Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Monday, October 31, 2011

October at a Glance

~ ~ Notes on the October Garden ~ ~

October is leaving on a rainy note this year ~ which is fine with me since I'm tucked cozily inside my home with a cup of hot tea browsing through the photos of my October garden. 

This warm sunny hibiscus flower seemed like a good choice... the perfect color for autumn and of course, Halloween.  It takes a good portion of summer for the tropicals to recover and bless us with their blooms. I don't seem to have enough of these in the garden anymore. But they are always cheerful ~ always welcome!

One of the first trees I planted when we built our house was this Golden Rain tree. Why, you might ask since it's a prolific seeder? Well, it's simple! This tree is always one of the first signs (often appearing in late August) that the end of summer is nearing. I'm always excited to see the yellow flowers that appear first and are then quickly followed by...

the salmon colored seed pods. The color is stunning! Especially since we don't have a lot of fall tree color. And, what beautiful blue skies we have in autumn.

I look forward to seeing Sparkling Burgundy camellias in the garden each fall because they bloom so heavily. Sparkling Burgundy is a member of the sasanqua varieties which kick off the camellia season here in Florida. 

Who can resist photographing flowers with all the delicate water droplets on them following a rain shower? I know I can't!

Here's another tropical that is back from winter's gloom and doom. 

This mandevilla vine is such a pretty bright white that I never tire of seeing or photographing it.

It blooms all summer and looks so pretty paired with the red pineapple sage (below) that starts blooming in autumn and continues right through the winter.

What else is blooming in the October Garden?

The arbor is covered with a pink blooming vine. I'm not sure of the name. The nursery owner said St.Joseph's vine, but I don't know for sure. The island bed is in a fluffy stage...kinda like a "big hair" hairdo (wow...hairdo - that word really dates me, doesn't it?) due to the culmination of a lot of summer growth. The Mexican sage and sweet almond are large and fluffy as is the purple fountain grass. 

And, the "wild" area is making sure the hummers and butterflies have plenty to eat. 
From left to right ~ Turk's cap, Firespike, Porterweed and native Liatris.

Life's Simple Pleasures
Catching a glimpse of a couple of frisky otters going for an early morning swim in a natural spring in our neighborhood. They are so sweet-looking! A relished site in this tiny piece of  "Old Florida" in which we live.

Hope your Halloween is filled with TREATS and not TRICKS!


Sandy said...

Your gardens flowering plants are still looking wonderful. I know most will fade now and mine have. I see so many plants and trees out back that are turning yellow and falling... my crepe myrtle, 3 of them, are loosing their leaves also.
One nice thing last years Poinsettias are all turning red and it's telling me the Holidays are coming.....
Thanks for your visit and do try that Corn Meal Cake.. the lemon makes your mouth pucker.. my kind of lemon!

daisy said...

OMGosh! You have otters! How blessed you are.

Your flowers look wonderful and definitely signal fall's welcoming.

Lemon Lane Cottage said...

Your flowers are still looking so pretty. I thought that salmon colored tree was a bouganvilla from the photo. My garden is looking sad during this in between season I think I'll get out there this weekend and starting cleaning up. Thanks for the inspiration.

NellJean said...

Mystery solved. I always wondered what those 'pink flowers' I saw in October over in Grady County might be. Didn't remember seeing golden blossoms on the same trees a few weeks before.

I'm looking forward to Camellia season.

Meems said...

October was a wonderful start to the autumn season and November is beautiful so far. I DO admire the diversity our season offers and your garden showcases it well. So many great blooms and colors to celebrate! The Golden Rain tree does make a stunning show while in bloom.

Susan said...

Sandy...How lucky for you that your poinsettias are turning red already. I'll have to go and check mine. I'm definitely going to test out that corn meal cake. Thanks for visiting.

Daisy...We do love those sweet little critters...only wish we could catch them playing more often.

Lemon Lane Cottage...The rain tree flowers do resemble bougainvillea flowers. I never thought of that before, but you're right.

NellJean...Camellias definitely brighten up winter.

Meems...Yes, autumn is wonderful here. It's hard to stay inside.

Ami said...

Oh, Susan, your October garden looks so Autumn and beautiful! Love that Golden Rain tree against blue sky, the combination of while mandevilla and red pineapple sage, and of course the camellias!!!

I have been busy and maybe also a little lazy recently to write new posts of my own recently :) But I think now I have the urge to post again :) The weather is also being so wonderful. Happy Autumn!

Raffi / Gardenology.org said...

That's a lot of variety for October... have you got good photos of your November blooms?

NanaK said...

Fall has been good to your garden. I love your description of your "fluffy" garden area. I am fortunate to have a rain tree across the street from me so I can enjoy its changing colors without too many seedlings making their way to my yard:) How special to have those otters in your neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

Susan, in your October 31, 2011 blog, you have a photo of a pretty, pink trumpet-shaped flower and vine. That plant is, without a doubt, Pink Trumpet Vine, also known as Port St. Johns Creeper, Zimbabwe Creeper, Queen of Sheba and Port John’s Creeper. It's botanical name is Podranea ricasoliana. You can see more photos and read about its culture here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1755/.

Carol in Jacksonville

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