One common meme on garden blogs is a mid-month photographic record of flowers in bloom in your garden. The earliest reference to this meme is by Carol from May Dreams Gardens, who has blogged since 2002. Riffs on this include Pam Pennick’s Foliage Follow-up, Lisa’s Chaos Macro-Monday, and of course, Wordless Wednesday which isn’t necessarily garden-specific.
Rather than give an exhaustive photographic record of what is blooming in my garden, I will merely list that my Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, normally prolific late into October, is sagging terribly, and has lost all yellow petals. I plan on cutting it down completely this year, instead of leaving the seeds through until February, because it needs dividing and moving to another part of the garden (not the vegetable bed, where it reaches 8′ with all that supplemental water.) The crocosmia has lovely orange seed heads. I thought it was ‘Star of the East’, but it lacks the yellow center on the flower, so I will severely reduce its run, and probably plant it elsewhere. The Miscanthus (oh crud, now where’s that tag?) is lovely, but I stupidly left last year’s plumage on as well, and the mixed look doesn’t work. I will give it a severe haircut in January, so as not to repeat the mistake.
But this year’s success was Dahlias … I’ve tried these before, gifted with exotic names like Kenora Lisa and Mingus Millie, and then let them rot in the ground. I went for simple this year, with ‘Marble Ball’ (shown below), and Dahlia ‘Coupe de Soleil’. The package labelled ‘Sorbet Blend’ went into the veg garden and with regular watering, were OK, but, well, pink. Yet now in mid-October, I’m thrilled to have any color in the garden at all. The ones I had hoped for, yellows, peaches and orange, placed more in the shade, and without supplemental water, struggle on, with only one bloom.
I went back to my records and found that there were many inconsistencies. Marble Ball, as pictured on the tag, was supposed to be much more purple, and was misspelled as ‘Marble Boll’. ‘Coupe de Soleil’ was supposed to be much more peach, but is a pale washed out yellow. I was also sold a “Sorbet Blend” that should have had bi-colored blooms, but instead I got pink flowers and dark purple ones. And ‘Creme’ never came up. Where did I plant it? All of those were “Van Bloem Gardens”. Not very impressed.
So here’s the winner, in mid-October, with it’s ear-wig chewed petal, is a very pink “Marble Ball”: