Fall is a special time of the year! It seems that the fall display begins with the shift in the clarity of the sky as temperatures begin to cool and the moisture in the atmosphere is reduced from the hazy days of August. I like to assess my garden – take pictures and note what has done exceptionally well in our weather conditions. The short-pappus goldenrod’s (Solidago sephacelata ‘Golden Fleece’) bloom is earlier than usual by a few weeks. It looks beautiful in the containers on my patio. The coneflower (Echinacea ‘Vanilla Cupcake’) has stolen the show for the last two months – they are blooms that are sturdy and almost everlasting. It started blooming in July and is still creating a show.
In my small tub water garden, the blue waterlily (Nymphaea ‘Margaret Mary’) continues to push forth its blooms. It has flowered almost every day since I brought it home in July. Even though it is a tropical waterlily, it can be treated like an annual or taken in for the winter months. I think I will just take in the large tub and put it by my sliding doors to get optimal light during the winter months – which includes a small school of fish.
The coleus have reached mammoth proportions creating a wonderful bold visual. But, the big prize in my garden this year without question is the Mandevilla vine (Dipladenia Rio™ Deep Red). I have had this plant for several years, each year getting bigger than the last – providing rich, deep red blooms throughout the summer. I’ll take it to my office at the university when the temperatures start to dip below 50 degrees. It usually becomes a conversation piece when students and colleagues come in to chat. But, the flowers do eventually fade due to lower lighting conditions. I will enjoy it all winter as it continues to vine up its post – I will look forward to its blooms next growing season.