The rumors of my dead garden are greatly exaggerated.
In point of fact I DO have actual blooms still. They tend to be somewhat small.
Here, for example, is a clump of cyclamen. It is one of those plants who every year forget to set their alarm clocks and almost totally miss summer but then they appear from Nowhere and suddenly rush to grow in the nick of time just before frosts.
They are small and brave, with pretty leaves and butterfly-looking blooms, and they volunteer in difficult places from which I rescue them.
Linaria will re-bloom for me if I remember to hack back– I mean snip– the earlier flowers. (This image is of today’s re-bloom.) I love this plant, with it’s snap-dragon type blossoms in soft pink not hot pink– I try to avoid hot pink.
Here is a whole Linaria plant, growing with wallflowers in a picture I took yesterday but I took it from the Time Machine after I set the flux capacitor to July. You can see that Linaria stands up, a priceless virtue in a blooming plant or so I feel. It also volunteers politely, for your transplanting enjoyment.
The deer have been hard on my roses. Which is understatement, quite like saying a 9.0 Richter scale earthquake was hard on the wine glasses in the china cupboard. But the little Fairy Roses escaped the deer, and are blooming again, and for this I forgive them all the falling over they did in the summer rain.
The Cobaea continues, with not-so-small blooms but hardly any. Mostly it has miles of vines dense with billions of leaves. When it dies in winter I don’t know how I will ever get the vine off the trellis, and I don’t envision putting another there next year. No, I believe one of the clematis cuttings will be in that spot. See, I am planning.
It spreads by rhizomes, slowly, and creates a delicate ground cover. I’m thinking of moving starts of it to some other beds. (Note: Moving plants has been shown to be a sign of mental health. I read that somewhere.)
Here is another short fern (6″ tall) that spreads cheerfully from rhizomes, a native plant called an Oak Fern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris). It grows easily in woodland places and gets five stars on the Adorable Groundcover Scale. It’s deciduous so you have to keep track of it in winter.
When the fall rains return so does the Licorice Fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza), another Oregon native. (The rhizomes are said to taste like licorice but I hate licorice so I haven’t actually sampled it. A Chocolate Fern would be a whole other kettle of whipped cream, but I don’t have one of those.) This fern grows fronds up from the ground like grass. It lives in moss and damp ground and on mossy tree limbs and stumps. I don’t believe it bothers the live trees, at least not the ones at my house, like the oak tree in the next picture.
The Licorice Fern unfurls just when everything else is dying, and it stays green all winter, so really it’s quite a relief to have around.
It can grow like grass in the right place. The picture above was taken along the park trails where Max and I walk sometimes.
It grows in damp shady places and on healthy limbs and dying stumps, with mosses and shadows and among odd mystical woodland creatures like maybe faeries and…fauns. (I haven’t actually seen either in my gardens yet but Grace definitely has faeries and Kininvie is getting some fauns soon I think.)