Late Summer Blooms

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Normally when I talk about later summer blooms,  I might be talking about late blooming hydrangea,  fall blooming shrubs or even fall bulbs.  But of course this year has been a very unusual one in the garden,  so I thought that I would showcase a few house plants–or tropicals,  if you prefer–which really have been going strong all summer as well and are still putting on quite a show.

This is my third summer with this hibiscus.  Yes, I have hardy hibiscus in my garden.  But this tropical one will bloom until December in my home,  and then start back up again in March.  Why would I not save that from season to season?

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This spectacular bloom is on something called the Phillipine or Malaysian orchid. Botanically it’s medinilla magnifica. I got it at the Flower show in February.  It’s still blooming, although it seems to be almost finished.

I bought a less showy version (medinilla myriantha) of this plant over the summer.  We’ll see how long it takes to bloom.  This is its habit. In the catalog, this was called a ‘Malaysian Orchid.’ Hmm.

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Finally, I again own something called a “Frostproof” gardenia.  Frostproof is relative, of course. It’s hardy to 25F.  So while it can survive a freeze in my climate, I cannot grow it outside.

I owned one for 10 years and wintered it, along with lots of other  things,  on my glassed in porch. The winter of 2014 killed everything, despite the fact that they were indoors.  I think the prolonged cold did it–I am not honestly sure.  The winter of 2013 was just as cold. Maybe it was the back to back cold weather.

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In any event,  I am happy to have one back.  My mature plant used to have as many as 10 blooms at a time.

Gardeners are always at the mercy of the weather.  In times of drought, or extreme cold (or any type of extreme weather) I am always grateful that my garden is primarily ornamental and that I don’t have live off the produce.

As the mighty small acorns in some of these photos show,  the wildlife might not be as lucky this winter!

 

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