End of season color......

bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)October 27, 2013

I posted this thread separately rather than in the part 2 of "Show us your landscape" because these aren't really landscape shots like many of you have posted.........which are very nice by the way!

So here it is October 27. There is still a lot of color. Even though the cactus flowers are long gone, the ripe fruits are very colorful. Several things are still in flower. The yellow mum is "King's Ransom" and I've had it for years. The flowers are quite large for a hardy mum. The Camellia "Snow Flurry" is at peak time now. I took the shot of the small bud with the cluster of buds, to show just how prolific this one is! Rosemary is still in bloom. Red and yellow Knockout roses still doing well. The single red rose is "Altissimo" and I was surprised that it had 3 more blooms now.

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color me jealous! Are the cactus fruits edible?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 7:39AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Well they're not poisonous, so technically speaking, they are edible, but the smaller ones (the first photo) are small (less than 2 inches) and so would be all seeds. The last photo shows a different cactus, much larger pads and fruit, maybe 4.5 inches or so. They have a bit more flesh around the seeds, but neither of them are like the commercially grown "prickly pears" that are available in markets.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:45AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Bill, your hydrangea blossom still looks fresh! And lots of flowers still left on the rose. Your rosemary doesnâÂÂt appear to mind the cooler temps. I wonder how low your overnight temps have gone? Nice to see a close up of the blooms on your Camellia. I didnâÂÂt realize it had multiple buds, which IâÂÂm sure extends the bloom period. Like your red mum, such a clear red color, mine are more a wine/burgundy. I donâÂÂt think IâÂÂve seen a clear red like that at the nurseries. That last photo of your cactus is so interesting with all that fruit on it. Nice to have so much to enjoy when November is right around the corner. :-)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:28AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Thanks Ann. I wish I knew what mum that red one is, but I don't. The one hydrangea flower has stayed bluer while the rest have gone to reddish-purple (like the one on the right). The camellia must have 1,000 buds easily! They come in clusters on that one, and every branch has several clusters, and a couple of hundred branches, so it's a lot for sure. The Knockout roses are living up to their name! I really like how much color is added by the cactus fruits out front. The rosemary has bloomed three times this year. As for low temperatures, it has not hit 32 in my yard yet. Coleus and basil, which are VERY sensitive to freezing, are still fine. It was very close on Friday night, probably around 34.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Our Basil blackened up about 5 days ago, Bill. I haven't seen lower than 40 on the back porch so far, but maybe it was colder at some point during the night.

Glad you are enjoying your garden for as long as you can!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Bill, those are great pics. I especially like that cactus.
My camellia actually has two buds starting to open! One of these days I'll remember to take a picture of it.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Quite a lot of color for so late in the season! This week we've gotten to the point of having only the plants that are still happy at 25 degrees, so it is refreshing to see so many plants still in bloom and fruit. I am in agreement with those who particularly like the red mum; such a great color. The yellow Knockout rose is a delicate shade that I think would fit well into most color schemes. I am wondering if the Camellia "Snow Flurry" is scented (or are any/most of your Camellias scented?) The only ones I've seen in person have been forced at flower shows, and they had no scent, but IME forcing often alters a plant's scent.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:38PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Thanks for the nice comments!


I'd like to see a photo of your camellia. The cacti would be fine in your zone, as long as you have them on a slight slope or slight mound so that water doesn't collect in winter. A stone mulch helps a lot as well, keeping them from contact with the wet soil. Really easy to grow and when in bloom in early summer, they are quite a sight! Imagine that all those fruits were once bright yellow blossoms! Cacti are distant cousins to roses and have really nice flowers.


None of my camellias are scented. I know that Logee's has one that is scented, but it's not hardy here.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:53AM
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Bill, wonderful pictures! Oh, the envy I feel.....

