Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall in my Summerland Garden

We have arrived in mid-October and not been covered in snow like our friends in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Reminder to friends - the Okanagan is good place to escape in the fall!  And we have wine tours! 

I have successfully got all my bulbs in the ground, including garlic and various flowers.  I even planted some hyacinths and tulips in big pots for the first time.  I hope it is a successful project.  If not, I do buy some of those potted daffodils and hyacinths at the garden store in the spring and tuck them into my planters.  After they are finished blooming, I usually remove them and plant them in the landscaping.  I think the bulbs like to dry out a bit in the summer and the planters are probably too damp for them with all the season's watering.  I planted all my garlic in one of the horse-trough planters where I can control the watering, selectively letting it dry out near harvest time.  I'm hoping that can reduce the amount of rotten garlic heads.     

There are still some plants blooming, including the annuals like pelargonium (geraniums to the North Americans) and my favourite tropical milkweed (hardy in zone 9 and above, but not here).  Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is started from seed indoors in the spring and and starts blooming later than the perennial mildweed (Asclepias tuberosa) but then blooms till hard frost.  I love it.  As of yet, I haven't drawn clouds of butterflies to the yard, but they are supposed to like this flower. 
Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed) blooming in September

Caryopteris (Blue Mist Spirea) blooming in September
 Of course, the Echinacea and Rudbeckias put on the fall show in September.  As of October, most of the blooms are done.   
Echinacea "Cheyenne Spirit" in September

Coreopsis in September (still blooming in October), with purple Agastache behind
 I have several hydrangea, including two "Limelight".  Limelights' flowers start pale green and fade to this antique pink in September.  This one gets afternoon shade and looks bigger and healthier than the one that gets more afternoon sun.  I think the part shade condition is more suited to hydrangeas in the Okanagan. 
 Unbelievably, this ice plant is blooming today, October 16!  It hasn't looked this good in a long time.  It is part of the variety of succulent plantings around the kids playhouse.  There isn't a watering system in this area, so drought hardy plants that like well-drained sandy soils are selected for this area.  I have some Erigeron glauca (like tiny daisies), blue fescue and blue hair grass, hens and chicks, low sedums, lavender, various Penstemon, and the odd wild asparagus that was there before we came long.  
Delospermum (Ice plant) in October
Playhouse with developing landscaping, June 2016
Oreo, the guardian of the garden
 The vegetable garden is down to unpicked pumpkins and butternut squash.  We have been creative about making loaves, soups, scones, and pies using these great veggies and I really need to go and pick the rest.  This just means I have to do something with them...meanwhile, I am busy doing other things. 

I took this picture of harvested wine grapes at our neighbour's place, before they got hauled away.  So beautiful to see.  Our own apples were harvested several weeks ago.  We had an early apple harvest here in the Okanagan, as most of the crops were ahead of schedule. 

Summerland grapes, harvested October 14
From here on in, the indoor plants will be the focus of my attention.  The orchid collection gets to cool off and hopefully that will trigger blooms soon.  I cut my amaryllis greens off and am letting those pots dry out in the garage.  So how is your garden?  Snowed out? 


  1. Very nice garden!

  2. It was nice to finally find a home garden blog in the Okanagan. There are thousands of blogs out there but finding one that covers my areas of interest and represents the rather unique conditions of the Okanagan has taken a while. I've just finished reading through your whole blog. I was especially interested in your experience with the new lights as I have been toying with the idea of getting back into that on a small scale (no room) now that we have these new types but haven't done any investagating. I also want to get a casual small xeriscape area going in Falkland (near Vernon) and some of what you are doing parallels that well.
    I'm not sure of how this blogger system works but would like to know when you make another post.