I can't believe it's already mid-October! Although we've had some stretches of cooler temperatures, it still feels a lot like summer much of the time. In fact, we're expecting high temperatures Friday and Saturday, accompanied by our nasty Santa Ana winds. High winds have already fanned the Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County, Southern California's largest wildfire this year, which as of Thursday had consumed 16,800 acres and was only five percent contained. Evacuations have been ordered; power shutoff warnings have been issued across a wide area; and the 101 freeway, a major state artery, was closed for a time. A friend and I were in Santa Barbara County on Saturday, just two days before the fire broke out, a disturbing reminder of how fast circumstances can change.
But let's move on to the more pleasant subject of what's in blooming in my garden 120 miles to the south. After an exceptionally slow start this year, dahlias are once again playing the starring roles in my garden. Whether any of them will hang around into November is a question as the mildew that afflicted most of my zinnias is gradually taking hold of the dahlias as well. With only two exceptions, all my dahlias occupy raised planters in my cutting garden, which gets much more water than the rest of my garden.
|Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlias 'Gitt's Crazy', 'Kogane Fubuki', 'Summer's End', and 'Mystic Illusion'. 'Gitt's Crazy' wins the prize this year as the most floriferous dahlia.|
|My only complaint with Zinnia 'Profusion' is that the stems are relatively short and thus don't make the best cut flowers|
|The flowers of Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) take a beating when the winds are up but the tree rebounds quickly|
|Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' is at its best when it catches the sun's light|
|I cut this Senna bicapsularis back hard earlier this year in an effort to lower its floral canopy but it's taller than ever this year. I had to use a telephoto lens to get any decent photos.|
|Grevilleas 'Superb' (left and upper right) and 'Peaches & Cream' (lower right) never stop blooming|
|Leucadendrons 'Safari Sunset' and 'Blush' (left) and 'Summer Red' (right) aren't true flowers but they do a good job of mimicking them|
|I've grown Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' for years but I recently picked up this new "spin" on the common blanketflower. This is Gaillardia 'Spin Top Copper Sun'.|
|I also picked up several 4-inch pots of Gazania 'White Flame' to fill out among an area planted with smaller seedlings, divisions and plugs of the same variety|
|I think I got this moth orchid without a label during an sale at my local botanic garden. My guess is that it's Phalaenopsis 'Balden's Kaleidoscope'.|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Angelonia 'Archangel White', Correa 'Ivory Bells', Cosmos bipinnatus, Pandorea jasminoides, Zephyranthes candida, and Lantana 'Lucky White'|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria 'Inca Sundance', Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein', Zinnia 'Benary's Giant Salmon Rose', Echibeckia 'Summerina Orange', Cuphea 'Vermillionaire', and Xerochrysum bracteatum|
|Top row: Arbutus 'Marina', Correa 'Wyn's Wonder', and Rosa 'Pink Meidiland'|
Middle row: Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Pentas lanceolata, and Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink'
Bottom row: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' and Zinnia 'Benary Giant Wine'
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party