Alas, Blooms Day in Toronto, November 2009

  Rosa ‘New Dawn’ puts on its party dress for perhaps the last time this season.

It’s mostly foliage now for this November Blooms Day 2009. Clockwise, from large photo: the tendrils of Sarah’s perennial sweet pea (Lathyrus latifolius), the sere leaves and drying flowers of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’); Daphne ‘Carol Mackie’ with Japanese painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum var. pictum), still looking summery, with the gold-tinted fall leaves of Hosta ‘Halcyon’ (which makes me think the blue-leafed hostas do have better fall colour). Fallen Norway maple leaves are blooming in the shorter trees and shrubs below like golden flowers. This is the red fall colour of ‘Coppertina’ ninebark (Physocarpus ‘Coppertina’). And frosty blue lavender in Sarah’s garden, contrasting with the yellow maple leaves.

A (very) few blooms survive to be documented. Clockwise, from large image: I’ve been disappointed in my Proven Winners, or perhaps my expectations were too high. This is Hydrangea ‘Limelight’; my guess is that I don’t have enough “hyrda-” (Greek for water) for this particular hydrangea. The berries of my Pyracantha ‘Mohave’ are finally making a statement after many years of working up steam. From Sarah’s garden and mine, individual blooms of green Nicotiana; the chrysanthemum we call ‘Mrs. Begley’  after the woman who runs the informal nursery we got it from near Sarah’s country place; a lone Viola, liking the cool weather; and a pair of snapdragons (Antirrhinum) trying to urn its keep.

Oops. The cat’s got it! That might just be it from me outdoors in 2009. To see what’s still blooming elsewhere in the world this November, visit May Dreams Gardens where on the 15th of each month Carol generously hosts show and tell for garden bloggers around the planet.


  1. At least you have a few flowers left! I'm ahead of you in the plunge toward winter, I think.
    Nice collages – I especially like the composition of the first one.

  2. A stunning display of your blooms (what few are left) and the fabulous foliage. I, too, love that Hydrangea 'Annabelle'. She is a true favorite. I grow many of the same plants you do, but ours must go in at least partial shade because of our roasty toasty summers. Happy Bloom Day.~~Dee

  3. I'm always surprised when I see how much you have in bloom, when my season here in Heath has essentially ended. I thought Toronto was cold! I'm nervous about your Limelight comment. I planted Limelight late this summer. At least you have warned me about its need for water. When I was at the NYBG recently I admired a sport of New Dawn called Awakening. Both of them are just beautiful.

  4. Thanks, VW, I'll be back to your blog soon to get all your tips on optimizing photos on the blog.

    Rosemary, That 'New Dawn' rose is so dependable. This (coo, wet) year is the first I've ever seen it with blackspot on the leaves, and it has been growing at my place in half-shade for over 20 years. There are always a last few blooms hanging in in November. The other examples are largely "one-of", but they mass up nicely in a collage!

    Dee, 'Annabelle' is another old dependable for me, even thriving in part-shade and some dryness. I hear that 'Invincibelle' is an improved, less floppy variety of Annabelle. I'll be checking that one out. And 'Invincibelle Spirit' is pink. We'll have to investigate that.

    CommonWeeder, We can get cold, but we have the moderating effect of Lake Ontario… making the areas closest to the lake a USDA Zone 5 with small microclimates of Zone 6 and 7. The damp breezes can sure make it feel colder, though, and we don't get the reliable snowcover you'd find in, let's say, Buffalo or even northwest of the city. So, best and worst of both worlds.

  5. I love the New Dawn rose. It is so beautiful that it looks quite unreal. I reminds me think of those roses make of icing that are used to decorate wedding cakes. I especially this creamy shade of pink. The cat is also very very cute.

  6. Hi Helen, New Dawn is gorgeous! I've heard it's a rose that does well in part sun – I might have to try one here.

    Maybe Limelight just needs a season or two to settle in? I haven't tried them here, but they're one of my favorite hydrangeas. I hope yours perks up and is happier next year.

  7. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog and for the very appropriate poem. I like your collages but was surprised that you still had so much color at this point in the year for being as far north as you are (anything north of Washington D.C. is far north to me).

  8. Autumnbelle, The rose does look like some kind of confection in this picture, doesn't it? I was lucky with the light and the background of nearly fallen leaves.

    MMD, Yes, we should be thankful for small blessings at this time of year.

    Deborah, The New Dawn rose is one of the top-ten climbers (if not number one) according to the American Rose Society. For good reason.

    Ah, but, Yvonne, your garden is so overflowing in garden interest at any time of year with the grasses and general Piet Oudolfiness that the lack of a few blooms is immaterial.

    Frances, We do get temperature extremes in Toronto; hot in summer and cold in winter. However, our springs and falls do stretch on for a while. In fact, the chances of Toronto having a White Christmas are usually slim… which is too bad, as all northern gardeners would prefer some snow cover.

    Linda, I'm hoping that 'Limelight' and 'Pinky Winky' do settle in. However, even in its second year the latter has been a bit of a wash-out for me, despite the "Proven Winners" label.

    Joey, Welcome! I scooted over to The Village Voice to have a look, and now I know why it's on so many blogrolls (including mine now).

    Les, Glad you could join us. That poem obviously stuck in my head for umpteen years for a reason.

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