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Fall Flowers

Posted Oct 19 2010 8:55am

I have had some pretty flowers blooming this fall in my garden. Unfortunately, the Colchicum 'Waterlily' shown above is not among them. This photo was taken last fall, when only one of the three large (and expensive) bulbs bloomed, putting out three flowers. None of the plants sent out leaves in the spring, so they died from either the cold winter or the gallon of bubble solution my children spilled nearby. Hmm.

This autumn I planted three Colchicum cilicicum, described as 'vigorous and easy to grow' in the White Flower Farm catalog . All three bulbs sent out flowers, but I discovered that slugs like to eat them. This was the only bloom with petals left, and it's not very impressive. Next year the show should be better if I make sure to keep the slugs and bubble solution away.

This poor 'Farmington' double flowered aster was planted in a half-shade spot when I was hurriedly preparing to leave town during the summer. I never made time to transplant it to a better spot, and by now the sun is so low in the sky that it never gets any sun. Next spring I'll move it to a full sun spot and hopefully enjoy more than two flowers next fall.

I am undecided about how much I like the color of these daisy-form rose-colored chrysanthemums, available from Bluestone Perennials . They have certainly put out plenty of color, though, even though they were just planted this spring.

I had to cut back six of the nine mums yesterday, as hard frost hit last weekend and turned most of the garden to mush. Somehow one clump of three mums escaped damage, but all the dahlias turned black, the hostas and hydrangeas look melted, and the coneflower blooms turned brown (although the coneflower leaves still look fine).

The Crocus speciosus, or autumn crocus, have shrugged off the frost and are sweetly blooming in little clumps around the front yard. I just planted them last month, so it has been fun to see them bloom for the first time.

It's nice to have something fresh in the garden while most of the plants are tattered from the summer heat or succumbing to frost.

Many of the fall crocus are hardy only to zone 6, so I can't grow them. But C. speciosus is hardy all the way to zone 4. What a tough little flower. It's supposed to be a good naturalizer, if I can keep from digging it up when transplanting perennials. And if I keep that blasted bubble solution away.

I couldn't resist posting one more picture of these cute fall crocuses, so here it is.
Yesterday I planted about 100 more bulbs, and I still have somewhere around 300 left to get into the ground. They include parrot and Impression tulips, hyacinths, miniature daffodils, chionodoxa, scilla and several types of crocus. Stop by in the spring to see plenty of cheerful pictures of their flowers.
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