I bought a couple of pieces of the cactus last month. Stuck them in the ground. I was so excited. I checked on them last week but they have not rooted.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:32AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)


Thanks for the compliment!
As for your cactus pads, it might be a bit late for them to root now. You might want to root them in a pot over winter. Just lay them on the soil and keep it a little moist. Let them root in a warmer area indoors, but once they've rooted, put them in a cool area if you have one. I know whenever one of the pads breaks off on mine, they just root and start a new plant. But they have all summer to root. Good luck with yours!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Hi Bill, OK, if this camellia works out for me I just might have another addiction on my hands. Especially where I can get to Camellia Forest Farm Nursery each spring and they have a wide selection of cold-hardy plants.

This is 'Autumn Spirit'. Pic is a little blurry (or that could be my eyes!) but you get the idea. I was so excited when I saw a second bud. The shrub is rather small so I wasn't expecting buds for a couple of years.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:20PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)


It looks really healthy! But I wondered if this plant had been through a winter there yet. I see it listed as hardy to zone 6A, so do you have it in some protected spot there?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I'm not sure how old the plant was when I picked it up. It had great roots. Shame on me......my parents have a camellia collection and air layer all the time so I should know by now how to tell the year of a camellia to a certain extent.

I do have it in a very protected spot tucked in the corner where the stairs to my deck meet. It will not get any winds at all where it is. I'm going to take my chances and not mulch or pile leaves on it for the winter. Although I'm vacillating on that and maybe I will for its first northern winter. But after that, it's on it's own!

I should have mentioned that the leaves that look lighter green in the picture are really the dark, glossy green but had some dappled sun on them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:20PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Wow, Bill, still lots of blooms in your yard! LOVE the red mum! What is the yellow rose? Sorry if you already gave the name, but your first post in this thread is doing that thing where it goes all the way to the right of the page and the photos from the ads there cover lots of the text.

I think I've realized my problem with the fall garden is that I have almost all oaks - and a LOT of them - and so while I don't have much sun most of the season, I have hardly any this time of year. The sun is too low and the leaves on the oaks don't fall till almost December, if not later, so I think most things with blooms just don't last. (Not to mention my house is FREEZING!)

And this spring I moved my favorite fothergilla over about a foot and it didn't like it. A foot. Should have just left it where it was. Curse my analness, lol (anality??). I think it's a goner, but will wait till spring. Definitely got no color from it (no leaves on it!) this fall.

I'll have to live vicariously through your (Italian) garden! ;)


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:19PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I think a mulch around the plant would be beneficial in keeping the soil from large fluctuations in temperature, which could weaken the root system. Being out of the wind helps too. I hope it does OK!

Thanks for the compliment. The yellow rose is a Knockout rose. It was labeled as "Yellow Knockout" - descriptive but not very creative! As for my garden being "Italian", well.....I've been to the gardens at the Villa Borghese in Rome, as well as the Villa D'Este outside of Rome, and I can only wish that those were my gardens! LOL!.

Maybe the Fothergilla will surprise you and come back from the roots. Maybe a mulch would help. I'm sure you have some leaves available! Good luck with it.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:19AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Great photos, Bill. Don't you just love the Knockout roses? Absolutely no work and they keep blooming and blooming, of course without the huge scent and big blooms of traditional roses-- but not a problem at all as far as I'm concerned. They keep on doing their own "rose thing." All of mine are still budding, too.

I should take some photos tomorrow but I'm actually waiting for the dark buds of the dwarf iris (Dee gave me at the Plant Swap) to open. Dee, I believe you said that yours bloomed in November? Well, that's when mine will bloom, too. Amazing!

T2D, you should post a picture of your camellia 'Autumn Spirit' when it opens. I'd love to see it in its full glory!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:21PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Molie, thanks. Yes those Knockouts really live up to the name. I planted the red ones in the lower yard in 2010 and they are now over 4.5 feet high and 6 feet wide. They leaf out quite early in the season too. Not a pest or problem at all so far.

I'd like to see that "Autumn Spirit" camellia too!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:15PM
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