October Blooms: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Today, I wandered into the garden, curious if I would find enough blooms to participate in Bloom Day, hosted by

May Dreams Gardens

. Our garden is in transition, with a few summer blooms remaining, and not many fall flowering plants grace our garden.

(Note to self: need more fall blooming perennials and shrubs. Note to Peter: don't have a heart attack.)

It's pansy time in South Carolina, yet I've been too busy transitioning the kitchen gardens to bother with the pansies just yet. After a solid six hours of working in the potager and the large kitchen garden today, though, I may treat myself to a pansy splurge tomorrow.

I love pansies.

But, sadly, there are no pansies to share for Bloom Day. Instead, I discovered several unexpected surprises:

Verbena bonariensis, or tall verbena. I appreciate how this plant adds a splash of airy color and height to the front perennial bed.

Phlox paniculata, 'Bright Eyes,' often sports powdery mildew during the summer. Somehow, we avoided that nasty disease this summer--I didn't see even a trace of mildew on the plant. The blooms have slowed, but they still add a much needed burst of color along the front walk.

Geranium, 'Rozanne,' appreciates our cooler fall temperatures. Dormant for much of the summer, it's now adding a bright burst of blue to the perennial bed.

Thank goodness for lantana. Without 'Miss Huff,' our garden would lack color, hummingbirds, and butterflies in the late summer/early fall. It's truly a garden workhorse.

The Japanese anemones continue to bloom, although sadly, they're nearing their end. Sniff. They've provided an amazing, cheerful border for almost two months now. What will I do without them?

Surprise! One bloom remains on the native hibiscus in the front garden...

...and one bloom on the 'Blushing Bride' hydrangea.

The camellias, however, are putting on their finery...

Each bush is filled with buds, soon ready to burst with color.

A few blooms remain on the barberry...

...and a single bud waits to open on the tea rose my mother gave to me more than 17 years ago.

A few blooms also remain on the butterfly bushes, but not many. In fact, the butterfly bushes need a good pruning. They look rather pitiful.

The gaura still hangs in there, offering a few airy blooms.

Oreo, of course, climbed in my lap while photographing the gaura. She's a bit ticked at me, because I kept removing her from my lap. All day. It's really not easy to dig holes with a cat in your lap.

Swamp sunflower, my most recent impulse buy. Honestly, how could I turn away from such a burst of cheerfulness? Oh, right...I have very little sun. This cutie will reside by the big greenhouse, where there is a bit of decent sun.

Mexican sage, also an impulse buy, will probably reside in the front perennial bed. Although, it's so pretty next to the swamp sunflowers that I might rethink my original intent. Hmmm.

Toad lilies, though, were not an impulse buy. I have several toad lilies growing in the front bed by the office. At the

Hatcher Gardens' Plant Sale

, I found several more to add throughout our shady gardens. I think they're becoming one of my favorite plants.

The Encore azaleas add a much needed splash of color in the garden by the pool. Honestly, it's pretty drab back there right now.

The hydrangeas, so full of blooms a few weeks ago, are turning papery.

Interestingly, many of the edibles continue to produce pretty blooms, including herbs.

Even a few blooms reappeared on the 'Provence' lavender.

I'm sure you're tired of me singing the praises of

Fraise des Boise

, but honestly--look at that cute little bloom! Plus, we're still finding sweet berries, a lovely treat when digging in the garden. How can you not love this plant?

Although I grow far too many hot pepper plants, 'Chinese 5 Color' pepper will always find a place in our gardens. The tiny purple flowers turn into cream, red, purple, orange, and yellow peppers--all on one plant. Even if you don't like hot peppers, you will love the beauty of this plant.

The last nasturtium, uncovered today when pulling up the hot pepper plants to make room for garlic...

...and our last cucumber blooms. I contemplated clearing the cucumber bed today, but it's still producing, although slowly. Still, in two weeks we should have our first frost. I decided to wait until then to clear the bed. After all, cucumbers are one of the few vegetables the kids will eat without a fuss. We need to make them last as long as possible.

Too soon, most of the blooms will be gone. It's definitely time to add the pansies.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

XO ~