The late garden.

I wouldn’t call what my garden is doing right now “going strong,” but there are still pockets of colour in my perennial beds, despite (and perhaps because of) numerous frosts.   Here are a few of my favourites:


Alpine strawberries


The ubiquitous Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’


Lungwort – a new acquisition given to me by a co-worker


Sedum ‘Matrona’


Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’ – silver and gold now


Lady’s mantle – love that bronzed look!


Veronica penduncularis – isn’t that foliage awesome?

The scabiosa I posted about here is still bravely putting up a single bright blossom, and my blue flaxes are just ending their second flush.  The thymes never let up all summer long and are heading into freeze up without a break (that’s never happened before).  The Campanula rotundifolia ‘Olympica’ is on round number two, as is the Silene schafta.  As for the annuals, my snapdragons and calibrachoa can still pass muster, while the wax begonias I received from Proven Winners seem completely unaffected by the cool weather.

I figured that my new liatris would not flower this year (I planted ten corms this spring), but they all sent up a huge amount of foliage over the summer so I will look forward to blooms next fall.  I fall-seeded some perennial asters, sweet Williams and a heirloom larkspur so we’ll see how that little experiment turns out in…oh…eight months or so.

I put in three dozen crocus corms yesterday afternoon, to add to my expanding collection (I suppose it only expands if the squirrels don’t get to them first!).  While digging around, I noticed that the scilla and some of the muscari I planted over the last couple of years are sprouting foliage like mad, completely out of season.  If our confusing and lovely autumn weather continues, I may have spring flowers yet before the snow flies!  😉

Which plants are your favourites in the October garden?  Have you had any surprises?

Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends here in Canada!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with good company and delicious food! 


  1. We don’t have a heck of a lot of color right now either, partly because it’s been a warm fall. Don’t worry about the Muscari, it is supposed to send up grassy leaves in the fall. This is when it builds its energy reserves. The flowers won’t come until spring.

  2. You still have lots of colour and interest in the garden 🙂 Sometimes my bulbs send up shoots before they ought but, then, days get cold and nothing further happens to the plants till spring. It will be interesting to see what yours do.

    • We’re having such a nice long autumn, really balmy temperatures during the day despite the frosts at night. Usually my plants are doing very little at this time of year. The forecasters are predicting snow for tonight, though it will likely be just a few flurries!

  3. Your colourful foliage really is pretty. A lot of my ground cover is still looking amazingly green. I had a nice surprise the other day – an autumn cyclamen popped up when I thought it had disappeared forever. 😀

      • We had a very light frost on the trees last week, but t didn’t reach my garden! We usually get a little frost in October, but the fog in our valley protects us. Further south they’ve had snow though already!

  4. Happy Thanks Giving to you and your family, Sheryl.
    Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is a must have for me! But I wrote I few plants down for my garden for next year. I really like that Artemisia. Thanks for sharing! Hugs from Ohio

    • Thank you very much, Johanna! I hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

      I love ‘Autumn Joy’, although I think nearly every garden in Calgary has one or several, it seems! It just grows so well here and it’s very pretty!

      The Artemisia is so well-behaved, it just mounds nicely and doesn’t need any attention at all. Highly recommended!

    • Thank you, Annie! I think you’re right about the garden going until snowfall…I guess sometimes I don’t notice these subtle changes in autumn. The weather gets chilly and I’m more inclined to stay indoors with a book instead of working outside!

  5. No frost yet here in DuPage County west of Chicago so plenty of color still, helped by rains that came late after a dry summer. But it will all soon come to a close – thanks for your post and photos! Oh – and for Donna@Gardens Eye View – good catch on the Daffs – many Daffodil (Narcissus) cultivars begin emerging in fall and early winter holding shoot tips fairly close to the ground, though they can elongate during very warm spells. As varieties are genetically variable, some do so more & others not at all; in long snowy seasons we don’t seem to notice it because they are covered, but at least once each fall on into the New Year I get questions from clients, associates and neighbors – and assure them all is well.

    • I heard you had a very dry summer there, so the rains must have been very welcome! In the past couple of days, we’ve finally gotten a bit of moisture (rain, not snow – thankfully) and we definitely needed it to close out our beautiful autumn weather.

      Great info about the daffodils, thank you so much for sharing!

  6. That Lady’s Mantle is just gorgeous. And I love the foliage of veronia p. I am really upset with my sedums. Yours are a gorgeous color, and mine are brown – and not a pretty brown, either!

  7. Here it is fall and the plants are getting ready for winter yet they still look so beautiful. I have a healthy lung wart that I am getting rid of in the spring that you can have. I am switching the garden bed to the ground cover lamium. Hasn’t the weather been amazing??? Thea

    • It has been an exceptionally beautiful autumn! We’ve truly been fortunate to have such good weather. That’s a good idea to go with the lamium – they’re pretty and tough. Perfect! Thanks so much for the offer of the lungwort. 🙂

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