Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2012

Welcome to Bloom Day, October edition, in my Southeast Texas, zone 9a, garden. Let's get right to it. Here are some of the blooms that are brightening my garden today.

I've featured this 'Big Momma' Turk's cap many times in my blog posts. It blooms twelve months of the year in our climate and is a haven for hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies especially during the colder months of the year when little else is blooming.

A close-up of one of 'Big Momma's' blossoms shows its structure which is so attractive to the pollinators.

Sweet-smelling almond verbena is at its best at this time of year.

'Senorita Rosalita' cleome has bloomed faithfully all summer long and now well into the fall.

And speaking of old faithfuls, my old species cannas will continue to bloom until first frost.

Floribunda rosa 'Monkey Business' is putting out its autumn flush of blooms.

Blooms have been notably lacking in my old miniature rose 'Red Cascade' this year, but now as the months dwindle down, it has relented and is giving me some of these tiny, perfect roses. I'm glad because I am quite fond of this plant.

The Knockout family of roses blooms most of the year, but the blooms get smaller as the year wears on. Still, I quite like these pretty little single pink blossoms.

And here is the yellow variety of Knockout called 'Radsunny.'

'Darcy Bussell' continues to crank out these lush, velvety roses on a regular basis.

The mislabeled "white" mistflower merrily produces a profusion of these lavender blossoms. Although it isn't what I was expecting, I find it is growing on me. I quite like it.

Nearby, the tropical milkweed is in full bloom, enticing passing butterflies, and offering its leaves as a nursery for Monarch and Queen butterflies.

Autumn sage is also a big winner with butterflies, as well as bees and hummingbirds - basically, all the pollinators like it.

Likewise the salvia 'Mystic Spires.' I think you can see one happy bee on the right "spire."

Another sage, the Salvia coccinea or "scarlet sage" that came up as a "volunteer" in one of my garden beds this summer has made many migrating hummingbirds happy this fall.

Autumn, of course, is the best time of year for the native lantana.

The 'Dallas Red' lantana was added to the garden this year and is just beginning to put on a show for me.

The Phlox paniculata, or summer phlox, has now become autumn phlox. (I think its name is 'Texas Pink'.)

The plant that we call "yellow bells" or Esperanza, more properly named Tecoma stans, will continue its glorious bloom at least until first frost. Last winter, which hardly even qualified for the name "winter," this plant that lives in the protected corner of the "L" of my house, never stopped blooming.  

The red firespike, Odontonema strictum, a resident in my garden for three years, is blooming for the first time this fall, a reminder that sometimes one has to have patience with a plant. 

And speaking of the need for patience, I was completely out of patience with these marigolds that I had planted to add some color in a drab spot of the garden. Then last week I walked by the bed and found them covered in tiny blooms. Mother Nature does love to mess with me!

Jatropha dies back to its roots in the winter here, but it comes back in the late spring and gives me a profusion of these blossoms all summer and fall.

The yellow cestrum, another butterfly favorite, never dies back and never quite stops blooming, although it does slow down in winter.

Autumn really is just about the best time of year in my garden. It is almost like a second spring but with less humidity and it is a time of a profusion of blooms. I've shown you just a few of them today. Thank you for visiting my garden and happy Bloom Day to you,

Thank you once again to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly meme. 


  1. You have so many beautiful plants still in flower! I guess the climate is a bit warmer where you are than here in London :-) I had to look up your 'Big Momma', had not heard about it before, and can't seem to find anyone who sell it over here, but it should be suitable for my climate. Love your Darcey Bussell rose, I have 3 David Austin roses already and this one is on my wish-list for next year.

    1. 'Darcy' has been a real winner for me in this first year that I've had her in my garden.

      'Big Momma' Turk's Cap was developed by a Texas horticulturist and I'm not sure how widely distributed it is, but it is a very tough plant and I'm betting it could make it in your climate if you could find it.

  2. You have so many blooms going on and all so colorful! Thank you for sharing and a Happy GBBD to you!

  3. Very lovely. Only thing is, it's hard to be jealous of all your flowers or pleased that plants are still blooming somewhere.

    1. Personally, I always feel jealous when I look at these Bloom Day posts from around the world and see all the wonderful plants that are growing in other gardeners' gardens. As for my garden, October and May really are my very best months for blooms.

  4. Great Pics and great job! Everything so beautiful. I put in one of those Dallas Reds this summer , I expect it will do better next year. Fall is great !

    1. Fall is great - the best time of year! It took a long time for the 'Dallas Red' to get going. Like you, I expect mine to do better next year.

  5. What a treat to see all your lovely blooms, just as mine are all dying back with cooler and sometimes frosty weather of fall. I'm not familiar with almond verbena, but I bet it smells heavenly! Happy Bloom Day!

    1. It does indeed, Rose. It is a wonderful plant. We should have almost two more months of blooms before first frost, unless it comes early this year, and this really is just about the most floriferous time of year for us.