Top Ten October Blooms.

I can’t believe it’s already time for my top ten monthly bloom post. This last month has whizzed by so quickly that I am feeling quite dizzy.

My October favourites are always my nerines but this year many of them are late and the buds have not yet opened. I keep most of them in the greenhouse but on a recent visit to Ashwood Nurseries garden I saw them planted out in a bed together with hesperantha and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and they looked wonderful.

Ashwood Nurseries Garden

Ashwood Nurseries Garden.

I think they look fabulous grown like this and in theory any Nerine  bowdenii hybrid should be hardy but I have lost white ones in the open so mainly I corral them in the greenhouse.   Some of them, such as the  red N. sarniensis  or the first one in the mosaic, glamorous Mr. John’ would not survive outside. As they are not all in bloom yet I shall have to save some for my November post.

I do have them in the garden too and maybe I shall have to think about planning a bed like the one at Ashwood nurseries. The only trouble is that nerines like to be baked in the sun and hesperanthas like damp soil so I don’t know how they manage to grow them together. But I did try giving Nerine ‘Lipstick’ a blue geranium skirt .

Nerine ‘Lipstick’

Nerine bowdenii

Nerine ‘Stephanie’

I also risked my beautiful Amerine belladiva ‘Aphrodite’ in the gravel garden and it survived the winter.

Amerine belladiva ‘Aphrodite’

Lovely asters were a feature of the September garden but there are some that are at their best in October. Particularly white ones.

Symphyotrichum pilosum var. pringlei ‘Monte Cassino’

I particularly like asters with small flowers.

Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Red’

Symphyotrichum ericoides ‘Snow Flurry’

Chrysanthemums are going to be a November pleasure but some of them have already started. I have a very pretty low -growing white one which is no longer called a Chrysanthemum. I have to remember to call it Acrtanthemum articum now which doesn’t seem fair.  I’m still having trouble with Symphyotrichum. But whatever its name it is a very pretty plant which lights up its corner.

Arctanthemum articum

I came late to chrysanthemums but now I have an ever growing collection because I am grateful for late colour. I like the daisy ones.

My favourite double one is a peachy pompom called ‘Picasso’. It is long lasting in a vase.

Chrysanthemum ‘Picasso’

But this pink pompom is pretty too.

Chrysanthemum ‘Mei Kyo’

I think I will choose a tree for number four. It blooms in October with clusters of urn-shaped flowers at the same time as the strawberry -like fruit are produced. It is Arbutus unedo. The name ‘unedo’ means you only eat one. I think they are quite nice but I have a friend whom made himself quite ill gorging on them.

Arbutus unedo

Most mahonias have spiky, prickly  leaves but the aptly named Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’  has smooth ones which have a willowy appearance.

Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Sweeet Caress’

I have been busy planting some different grape hyacinths for spring but here is a herbaceous plant which blooms in October with evergreen, strappy leaves and lilac flowers which look rather like a grape hyacinths. It is Liriope muscari.

Liriope muscari

My next plant is a dainty little knapweed which blooms in autumn in a sheltered sunny spot. It is called Serrulata tinctoria var. seoanei which is a bit of a mouthful with rather too many vowels but it is a pretty little thistle.

Serrulata seoani

I have the  lovely, hardy, climbing Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ which is a Brazilian species with deep pink and purple flowers. I grow it on the wall with Trachelospermum jasminiodes which gets deep red leaves in autumn and winter.

Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’

Of course Cyclamen hederifolium has been blooming since the end of August but now in October the plants are looking amazing. I have drifts of it in various colours. The marbled leaves are just as beautiful as the flowers.

I shall finish with my first snowdrop of the season. This is the autumn flowering snowdrop which is very pretty but it is a reminder that winter is coming. Next month is a difficult one when it comes to finding ten blooms to share. But I shall do my best.

Galanthus reginae-olgae subsp. reginae-olgae

In the meantime please join me and show us your favourite October blooms. Never mind if you can’t find ten, one or two beauties would be lovely.

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32 Responses to Top Ten October Blooms.

  1. Heyjude says:

    It is always a pleasure to read your top ten blooms. You have many lovely and unusual plants. Your Nerines are gorgeous!

  2. I covet your Nerines! The first Liriope I have seen in blogland, they call it Monkeygrass here.

    • Chloris says:

      Can’t you grow nerines? Perhaps it is too dry for them. I love Liriope. In fact I love anything which looks good in October.

      • I tried Nerines twice, I got one leaf per bulb and that was all! watered faithfully, etc.Maybe in a pot. I love LIriope and have it here ‘Big Blue’ is my favorite. I think that and Oxalis are the only perennial plants we have in common.

