Six on Saturday – 02/10/2021- October Already

I imagine I say the same thing every year: “I can’t believe it’s already October,” and I imagine many other gardeners say the same thing. Typically, daytime highs near the beginning of October are in the mid teens where I live, with lows in the low single digits. Our first frost has been between October 10 and 17 over the past five years (yes, I keep track – doesn’t everybody?), but the long range forecast this year shows both highs and lows in the mid to upper teens for the next two weeks. So who knows. I’ve already pulled the tomatoes (they were looking pretty ragged…) but shishito peppers, lettuce and many annuals are still looking pretty good. One day at a time, eh? In any event here are six things in my garden still going strong. To see Sixes from other gardens around the world, feel free to visit The Propagator‘s site.

First up is my lovely Shasta Viburnum – Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum. This shrub isn’t entirely happy in my garden – it gets too dry in the summer – but this year has been it’s best ever, even sending out a couple flower clusters. I need to dig up a lot of the Echinacea growing close to it since the shrub can get quite wide. I love it’s fall colour, and the heavily veined leaves as seen in the featured photo.
Another shrub that’s done quite well this year is this Winterberry – Ilex verticillata. It’s a deciduous holly, and I always think it dies over the winter because new leaves are very late to emerge in spring. Like the Viburnum, it benefited from our ample July rain and has produced a lot more berries than I’ve seen in years past.
A friend was clearing off her balcony last month and gave us this potted Celosia. I’m not sure how I feel about it, to be honest, but I’ve seen bees digging away in those tentacle-like flowers so that’s a good thing.
Here’s a potted plant I’ve had since May: Coleus ‘Fancy Feathers Pink.’ I didn’t really like it at first (even though I bought it….) but as it’s grown I’ve become accustomed to its narrow, raggedy leaves. If I had the space I’d try to over-winter it inside… The garlic there is waiting to be planted…right now I’m still harvesting lettuce every day from the garlic bed.
I root pruned the Rosemary yesterday. It’s had a tremendous year; the central ‘trunk’ is about an inch/3 cm in diameter and I hope to keep it alive, indoors, for a fourth winter.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. So, winterberry needs a pollinator also? (I had to look it up.) We tried to grow it, but it was not popular enough to continue. Hollies generally are not popular here, and no one seems to understand the ‘pollinator’ concept.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – I have the male planted next to the female and again, I thought it was toast until well into spring. I’m surprised holly isn’t popular in your part of California – it does so well just to the north, in British Columbia.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Colorful berries are unpopular here, perhaps because there is so much floral color throughout the year. Pyracantha is somewhat popular, but uncommon. I rarely see English holly in nurseries, and when I do, they are all female. Only within the last few years, I saw one plant of each gender together in the same can. (I do not remember what cultivars they were.) The concept is good, but so-called ‘gardeners’ here do not know the importance of keeping both plants alive, so would let one overwhelm and kill the other. In the old Victorian landscape of the Winchester House, a female English holly hedge was outfitted with small male English holly trees in the background. (The hedge was low and compact, and not much bigger than a traditional English boxwood hedge. The male trees were pruned as ‘standards’ behind the bed that the hedge contained.) A long time ago, male stems were grafted onto female trees; but of course, such stems got pruned off by gardeners who did not know any better. Horticulture is not taken seriously here.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Unfortunately, much of the original landscape has been replaced with cheap modern landscaping. I don’t know why, but modern landscape designers feel obligated to fill Victorian landscapes with a bunch of cheap junk that clutters the original style. The landscape was originally quite simple and formal.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Two years ago the Rosemary flowered All Winter Long…I was sweeping up dried flowers every day! Last year there were no flowers but since it’s flowering right now I imagine the blooms will continue for a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A nice choice of plants and fall colors this week with a smile when you talk about eating the salads to make room for your garlic… I’m pretty much in the same situation…
    Nice chili that we see in the photo of rosemary , I hope you will enjoy them again this fall

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have coyotes howling, in packs, every night here, and sometimes throughout the night, and sometimes right outside our windows, it seems. Still, a few rabbits seem to have found secure hiding spots! I do fear for any roaming house cats…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. whenever I see ‘lost cats’ posters I know where that cat is 😦 The number of house cats wandering about has declined drastically in East End Toronto thanks to coyotes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m rather fond of that narrow-leaved Coleus. I’ve never seen one, and it somehow appeals as much or more than what I usually see. I’ve not yet seen any color on our native Ilex species, but it’s still early.

    I grinned at your comment about coyotes and cats. They’re our living example of the concept “balance of nature.” First the feral cats show up, and the next thing I know, there’s the occasional coyote trotting down the middle of the parking lot. Eventually, those cats stop coming around my bird feeders, and then the coyotes disappear again. Around and around we go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great six, Chris! Everything looks so robust under your care.
    I have a similar Viburnum that I planted over 25 years ago. It is about 10′ tall and has spread twice as wide – they get big! I love the burgundy flocked leaves in the fall, but the spring flowers which cover it entirely, are equally stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not sure about that Celosia, it reminds me of hairy spiders’ legs, but I do like the narrow leafed Coleus which is rather magnificent. Am a bit confused about the root pruning of the rosemary which appears to be in the ground.
    We could do with a coyote around here as cats have been taking our beautiful birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree about Celosia…The Rosemary is in the ground, but it’s not winter hardy here so I dig it up every fall. Root pruning is pounding a spade through the ground around the plant, cutting the roots, before pulling it from the earth. It’s a common practice when transplanting trees, and usually done in spring before transplanting in the fall. It gives a tree, time to develop feeder roots that ease transplant shock. I do it with the Rosemary mainly because it’ll have a very heavy, crumbly rootball and this seems to make the task a bit easier.


      1. That’s very interesting, Chris, thanks for enlightening me. I’m amazed that you dig your Rosemary up for a winter holiday! But it makes sense, given the cold winters you have.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s