Ignoring the outside world, I walk my garden as we have the most beautiful weather this late in the season. Blue sunny skies and temperatures in the low seventies entice everyone to go outside as lawns continue to grow and need mowing.
There are still plenty of plants pushing out a few odd flowers here and there, but two continue to bloom to their heart’s content. Both are plants I had in my old New Jersey garden, and both eventually got the heave-ho. Don’t ask me why I dug them up and threw them out or gave them away. I have no clue. Both have been in my garden now for two years and while they performed well the first year, they did even better this year despite the lack of rain and hot weather.
The hardy geraniums, aka cranesbill, are charming sprawlers, weaving their way through neighbors without overwhelming them. The two varieties I have are ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Rozanne and Friends’ and they both have violet blue flowers. During dry spells they wilted and dried up, but after a little bit of rain I would cut them back hard and they would start growing and pumping out flowers again. This past summer I probably cut them back 4 times and after each rainstorm they took off again. Now, during the first week of November they are still blooming. Then, when the temperatures finally nosedive, the plant will turn red before finally going dormant, waiting for warming spring days to do the growing and blooming bit all over again.
The second plant I am utterly captivated by is Veronica, also known as Speedwell. I have Veronica Spicata, including a variety called ‘Big Burly’ as well as ‘Sunny Border Blue’. Both start blooming in early summer and they just keep going and going and going. Big Burly attracts so many insects that you can hear the humming from feet away on warm sunny days. Once the first round of blooming is done, I cut them back and they promptly pump out another, equally impressive, round of flowers. The other Veronica, ‘Sunny Border Blue’ has smaller flower spikes but will also continue to bloom for months on end when you cut off the spent flowers. In September I moved a number of them from the side garden where the She-shed will be put, to the new front bed. I cut all of them back hard before replanting them and hoped for a few more flowers. However, thanks to significant rain fall and nice sunny days they are now in full bloom again, despite a few cold nights which killed off most annuals. Oh, and if you garden in deer-country, Veronica is also deer resistant.
There probably won’t be many more days to sit in the garden this time of year and to soak up sunshine. I treasure the quiet (once mowing is done everywhere) and read a book. Then the sun starts to set, and it gets chilly. Time to head indoors with the very last roses; Pilgrim (yellow) and Vavoom! (bright orange). Treasures from the garden, to be enjoyed indoors. They will be the last ones for a long while.