  3. Pauline says:

    A really interesting selection as usual, I really must have another go at growing Nerines!
    My link is http://leadupthegarden [

  4. Kris P says:

    In what’s here the most difficult of seasons, your garden still looks fabulous. I love the nerines – I have a handful of the bulbs in a pot in my shade house but the blooms have been rather paltry. I think I need to find a spot for them in the garden in that hope they’d naturalize, assuming our summers don’t kill them. On one of the UK garden shows, I saw what I understood was an Agapanthus-Nerine intergeneric hybrid – is that an Amerine? In any case, they don’t seem to be readily available here but I’m on the look-out for them.

    • Chloris says:

      That’s unusual I haven’t come across that. Amerine is a cross between nerine and amaryllis. Nerines need full sun to ripen the bulbs but they need plenty of moisture too.

  5. Your garden is really full of blooms and everyone is gorgeous.

  6. snowbird says:

    I’m always astonished to see how much colour you have in your garden all year round, I have no doubt you shall have ten blooms for next month. Just loved all those Nerines and the frothy little Asters. I simply adore that little thistle too. I must look out for it!xxx

  7. Frog says:

    I have a small pompom chrysanthemum I grew from a cutting this year and nobody could help identify it, but it is similar to your Picasso ! I tried growing nerines once but didn’t know you have to plant them shallow. I chucked the bulb… Yours are impressive. I think my favourite is your dark purple cyclamen, I haven’t seen that colour before.

  8. Tina says:

    Your garden is so gorgeous! The Nerines are beautiful–I don’t think they’d do well here, but I’ll be folks in the Pacific Northwest or along the East Coast grow them. Lovely post!

  9. Cathy says:

    Your clumps of nerines are stunning Chloris – they do look far better like this than in a pot, certainly. What is your regime for your indoor ones? Mine look quite sad compared to yours but nevertheless I am thrilled to at least have some blooms! I have added to my hardy chrysanthemums since having started with your cuttings, but these are only just coming into flower now. Always good to see your blooms, Chloris (and I have just ordered my first autumn-flowering snowdrop, having been prompted by yours, now I have somewhere sensible to grow them). My October blooms are here:

    • Chloris says:

      I plant nerines in a loam based compost with lots of grit. I water them when the leaves appear and stop watering when the flowers die down. They like to be congested in the pot so I only divide them after 4 or 5 years. I love small flowered chryanthemums, they light up the November garden. Good luck with the snowdrop, which did you order?

      • Cathy says:

        Thanks – how about feeding? With the snowdrops it was a sudden decision so it was what was available on eBay – G reginae olgae Cambridge and Foursome

  10. susurrus says:

    Gosh – the first snowdrop! Now that does seem early. I love the nerines and sympathise with the botanical names as you know. How are we supposed to pronounce ‘acrt’, let alone remember it? My sweetheart is keen on Chrysanthemum rubellum hybrids – C. ‘Clara Curtis’ is an old passalong plant in his part of the world. I think C. ‘Cousin Joan’ is that type and C. ‘Stratford Pink’ looks like it might be. I have a picture of what I thought was Cornus kousa fruit, but now I am wondering if it is Arbutus unedo. It looks very similar. There is always plenty of food for thought in one of your top ten posts.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Sue. Your comment made me check and you are quite right, I put the wrong photo in. That was indeed Cornus kousa, not Arbutus. I have taken it down and I will look for the right photo when I have more time. The trouble is I take so many and it takes me ages going through them all looking for the ones I want. Thank you though, I don’t like to mislead everyone and I do try to be accurate with my labelling. I was in too much of a hurry.

  11. I so look forward to sharing your nerines, they are special. That amerine made my knees go weak, such a beauty!

  12. Beautiful October colour Chloris. The nerine planting at Ashwood Nurseries is an absolute treat but it must be great to see them at close quarters in a greenhouse. So encouraging to see the first snowdrop . Sadly I seem to have lost my reginae olgae’Cambridge’ but there are already signs of little snouts emerging in my potted collection .

  13. Your nerines are making a fabulous display, I have never grown them, but certainly will be next year!

  14. nancy marie allen says:

    Here in New England, hardy geranium ‘Rozanne’ is not only the longest-blooming of all my perennials but one that seems to complement any color you put next to it! I loved your autumn snowdrop photo!

  15. Pingback: October Blooms: Late Comers and Dance-All-Nighters | Rambling in the Garden

  16. tonytomeo says:

    Arbutus undedo is related to our native Arbutus menziesii, but is more proportionate to home gardens. Arbutus menziesii, which we now as madrone, gets very big and very unstable. It makes great firewood, but no one wants it around their home.

    • Chloris says:

      A. menziesii is the one with the lovely cinnamon bark isn’t it? I have seen it in Cornwall but it is not hardy here in Suffolk.

      • tonytomeo says:

        It is cinnamon in color, but is so smooth that arborists do not want to climb it. ‘Marina’ is a garden variety with more symmetrical branch structure and stable roots.

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