that is my main interest in them. I do sometimes have to prop Gallery Cobra up with a metal container trellis thingey. I use those alot for various floppy flowers. The Bishop’s Children is staked with a bamboo pole. Sometimes, you just gotta stake things.

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I can see why you fell for those dahlias Frances. I would too if I could leave them in the ground. They freeze out here. I am such a slug I wouldn’t get them dug up for the winter. I will just have to admire them from afar. Have a great weekend.

    Thanks Lisa. I am a slug in the same way, never dig things to keep them over the winter. The big surprise was when the first Dahlia returned the next year. My neighbors would dig theirs and lose them to rot anyway. It seemed like a lot of work to have them rot. You too, have a wonderful weekend.

  11. I am impressed you grew lavender from seed! I tried to do some seeds this summer, though really only half-heartedly…to no avail. I wish our big box store had some bargain dahlias…I would buy lots!
    I will wander over to Blog Action Day.

    Thanks Janet. It was a one time success story, never to be done again. The flower stalks had been drying in a box in the shed and I noticed little black seeds rolling around underneath, planted them in the greenhouse and they germinated. The babies were planted all along the edge of the path and grew nicely for a few years. All of them died except this one, however. It is easier to root cuttings in winter. Timing is everything with those bargains, I got lucky!

  12. Les says:

    No switched at birth titles this month for us, but I loved your Dahlias and of course your Muhly. I like how the soft pinkness is a nice contrast to the more rigid Arborvitaes. Happy GBBD!

    Thanks Les. No cleverness in this title, HA. The arborvitae hedge and the boxwood hedge at the top of the hill both make a good backdrop for the frothy pinkness. Happy GBBD to you!

  13. Your garden is stunning, but I am taken by the elegant beauty of the muhly grass. It really does add so much as an edge plant and as a background….very, very nice!

    Thanks Sage Butterfly. This is the season of the pink muhly grass. Everything else is eclipsed by it.

  14. Your dahlias are truly some of the most beautiful I think I’ve ever seen! I don’t really grow them as their leaves end up being covered with icky white mildew (thanks to living so close to the ocean), but at least I can appreciate yours! I have Bulbine featured in my post as well, and can’t say enough good things about this plant. In just 2 years, mine have grown to a whopping 3′ in diameter! Where I live, they’re a year-round plant, able to withstand light frosts without showing any damage. But anything below 28 degrees wouldn’t be good…. Thanks for the gorgeous photos!

    Hi Rebecca, thanks so much for those kind words. I would love for the Bulbine to be hardy here, but we have many days below 28 degrees. Maybe with a little extra mulch… The Gallery Dahlia series is my favorite, highly recommended. I hope that doesn’t jinx their hardiness!

  15. noel says:


    what a great collection of flowers, i love all the colors in your garden especially your gorgeous dahlias…great photos

    Aloha, Noel, thanks for visiting. The Dahlias are giving us great joy right now, too bad the threat of frost is so close. We will enjoy them while we can.

  16. Rosemary says:

    I just found your beautiful blog! Faire Garden is a lovely name. Your pictures are breathtaking, the colors are so vibrant… Nature did a wonderful job painting.
    Hugs Rosemary…

    Hi Rosemary, thanks and welcome! Nature is the best artist, that is a fact. Hugs back to you.

  17. Lovely flowers as usual. Happy GBBD.

    Thanks Carolyn, happy GBBD back to you.

  18. Pink muhly…be still my heart! I love all those dahlias too, but the pink muhly….

    Thanks MMD. I wish you could see it in person, my photos do not do it justice. A good photographer, like you, could really show it off!

  19. Rose says:

    Gorgeous dahlias! I’ve never had much luck with dahlias, but these are so enticing, I think I may have to give them a try again. If the pink Muhly isn’t at its peak yet, I can’t wait to see it when it is!

    Thanks Rose. I have killed many a dahlia, but got lucky with the Gallery Cobra in the raised box. I might be pushing my luck be adding the others, we shall see what happens in spring. The muhly is getting there, moreso on the hill than along the driveway. I have no idea why.

  20. Scott Weber says:

    OMG…I’m seriously jealous of all your Pink Muhly Grass…I only have 3 of them (wish I had room for more). Your long swathe of them is totally inspiring!

    Thanks Scott. I started with only two muhly grasses to make that swathe along the driveway and spread it elsewhere, too. Divide divide divide!

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