Six things that shouldn't be happening in my garden (but are)

Pelargonium quercifolium Green Fingered Blog
Pelargonium quercifolium - leaves smell of cedarwood
Stormy weather is expected here this weekend, but it's still very mild, and the unseasonably warm weather has got lots of plants in my garden very confused about what time of year it is...

This is my contribution to Six on Saturday, run by the Propagator. Pop over to his page for more sixes from him and others.
My six this week are all things that I wouldn't normally be enjoying in my garden at this time of year, but are still going strong due to the warm October temperatures we've been having.

Pelargonium quercifolium

The way scented leaf pelargoniums smell of such diverse things when you rub them never ceases to amaze me, and I have a small collection of them which is very precious to me. They are not fully hardy, and certainly do not enjoy the very wet winter conditions here on the southern side of Caerphilly Mountain, so every autumn I bring as many as I can inside, and also take loads of cuttings, to make sure I can continue to enjoy them. By this time of year they've normally finished flowering and are usually already indoors but it's still warm enough to keep them flowering this year, as you can see from the top picture. Don't worry though, I'm all prepared. As soon as the temperature starts to drop, they'll be safely undercover.


Ceanothus provides a fluffy haze of blue cloud in May, and the occasional second flush later in the summer. They do NOT normally flower in October! I realise many spring flowers bloom again in autumn when the shortening days provide the same amount of daylight as in spring, but for this Ceanothus to look this good this late in the year is very strange.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Green Fingered Blog
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus "Skylark"

Rosa "Lady Emma Hamilton"

This rose flowers well in summer, and has come back several times this year with more blooms, but I can't believe how well it is still going even now. It's a joy to walk past and have a sniff. The flowers will be gone for good once there's a spell of really nasty weather so I'm enjoying it while I can.   
Rose Lady Emma Hamilton Green Fingered Blog
Rosa "Lady Emma Hamilton"

Zaluzianskya capensis - Night Scented Phlox

This is another plant that is a star in summer, with scarcely believable scent of fizzy sherbet after sunset. I've never known it flower this far into autumn before, but I'm glad it does - it really lives up to it's varietal name: "Midnight Candy". Mmmm!   
Zalunzianskya capensis Noght Scented Phlox Green Fingered Blog
Zaluzianskya capensis "Midnight Candy"

Primroses in flower

The archetypal spring flower, the primrose must be another that reacts to both the length of days and the temperature, because the recent warm weather around the equinox has seen them flowering all round the garden, when often they just sit, leafy but effectively dormant, until after winter.
Primrose Green Fingered Blog

Viburnum Bodnantense "Dawn"

I expect this to flower on bare stems in late winter, adding fragrance outside the front door on frosty February mornings.  This may be the most confused of all these six. It's still in full leaf, it's not remotely chilly, and it's still light at 6.30 in the evening! I should not be able to smell this but I can. It's lovely, but along with the rest of the garden, I'm feeling very confused!

Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn Green Fingered Blog
Viburnum Bodnantense "Dawn"
I'm enjoying all these little bonuses my garden has offered but there is something slightly unsettling about things happening at unexpected times. It's all so unpredictable, I can't be sure what's round the corner. Will I be cutting the grass at New Year and admiring tulips in January? It certainly doesn't feel like Kansas, Dorothy. Maybe all the unseasonal flowers will be blown away by the storm winds tonight. Or perhaps if I put some red shoes on, click my heels together three times and say "There's no place like home" then everything would return to normal.
Is your garden behaving as strangely as mine? You can share your stories of seasonal strangeness below by leaving a comment.
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  1. Yes I have some Primroses too and the roses are still going strong. It s very mild of an evening though isnt it? Lovely pictures. x

    1. Certainly is - I don't think its dipped below 10C here at all, even at night. Very very wet and very VERY windy as I write this though - the garden could look a bit different in the morning! :/

  2. What a great title. Emma Hamilton is at the top of my Austin lust list..I even have the space picked out. If only I was assured of delivery to my neck of the woods!

    1. Thanks. Is it possible to order seeds? Would take longer to reach flowering stage but much easier and safer to transport I suspect.