Early October Notes

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

On this sunny Sunday afternoon I am safe and dry while many parts of North Carolina and other southern states are reeling from wind and rain brought by Hurricane Matthew. There is vast flooding that is expected to increase as rivers swell. While many are saying this storm could have been a lot worse, it is heartbreaking to see images of streets and homes underwater, including in my hometown of St. Pauls.

For all of my life I have heard reverential tales of the force of Hurricane Hazel which in October 1954 hit North Carolina, the only category 4 hurricane to do so. (Matthew approached as Category 3 but was Category 1 when the eye passed the Cape Fear region around Wilmington). Yesterday around 4:30 pm Hurricane Matthew surpassed a record set by Hurricane Hazel when the tide gauge in downtown Wilmington rose to 8.21 feet. Hazel’s record of 8.15 feet which had held for 62 years was toppled.

We probably had 4 or 5 inches of rain here yesterday. The meditation circle was largely underwater during the day but the water has soaked in now. Zinnias were knocked down as were the native swamp sunflowers. I had watched the sunflowers swaying all afternoon, surprised to see them standing. They tend to fall over each autumn with or without a storm. Here is how they looked a few days ago.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Last Thursday my husband and I stopped by the Botanical Garden to see what was in bloom. Though I know many of you enjoy asters, I am not really a big fan; however, it was easy to appreciate this large planting in its prime.

Aster at NC Botanical Garden

Aster at NC Botanical Garden

 

Symphyotrichum puniceum (Purple-stem American-aster) -Canada & eastern United States

Symphyotrichum puniceum (Purple-stem American-aster) -Canada & eastern United States

Nearby golden flower heads danced in the gentle breeze.

Solidago spp. (Goldenrod)

Solidago spp. (Goldenrod)

Solidago spp. (Goldenrod)

Solidago spp. (Goldenrod)

And the pink muhly grass was looking splendid.

Muhlenbergia 'Pink Flamingos' (Hybrid Hair Grass) at NCBG

Muhlenbergia ‘Pink Flamingos’ (Hybrid Hair Grass) at NCBG

Since discovering the beauty of colchicum several years ago I have yet to plant my own, so it is lucky to live close to public gardens where someone thought to grow them.

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn-crocus)

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn-crocus)

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn-crocus)

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn-crocus)

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn-crocus)

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn-crocus)

21 thoughts on “Early October Notes

  1. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    So very glad to hear you are safe from the ravages of this storm but continue to pray for those who couldn’t escape damage. Thank you for letting us know your status. 🙂 All of your photos are beautiful, but I’m very partial to the first one which is wonderful. 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      But your vase today looks so full and lush! The sunflowers have fallen over in such a way they’ve actually filled out the border. Thanks for your concern over the hurricane. Still terrible flooding and evacuations (including one of my sisters) but we’re fortunate here.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Most of these photos are from a nearby botanical garden. We visit it often. Their Pink Muhly is nice, isn’t it? I have one but it is poorly sited and doesn’t live up to its potential.

      Reply
  2. rusty duck

    I’ve been following the progress of the hurricane on the news and hoping friends and fellow bloggers have escaped unscathed. The destruction is terrible, especially in Haiti. I’m glad all’s well with you.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your concern. This was a bad storm and continues to force people from home as rising flood waters create more danger in my state. There have been many rescues.

      Reply
  3. Beth @ PlantPostings

    I’m glad you’re safe and that you didn’t have too much damage from the hurricane or the resulting flood waters. I’m thinking about and praying for all you folks in the affected states. Thanks for sharing highlights from your botanical garden visit! I’m not a huge fan of Asters, either, although I do love the light blue ones. The Goldenrod didn’t last long here this year because we had too much rain. Good thing we do have many Asters still blooming for the migrating Monarchs. Your photos of the Colchicums are stunning.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Beth, thanks for your good wishes. Each day this week has brought more bad news about flooding. It will take a long while for those affected to recover. I love those colchicums too. Wish they were in my garden!

      Reply
  4. Christina

    Love your images of the Colchicums, they do need to be in tight clumps like these though, they often look quite insignificant if planted too sparsely. I so glad the hurricane didn’t do any damage; but that is a huge amount of water for one day!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your good wishes Christina. There’s going to be a long recovery as flooding continues. I must remember to get Colchicums for my garden. Thanks for the tip about planting them closely.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      For some reason a couple of your comments went to spam so am just seeing this. We didn’t have any problem with the hurricane but in much of eastern NC the flooding has been devastating. I-95 only just reopened.

      Reply
  5. An Eye For Detail

    My Swamp Sunflowers came AND went in the weeks we were away…such a shame! I’m using the seed heads now to photograph, but missing those lovely yellow flowers. They get SO tall it is a problem how to keep them upright! We were away for the storm, but all seems fine now; especially my dahlias that have totally revived with all the rain!

    Reply

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