Monday, October 6, 2008

Southern signs of fall

While walking out my backdoor today I noticed the first sasanqua blossom, a sure sign that the cool weather is coming. It`s a single white with a pink edge that has a gentle sweet fragrance. Farther back in the yard the red tea is also blooming. Usually the tea blooms first, this year they started together for the first time.

I started looking around the yard at what else is in bloom and was surprised at the variety. My Rhododendron minus from south Georgia is opening its lavender flower. It is not unusual for some plants from this population to start in the fall. Right on schedule is Viburnum obovatum 'Mrs. Shillers Delight', she will start in October and bloom all winter till peak season in March.

The garden is hummingbird heaven do to the vibrant red blooms of the firespikes (Odontonema strictum). This is the defining plant of fall for me, they will continue until frost supplying the birds nourishment till the cold drives them south.

The final group of plants that start to bloom now are the bromeliads. My Aechmea kertesziae is showing its yellow drumstick among the ferns under the sasanqua, as the weather cools it will be joined around the yard by many other species. This truly is my favorite time of year, it is a beginning not a finish.

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