Late Colour: Early November

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The flowers of Gaura lindheimeri sway in the breeze like little white butterflies.

November has brought chilly winds and the threat of frost. It’s not quite winter yet but the garden flowers are disappearing fast. Soon the main colour will be the yellow of the autumn leaves.

But for a few days yet, there is a little bit of colour here and there. Just enough to enjoy while I finish planting the spring bulbs.

Some plants have flowered for a surprisingly long period. The gaura (above) has been in flower for months, as has the pink-flowered salvia below.

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Salvia and fuchsia flowers brighten the garden until the end of autumn.

The deep purple penstemon ‘Raven’ is another plant that has fully earned its place in the garden by flowering for a long time. A weeping crab apple called ‘Royal Beauty’ grows nearby, and the rich red of its tiny fruits picks up on the slight touch of red at the mouth of the penstemon flowers.

The fuchsia is one of several plants that are in pots at the front of our house. I think this one is ‘Army Nurse’, but I can’t be sure because we have several that are very similar to each other. It’s one of the hardy fuchsias and I’m planning to plant it (and some others) out in a border in the back garden. They’ll be visible from the house and give a splash of glowing colour right through the autumn.

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Left: Malus ‘Royal Beauty’ (crab apple)ย  ย  Right: Penstemon ‘Raven’

My last flower is the autumn crocus. The bulbs are growing in small clay pots sitting in a wrought-iron holder on the wall. (This keeps them well out of the way of my cats – autumn crocuses are very toxic plants so I didn’t want to take any risks with them.) These flowers should have been over by now but I planted them late, so here they are at last!

Now I must remember that I still have to finish planting some spring bulbs…then I’ll be hoping to find something more to photograph. Maybe some of the late colour will hang around for long enough to get frosted. Not very kind to the plant but makes a great picture!

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Crocus speciosus (autumn crocus) opening in the sun.

22 thoughts on “Late Colour: Early November

    1. The gaura is an easy way to get a lovely effect in the garden. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to try propagating that penstemon so that I can have it in other places too – penstemons are great for colour.

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      1. We had a very nice Penstemon but it multiplied for a few years then all of a sudden disappeared. We have a nice native, the Foxglove Beardtongue-Penstemon digitalis, that I have photographed but have not shared on the blog so can’t link to it for you. Here’s a link to a page.

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      2. It’s nice to see the native plant , Steve, and to know what the natural habitat is to give a better idea of what suits it in the garden. They are pretty plants! Maybe they can be fairly short-lived or maybe a severe winter kills them off – hope mine are OK this winter!

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  1. Beautiful images again Ann, particularly the gaura; well, all of them really. I love that penstemon, something else to add to my wish list. You are a dangerous woman!Do you have a toad lily ?[I’m sure there are different types, I’m not sure what mine is] Not the best name for a beautiful flower, if you like a speckle, which I do. They are photographically extremely obliging.

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! I like the idea of being a wee bit dangerous, hehe! Penstemons have some really good rich colours – the main thing is to get a hardy one. (Hardy penstemons have smaller leaves.) I don’t have a toad lily …yet! (Think you may have had your to-buy list revenge with that one! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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  2. Lovely photos, lots of great color. Temperatures are mild here too, so even though fallโ€™s starting to move in, thereโ€™s a nice combination of late summer/early fall blooming still going on that mixes well with the emerging fall colors. Good times for nature photographers!

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    1. Thanks Dale! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s changing fast here now – temperatures are starting to dip and it’s very wet and windy some days. But that’s not bad for the time of year and there are still leaves on the trees – ’til they get blown off!

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  3. It sounds like you keep a little color in your garden even it is getting cooler with shorter days. I am jealous that you can grow fushsia – I have tried several times and they just don’t like me. Beautiful flowers pix too!

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    1. I think that fuchsias would struggle in high temperatures and like a bit of moisture around them. We have to be careful not to let them dry out on a hot day here. Glad you liked the photos, thanks Syd!

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      1. That may be the answer – though it could be worth looking around to see if other people are managing to grow them and what the conditions are. If you get vine weevils, they’re a really big problem for fuchsias, especially in pots. (Their grubs eat the roots of the plant and kill it – argh!)

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  4. The gaura is a native here, and it’s one of my favorites. The butterfly name attached to at least one cultivar is so appropriate. The flowers do look as active as little butterflies when they twirl in the wind.

    I had no idea there’s an autumn crocus. It’s an especially lovely example of those “lingering lavenders” of the season — although it’s not exactly lingering, since this is its season to shine.

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    1. I love the effect of the gaura flowers – a good reason to plant more. ๐Ÿ™‚ The autumn crocuses (there are several varieties available) are really pretty and rather different to most of the other late flowers. But it’s important to remember that they’re very toxic if there are young children or pets around.

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