There is nothing better than living on the south-west coast of British Columbia. Here we can enjoy cool summers and mild winters with our zone 8 climate. I was surprised to see how many flowers were still in bloom in the garden. I had wanted to get some fall foliage photos but took many flower photos as well. There is a hint of cold weather on the way. When we think cold weather here we usually mean around freezing or just above. Its time to think about bringing my Echeveria inside the house as the greenhouse has no heat. There are so many last minute tasks to do in the garden before it freezes. If only the leaves would drop so we could be done, right? This gardener likes to put her feet up for a bit during the winter to plan next year’s garden.
Above is Salvia elegans or pineapple sage. I have always loved this plant for its striking red flowers. I planted it in my vegetable garden and it is quite the sight. It has grown to three feet high and wide and came into bloom in October. I was actually worried it wouldn’t bloom. Not a walk goes by that I don’t grab a leaf to smell the heavenly scent of the leaves.
I rarely buy Chrysanthemums for the garden as I find they don’t come back the next year. The one I have planted with Heather in a large container continues to surprise me. The Heather is crowding it out so it needs to be moved. I love the orange tones of fall on this tiny flower. It’s no more than six inches high. Obviously its a tough plant to come back year after year in a container. The container will be brought close to the house during the cold winter months just to give it a little added protection.
I still have Nasturtiums growing in the garden. This single flower is poking out of a container of blue grass. The grass is on its way out. It’s too invasive to go in the ground but sure doesn’t like this container. Any takers? I was gifted this plant and it looked wonderful in their yard. Perhaps it needs more sun than it is getting.
This Primula is blooming out of season. It was from a gift basket that I planted out last year. Pretty colour but I can just hear the slugs calling their friends to say dinner has arrived. I was told the other night that if your plants such as Rhododendrons are blooming again in the fall that it’s a sign of a bad winter ahead. It’s quite common for some plants to send out the odd flower in an off-season but it shouldn’t burst into full bloom. Not that we can control how the winter will be but tender plants should be protected in some way. I bring my tender plants in the greenhouse but you can shelter plants temporarily in a closed garage as well.
This is a blurry photo but I cannot wait for this to bloom. Yes, you can have flowers from now until February if you just plant Viburnum bodnantense ‘Pink Dawn’. It’s a medium-sized shrub. Mine is very mature and probably about twelve feet high and about ten feet wide. I would not do without it.
Just take a look at how the Viburnum will look during the winter. As soon as the leaves drop the flowers start to open. If you are looking for winter fragrance this is the shrub for you. Who says we can’t have flowers year round?
My Weigela shrub was also sporting a couple of blooms. This plant blooms twice during the season. Once in early spring and them again in summer. It’s nice to see flowers in November but kind of unusual. This is one of our mildest November’s on record.
As we move forward into winter, look for plants such as Hellebore to brighten up your winter garden. There is nothing better than seeing flowers during the grey winter months. It just helps us remember that spring is not far away.