November 15th, 2007
GBBD 200711: Nov 2007

2007-11-15. Do houseplants count for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day? The orchid Margaret gave me has opened all its buds…still going strong after a month.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites us to tell her what’s blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.

A cold front blew in last night, dropping temperatures 20 degrees but not bringing any rain. Today is sunny and windy. It’s hard to take photos in the wind. Zanthan Gardens is looking like it’s ready for a new year. Leaves are dropping just enough to litter the lawn, paths, and beds and yet not enough to open up the yard to sunlight. The trees, perennials, and even grass looks tired and worn.

I’ve been planting out winter annuals these last couple of weeks and that’s where almost all the new flowers for this month come from.

Viola cornuta Sorbet Coconut Duet
The violas are one of my favorite flowers. I don’t really like their larger cousins, the pansies, maybe because pansies are ubiquitous in commercial plantings around Austin. I hate the way they are typically set out in as if they were floral color dots, all different colors and lined up in unnatural rows and columns. I prefer the diminutive violas. I like to plant them in winding drifts so that they look like they just sprung up on their own.

Lobularia maritima
I also like sweet alyssum, Lobulari maritima. I need to buy a lot more of it, though. In years past I’ve made containers out of rotted logs and the sweet alyssum looks very pretty draping down over the logs.

Dianthus chinensis
Pinks, Dianthus chinensis, are another common winter annual here in Austin. If the summer isn’t too hot, they will last and last. I managed to keep one group of so-called annuals growing for over 4 years. They finally died out so I decided that 2007 was a good year to plant out some more.

Among the vegetables, the jalepeno pepper is still going strong.The summer squash continues flowering but I don’t have much hope left for it because the plants look so sickly and ragged. On the other hand, the bush beans have finally decided to grow and are flowering like mad.

I don’t have any roses in bloom at the moment. ‘Ducher’ had been in full bloom last week but all the flowers faded by today. ‘French Lace’, which has been struggling all year, finally died. ‘Blush Noisette’ has buds that look like they will open tomorrow or the day after.

  • Antigonon leptopus (only a few flowers left)
  • Asclepias curassavica (mostly gone to seed)
  • Cosmos sulphureus (some very short ones, only a foot tall)
  • Aster ericoides (in full bloom)
  • Commelina communis or C. erecta (weedy dayflower)
  • Curcubita pepo (straightneck summer squash)
  • Dianthus chinensis
  • Dolichos lablab (suddenly flowered again after going to seed)
  • Duranta erecta
  • Lantana montevidensis
  • Malvaviscus arboreus
  • Oxalis crassipies
  • Plumbago auriculata (still many flowers)
  • Lobularia maritima
  • Podranea ricasoliana (finally blooming all along the north fence)
  • Rudbeckia fulgida
  • Solanum jasminoides (new this month)
  • Tradescantia pallida/Setcreasia (purple heart)
  • Tradescantia–unknown white
  • Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Coconut Duet’

by M Sinclair Stevens

11 Responses to post “GBBD 200711: Nov 2007”

  1. From healingmagichands:

    So, I read your “about” page, and love your statement about how a garden is a growing thing and is never done. YOU visited me, and if you surfed around at all, you know that I certainly subscribe to that point of view! In spades!

    I notice that you are also an aficionado of McClure and Zimmerman, probably my single most favorite catalog and one where I am a frequent offender. Usually I end up with hundreds of bulbs and wonder what I was thinking when I made the order. Have you come across High Country Gardens? Another great mail order garden place, specializing in xeriscape. You might want to check it out.

    Thanks for visiting, hope to see you around again.

    Thanks for stopping by. I saw your crocuses and they reminded me how much I missed having them this year. I bought my crocuses from McClure and Zimmerman. I love that catalog. I’ve looked at the High Country Gardens catalog. We have so many good independent nurseries in Austin that I buy all my perennials directly. Usually I purchase only bulbs and seeds through the mail. — mss

  2. From Bonnie:

    Beautiful orchid photo. That pale color is so striking.

