Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Appreciation Of November Blooms

Each and every one of the blooms in my November garden is dearly loved and appreciated.  Like Aster/Symphyotrichum praealtum  shown above with those lovable Bumbles that visit from sunrise to sunset everyday (really any time it's been over  50F). 
It stands tall  and sways in the breeze
 It's a perfect late blooming beauty, surviving  frosts, to provide much needed nectar and pollen for all late visiting pollinators. I've written about it several times and could fill this post with just photos of the pollinators visiting it. It stands tall  and sways in the breeze.  It's a must for anyone who loves pollinators. (Where Have All the Pollinators Gone) I am so appreciative my blogger friend, Sweet Bay, who gave me my original starts.
This photo is from  late October, but it's still blooming and  one of the last Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)  was seen flitting around the garden yesterday so I thought

Because I garden with wildlife in mind any plants that bloom later in the season are especially appreciated.  Pineapple Sage/Salvia elegans is a very late blooming plant, sometimes not until October in my Zone 7 garden.  Our first  frost was very mild and didn't touch the gorgeous red blooms!  It's  a semi woody, mostly herbaceous, sub shrub that survives even the coldest winters in my garden. It looks best massed with a background that let's the red  shine.

You've seen this photo before~Aronia arbutifolia, Panicum virgatum 'Northwind' and Salvia elegans
 It's still blooming  beautifully today.

The Agastaches are also in bloom~or,  to be more accurate,  they are  just now finishing up! Agastache aurantiaca 'Navajo Sunset' (above) is new this year and

Agastache rupestris (above) has been in the garden for several years.  Both are planted in containers to keep them alive.  They would rot in  Clay and Limestone's wet, wet winters.  They're planted in sharp draining soil that's on the lean side and spend the winters outdoors. Now those are hardy plants and beloved of resident pollinators and gardener alike! (Not The Climate For Xeric)

Rosa 'Lovely Fairy' is a version of the classic rose 'The Fairy' in a brighter pink.  I love, love, love this rose!  It's shade tolerant and when it starts looking puny in the middle of summer I give it a good haircut and voila it's blooming  before  you know it.  It's also one of the easiest  of plants to propagate from cuttings~I mean,  stick a stem in the soil and it roots easy peasy!  I have this growing in containers and in the garden!

Hamamelis virginiana is blooming!  I am celebrating each and every little bloom on this small tree! I was worried that there would be no bloom~the drought has taken a toll on all the native witch hazels~They do like moister conditions. It's been dry, I mean really dry.  Dryer then we are used to seeing.

 Don't you love the fascinating blooms that have been described as crepe paper by some and spidery by others! I think they're spectacular and love how they furl on cold days and unfurl on warm days. 

The first flower came before the leaves resting as lightly as butterflies on their short stiff stems, 
looking as if they had settled but for a moment between flights.*
 Cyclamen hederifolium caught my eye over 20 years ago.  I remember being completely charmed by its sweet bloom and astonished that it was blooming in the display crate.  I knew a plant like that could survive my inexperience and took several home immediately.  How I cradled the blooming corm/tubor and made sure the tiny little flower survived planting.  They survived and more have been added to the garden.  They favor  life under tall trees on ground that is fairly dry.  *The beautiful prose  is from Elizabeth Lawrence's book The Little Bulbs. Now that's a book everyone should read.

Almost all the Aster/Symphyotrichum are starting to fade, but, as long as there is one flower left there will be at least one Bumble visiting.  I'm gonna miss them when they're gone.

Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'

'Bat Faced' Cuphea
....and a few more to keep me smiling until the  freezing  weathers brings on winter!

I am a day late for Bloom Day but, offer up these blooms for your enjoyment.  Please pop over to May Dreams Gardens, where our delightful hostess has links to more Bloom Day posts then you can imagine.


Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone.


  1. Lovely, lovely blooms for late fall.
    Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

  2. So much beauty still, dear Gail. You have given me ideas about that Astache in the containers and sticking Fairy Queen rose cuttings right in the ground. Thanks! That is a very nice aster from Sweet Bay!

