October Blooms in Southern Spain: A Vibrant Collection of Seasonal Plants
In the South of Spain, October marks the change from hot summer to breezy autumn. The scenery transforms spectacularly as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. The area is still endowed with a wide variety of trees and plants that bloom throughout the month, adding colour and seasonal appeal. As I am currently living and working in Spain, specifically Granada as I write this, I thought I would look at some of the most beautiful flowers that adorn the Andalusian countryside and gardens in October in this blog post.
Bougainvillaea (bougainvillaea spectabilis)
Bougainvillaea is a plant that brightens the South of Spain with a burst of colour thanks to its papery, colourful bracts that appear in shades of magenta, pink, purple, and white. These resilient vines blossom well into October and love the Mediterranean climate. Gardeners who want to add a touch of tropical beauty to their landscapes often choose Bougainvillaea because of its eye-catching appearance and drought resistance. I personally love seeing this plant tumbling over the edge of a garden wall into the narrow alleys that wind through the pueblos.
Oleander (nerium oleander)
The funnel-shaped, fragrant blossoms of the oleander make it a popular decorative shrub in Spain. Although the usual flowering season for this evergreen plant is late spring to early autumn, in the South of Spain, some cultivars continue to bloom well into October. The blossoms are a beautiful addition to any garden because they come in a variety of colours, such as white, pink, and red. These plants have particular sentimental value to me as they are on pretty much every corner of the town local to my parent's house in Italy, and always make me feel like I'm on holiday when I see them!
Geranium (pelargonium spp.)
October is the perfect time to enjoy the versatility and ease of care that geraniums offer. You can find these bright, cheery flowers on balconies and in gardens in a variety of colours. The delightful aroma of their leaves lends an additional touch of charm to the autumn ambience. Blooms come in a huge variety colours, from white and pink blotched, to hot pink. However, my mother's favourite (and so my favourite too) is the deep scarlet red, which is lifted so beautifully by the emerald green of the underlying foliage.
Jacaranda (jacaranda mimosifolia)
As soon as I stepped out of the metro station in Valencia, I was completely blown away by these incredible trees. Their bright blooms seemed so tropical and unusual for Autumn, and so naturally, I had to take a million photos. In the South of Spain, jacaranda trees are renowned for their magnificent display of lavender-blue blossoms, and provide a breathtaking sight. Although some late-blooming varieties may flower well into October, their peak blooming season usually happens in late spring. Photographers and nature lovers love it here because the fallen petals make a beautiful purple carpet on the ground.
Lavander (lavandula spp.)
Fragrant spikes of purple flowers and soft green-grey foliage; lavender is linked to aromatherapy and relaxation. These hardy shrubs produce copious amounts of blooms in the spring and summer, but in the southern part of Spain, they frequently continue to bloom well into October. Lavender is a wonderful addition to your garden or balcony for a calming touch of nature, both in terms of scent and appearance. I personally love to dry the flower spikes after deadheading, by tying bunches together with string and hanging them in various rooms, acting like a natural diffuser.
Jasmine (jasminum spp.)
Another captivating addition to the October bloom tapestry in the South of Spain is jasmine. The delicate white or pale yellow flowers of the jasmine plant fills the air with its sweet and intoxicating fragrance. These climbing vines frequently adorn walls, balconies, and garden trellises, lending a sense of romance and elegance to the surrounding area. Even though jasmine usually blooms from spring to early summer, occasionally, flowers will still be present in October. These flowers will create a lovely, lingering scent in the air; I have certainly noticed it walking through the streets of both Valencia and Granada, and often find it completely overtaking the modest balconies of the beautiful old buildings.
Wild Garlic (tulbaghia violacea)
Tulbaghia violacea, sometimes referred to as wild garlic or society garlic, is a distinctive and alluring plant that lends a touch of refinement to the October scenery in the South of Spain. With clusters of tubular, mauve flowers and thin, strap-like leaves, it makes a pretty contrast to the surrounding hard landcsaping. Some varieties in the South of Spain display their delicate blossoms into October, although this hardy perennial usually blooms from spring to summer. The mild climate in the area makes society garlic a delightful addition to late-season gardens and a well-liked find along garden paths and hiking trails. Its subtle beauty and mild, pleasant scent appeal to gardeners and nature lovers alike. I particularly love its architectural form and vibrant green foliage contrasted against the light gravel pathways.
As I travel across the south coast of Spain, I am able to witness this beautiful change from summer to autumn. There are many different flowering plants and trees, which are in bloom and provide seasonal interest during this time. From the colourful Bougainvillaea to the fragrant Lavender, the October scenery bears witness to the abundance of Mediterranean flora. So, embrace these vibrant blooms that make southern Spain an incredibly magical place to be in the autumn, whether you're taking care of your own garden or touring the countryside.