    This is the first orchid I’ve ever had. It is a gift from AJM’s mom. Even if I don’t manage to get it to bloom a second time, I’ve been very happy with it. The flowers have lasted much longer than a cut flower bouquet would have. — mss

  3. From Annie in Austin:

    Condolences on the ‘French Lace’, and congratulations on the orchid. And on the duranta. None of my three plants have any flowers – and neither does the turkscap. I think your cedar elm leaves are down, though – aren’t they? My garden is still in deep shade.

    That’s what I forgot to buy – alyssum! Maybe it’s not too late to throw some seeds around? Happy Blooming Day.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Nope, the cedar elm leaves are falling but they’re only about half down. Same with the pecan. The red oaks haven’t even started. So, like yours, my garden remains in deep shade. — mss

  4. From Nan Ondra:

    Seeing your beautiful November Bloom Day photos is a bit disorienting for this Pennsylvania gardener. The plants you’re enjoying as winter annuals would be solid signs of spring here. Well, at least we can enjoy them vicariously right now, thanks to you!

    And I’ve been enjoying the photos of all the gardens up north all summer. Ah, the wonderful things you can grow that we can’t like lilacs and tulips and Japanese maples. Isn’t GBBD fun? — mss

  5. From Pam/Digging:

    The orchid is beautiful. I love that pale color. The violas are also very nice.

    Didn’t you enjoy the cool weather today? I sure did.

    The cooler weather has been wonderful. It makes me so happy to be outside. — mss

  6. From Carol:

    Of course the indoor plants count! How else will we northern gardeners have anything in bloom again until March?

    I also prefer the violas over the pansies. Unfortunately, I can only find violas in the spring.

    Thanks for joining in for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day again.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

    And thank you, Carol, for starting the tradition. — mss

  7. From Ki:

    Ah, you Austinites make me envious with your long blooming season. The orchid looks really lovely. It may last several months. I like the look of the sweet alyssum. Reminds me a bit of the Arabis with it’s four petals. I’ll have to look for some next year.

    I’ve grown sweet alyssum from seed once but I find it much easier to just buy 4-inch pots or a 6-pack. It has a almost honeyed scent but as the flowers are small, the scent is not overpowering. — mss

  8. From Yolanda Elizabet:

    How nice to see that you plant out violas for winter interest too. You still have a pretty long list of blooms for November! How I wish that pinks could grow during the winter here but alas. I love those sweet little flowers with their wonderful scent.

    BTW my blooms are up too! 😉

    As usual, Yolanda, your garden is stunning. — mss

  9. From entangled:

    Your alyssum is fresh and new, and mine is still hanging on after an early spring direct sowing. It’s uplifting to see so many things still in bloom in the southern gardens, while ours are shutting down for the year.

    Well, none of these flowers are “still in bloom”. They are all new flowers for the new gardening year. They’ve just started blooming after a long period (from about May onward) when they don’t bloom. So rather than think of southern gardens as blooming late into the season, it is probably more accurate to say that we begin our flowering season early, but also end it early–not because of frost but because of heat. — mss

  10. From Julie:

    Dear MSS,

    Got the baby blue eyes seeds planted yesterday. Thanks for it/them. It had been so long a time that when it came, rain Saturday sounded eerie: “What’s that??!”

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    I’ll be looking forward to hearing how they turned out. For some reason, I have a lot of baby blue eyes and cilantro poppping up right now but now bluebonnets or larkspur. One thing about a self-sown garden is that it’s a surprise every year. — mss

  11. From Karen in Maryland:

    We seeded several flats of pansies this year with great success. However, so far all we have is a bunch of great looking green plants. Only one plant had one bloom. Can you tell us what the possible causes would be?

    Could be lack of sunlight. Could be too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Fertilizers high in nitrogen encourage leaf growth at the expense of flowers. — mss