  3. My cyclamen has given over to their foliage. This is my first year with the plant. I am still in raptures over it. Beautiful bug pictures too Gail. We won't see them around here much until next spring. I will miss them. Love that Pineapple Sage. It freezes out here of course but it is a beauty.

  4. You have lovely blooms still going on there and beautiful foliage coloring up.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Just beautiful for mid November. I did not cut my pineapple sage back any during the summer so it's bloom show is not so grand. Ms. Doris' on the other hand is spectacular!

  6. What a delight to see the bumbles, Gail! I haven't seen one around here in weeks, even though we've had some warm days mixed in with freezing ones. You have so many lovely blooms still; the agastache are beautiful--they've become a new favorite of mine, and I plan to add more next year. This is the first year in awhile I haven't had pineapple sage--I miss those bright red late blooms!

  7. You are the most thoughtful hostess to those lucky bumbles and others! Happy Bloom Day!

  8. Lovely blooms! I so enjoy the photo with the butterfly.

  9. So beautifully blessed for mid-November, Gail ... all are lovely!

  10. What wonderful blooms you have, Gail! I greatly enjoyed my walk through your November garden.

  11. Good show! I had to look up Symphyotrichum prealtum to remember that I am familiar with this plant and the reason I haven't grown it is its preference for moist soil. But if it grows well at Clay and Limestone, maybe it would work here. It's a lovely thing.
    I've never seen 'Lovely Fairy' rose, you'd think it would be more popular, with it's gorgeous color.

  12. Gail, what stunning photos! I was so happy to see the bumblebees active in your garden-and the asters are lovely! I donated and installed several native plant gardens at our children's school, only to have the "landscapers" from the District office spray the plants with Round-Up. And we wonder why pollinators are becoming scarce? Look forward to exploring more of your site! Happy GBBD!

  13. Such splendid photos Gail! I only wish I could one time get my witch hazel to bloom. Do tell me the trick? Mine is large and grows but never blooms in the fall. The vernal one blooms in the spring not the virginiana. So frustrating when I see such pretty pics on blogs. The agastache is so awesome! Such a pretty color.

  14. What wonderful colours. I went down the same route this week!

  15. Pretty cool shots. I'm in color shock...you have so much. Today is a dreary wet day,it's nice to see your blooms.

  16. Tina, Only one bloomed this fall~I transplanted the other one this week and hope it will be happier! Literature says prefers it prefers evenly moist, acidic soil with some sun. Hope that helps. gail

  17. Gail, It's fun to see what is still blooming further south. I love the witch hazel (the ones I'm familiar with are all early spring bloomers). -Jean

  18. Happy bees, yay! Love the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'.

  19. Sigh... what a beautiful post Gail. :) You have a lot more blooming than I do. I'm so glad you like Miss Bessie; she is a beauty and the bees do love her!

  20. Gail, I really enjoyed walking around your garden with you, the bumbles and butterflies. That Plectranthus photo is pure refreshment.

  21. Fantastic photos of your beautiful blooms Gail! Love the Fairy rose and the sweet witch hazel blooms. Those hardy cyclamen are fantastic. I love the foliage as much as the flowers.

  22. Great range of blooms for November GBBD. The 'Bat Faced' Cuphea is a wonderful little bloom and I see you grow my favourite Plectranthus! It's a real stunner when you get up close to those speckled purple flowers.

  23. Gail these are many of my fav blooms even though some are not native for me...how nice they still bloom in your garden!!

  24. Beautiful post...I totally agree...every flower from now until frost is like a gift! Love that shot with the Aronia and Pancium 'Northwind'...such amazing colors!

  25. It is OK to be late to the party, especially if you bring such lovely treats.

  26. Some of us no longer have outdoor blossoms (save those that have been battered by frost). However, we're ready to start on those Indoors! :-) Happy Thanksgiving, Gail!

  27. Just love that Witch Hazel and look so forward to the day mine (hopefully) blooms. And thank you for naming a plant that I have been growing as an annual that I never knew the name of ... Plectranthus! Love visiting your garden.

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