October is usually a very colorful month of the year in Austin, as long as there is enough rain to keep the plants going through the summer. Many of the flowers respond to the shortening days.
The Japanese anemone, Anemone x hybrida, is standout in the fall garden. Unfortunately I am not sure of the specific name of this one but it has been an easy grower in my English garden. The blooms rise above slender but firm stalks and needs no staking. It spreads by runners so easily makes a good clump. One of the spreaders I am not unhappy to enjoy in my garden.
The Philippine violet, Barlena cristata, is related to the Mexican petunia, and is far more mannerly. It forms a shrub, of about 4', which is root hardy in Austin. Never seems to get bugs or diseases and the leaves are always green. My kind of plant.
This is my first year to try the datura, having been seduced by its frilly purple blooms at a friends house last year. Unfortunately the leaves have not looked their best so I might forgo this plant next year.
This amaranthus was another experiment this year. The seeds were also given to me. The spiky flowers have been a favorite of hummingbirds, finches, and bees.
I got the surprise of my life when I was weeding under the yaupon holly yesterday. Columbines in flower. I have no idea from where they came and what they are doing flowering in October. A nice surprise, nevertheless.
The white Mandevilla vine is finally coming back to life. A holdover from last year I just may keep it over the winter. Next year it will go in partial shade because I think it just can't take the full sun in Texas.
It looks as though the whole garden is awash with pinks and purples. I mustn't forget the narrow leaf zinnias, Zinnia linearis. They have been the mainstay of the garden throughout the summer and are still looking wonderful.
Sweet alyssum, despite having taken a beating from the harlequin bugs in the spring, is growing again by leaps and bounds. It is a fragrant addition to the winter garden. It appears each year in shades of pink, purple and white although the white always seems to be more prevalent.