Pictures of Roses, Flowers, Plants in our October Houston Garden
Fall Growing Season in Houston
The month of October brings nice changes to our gardens in Houston and the accompanying pictures will show some of the many flowers that adorn our home landscape.
While many people who live in northern climates of our country are enjoying the beautiful Fall colored leaves and are heading into the chill of coming winter days, we who live in Houston, Texas and similar southern climates are looking forward to a respite from the hot summer days and the glory of the cooler days ahead.
We have flowers that bloom in our outdoor landscape all year long and I thought that I would share some of the ones that my husband and I are currently enjoying when we look out of our windows or walk in our yard. By no means does this show the abundance of flowers that are available for home landscapes in our area. These are just the ones that we are currently enjoying at our home address.
Kalanchoes have graced our gardens for years and once these succulent plants are established they are easy to propagate from a leaf or a stem.
In this climate I have simply broken off a stem removing the bottom leaves and put it directly into the ground keeping it moist for the first week or two.
Once in bloom the flowers last for quite some time and are a showy addition to the garden landscape. After blooming I remove the flower stalks and cut them back if they are getting too tall or leggy.
Firebush or Hummingbird Shrub
This showy bush which is covered with red tubular flowers is commonly called a hummingbird shrub because it attracts those beautiful little avian creatures who flit from one flower to the next sipping the sweet nectar.
While freezing weather causes it to die back and lose its leaves, in the Spring of the year I simply cut it back to about a foot from the ground and it reemerges and grows bigger each year.
It is a fast grower and I generally start with no larger than a one gallon size plant.
In one year of growth it will grow 4 or 5 feet in width and 6 feet or more in height.
The flowers once they begin blooming continue until the first frost or freeze.
Thus the hummingbird bush is a rewarding and colorful addition to a sunny spot in the landscape.
These moss roses which are a succulent plant producing pretty ruffled flowers do well in bright sunlight.
They can also tolerate dry conditions quite well.
Even after last years severe and unusual winter when we had snow in Houston two different times, these little guys survived in the ground with the old bed sheets that we throw over the more tender vegetation when we have frost or freeze warnings.
I have them nestled in a bed with other colorful plants and even though these little guys grow in mounds low to the ground, they are hard to miss because of their pretty flowers.
This tea rose was given to me by the daughter of a best friend of my mother when my mother died earlier this year. It was and continues to be a sweet living memorial and I have it planted where it can be viewed from our master bedroom and also our everyday dining area in our home.
The little moss roses lie near its feet and some other roses that are planted in the same garden bed.
Lantanas come from the verbena family.
They are a hearty in ground plant in the Houston climate and I have both the yellow and orange ones growing in various places around the yard. There are also other colors available in nurseries.
Lantanas bloom profusely and attract butterflies and bees and hummingbirds.
Some of them were covered and protected from the freezes last year, but even the unprotected lantanas survived the winter attesting to their hardiness.
Depending upon which one is planted, lantanas can grow from 1 1/2 feet to 5 feet or more.
The mounds of yellow ones that I have in our garden are trimmed back once to twice a year to keep them around 1 foot in height. They seem to quickly recover from their "haircut" and quickly resume their prolific blooming.
The orange variety that I have planted near our small garden area seems to want to grow taller.
I keep it cut back from interfering with the bay laurel shrub and the flat leafed parsley and basil that is planted nearby.
There is not a day that goes by when we do not see butterflies winging their way through our garden because of these lantanas and our other plants which lure them in for a visit.
Knock Out Roses
These varieties of roses were planted last year in our backyard and have been rewarding us ever since with their nonstop blooming.
We had been admiring them in places all around the city where they are planted as hedges in commercial establishments and seem to require little care.
I keep them mulched as I do our other roses and they are all kept watered and fed at regular intervals.
These shade loving plants reseed themselves and had literally almost surrounded the exterior of our home in this tree canopied yard since we first moved here many years ago.
Little seedlings that pop up can be transplanted and I had even given many away to neighbors and other people who wanted some for their gardens.
Last winter took a toll on many of them but the ones drawing some warmth from being nearest the house and protected by larger shrubs survived and are once again spreading throughout the yard with a little help from my hands.
We have several types of azaleas in this yard and while they all put on a magnificent show each Spring, these encore azaleas bloom once or twice more during the year lending extra color to the gardens.
I have continued to plant more of these encore azaleas when replacing other types of shrubs. Why have a flowering bush that only blooms once if you can have the same type that blooms more often?
Encore azaleas come in different color varieties. The pink one pictured above was here when we moved into this home. It is a beauty!
I no longer remember the name of this climbing rose that helps to beautify our backyard, but it is a beauty!
This is a hearty perennial flowering plant and it comes in many different varieties and colors. I have had masses of them in the garden of our former home and am trying to get some established in this garden.
Begonias reward one with continuous blooms and also come in different flower as well as leaf colors.
I first became aware of this plant when visiting Bellingrath Gardens many years ago. Jardinieres were filled with the cascading red fuzzy blossoms and were quite a show stopper.
When returning to Houston I purchased a hanging basket of chenille plant. I got tired of having to water it daily for fear of it wilting which was not a particularly pretty sight. My remedy was to stuck it in the ground.
Since then I have just let it meander in the ground and have added it to some pots with crotons.
Guess I am one of those lazy gardeners. I can't be bothered by ones that take too much of my attention. Haha!
As stated at the top of this post, this by no means shows all the flowers that are in bloom at this time of year in Houston, Texas. These are just some of the ones in our home garden at the time of this writing. Occasionally I like to change the appearance of the landscaping so the flowers might be different in the years to come.
October and the coming months of fall, winter and spring are the most enjoyable months of the year in this temperate climate.
Hope that you enjoyed these pictures as much as I did in photographing them.
Which of these flowers are your favorite?
© 2010 Peggy Woods