One of the mysteries of gardening is the length of time that flowers bloom. Delight can last from a matter of hours to many days for individual blooms, to many months for some flowering plants. Most ephemeral, perhaps, is the appropriately named ‘Morning Glory’ the individual blooms of which burst into glory in the morning, furl up in the evening and die overnight. The plant itself can go on blooming for weeks or months depending on the climate. I recall seeing one in my dad’s garden in New Zealand that was perpetually in flower and spread up and throughout a forty feet high tree! This year mine climbed the lilac and first flowered in August.
Morning Glory Ipomoea purpurea
Living in the soft south (go any further southeast and you’ll need to speak French) in a maritime mini-climate we are virtually frost-free. Some years we will get a few icy-cold snaps, some years none at all. This means that some plants have incredible staying power and flower almost every month like this rose.
Rose Rosa kordesii
Others can go almost all year like this hardy fuchsia originally for the cooler south of South America.
Hummingbird Fuchsia Fuchsia magellanica
Whilst we often avoid frost, the corollary is that we can have long spells of hot dry weather, and, recently hot and windy weather that can denude a shrub of flowers or even leaves. Wind is becoming more and more of an enemy with days when the heat and wind shrivel up plants despite overnight rain or our watering regime.
Some annuals may last through a number of winters then suddenly succumb in mid-summer heat.