October 15, 2019

Still Blooming in October

Tithonia rotundifolia 'Goldfinger'

I was near certain most of the blooms in this post would be curled up and gone after our forecast of a hard frost or freeze a few nights ago. But Mother Frost decided to spare us for a few days. I felt compelled to participate in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, because this likely will be the last one of the season for me, in my USDA hardiness zone 5a garden.

Sometimes when the surrounding area is hit with frost, we are spared because of the woods, our position on a hill, and the warmth of a nearby lake.

We did have some wicked winds with nasty windchills, though, but the only plants that were affected were most of the Coleus varieties in pots, and the Tithonias. The latter are still alive, though, and are blooming again.

Canna indica 'South Pacific Orange'

I admit I covered the potted All-America Selections (AAS) winner, Canna 'South Pacific Orange.' It hadn't bloomed all summer (because of my shady garden), and since it was just about to bloom, I wanted to spare it. I won't protect it again, but with mild weather this week maybe it will put on a brilliant show on its way out.

ng impatiens
Impatiens hawkeri 'Sonic Light Pink'

I also covered the potted New Guinea Impatiens because...well, I just wanted to. Turns out, maybe I wouldn't have had to, but who knew?

pots n pumpkins
Fuchsia 'Dollar Princess' with friends

None of the Fuchsias were covered, but they're just fine, including 'Dollar Princess,' in two pots by the door with various Impatiens, gnarly Coleus, and Thuja occidentalis, which will serve as year-round centerpieces. For the holidays, I'll surround them with pine cones and other decorations.

fuchsia 1
Fuchsia 'Marinka'

'Marinka' just keeps blooming and budding. I'll probably bring a couple of these indoors to overwinter, because I love them so much.

Fuchsia triphylla 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt'

Standing Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' is new for me. It has budded and bloomed continuously since early May when I bought it.

zinnia stems
Mixed Zinnia elegans

I cut a bunch of Zinnias because I thought they were my last; they're still waiting to go in a vase--I need to get my act together.

zinnia bud
Z. elegans

Turns out, more Zinnias will bloom this week.

Calamintha nepeta

The tiny blooms of Calamintha nepeta are so precious and fragrant.

calamintha with bee
C. nepeta

The bees love them, too.

Tagetes erecta 'Big Duck Gold'

This AAS winner, Marigold 'Big Duck Gold' keeps going strong, and has plenty of visitors.

tagetes with butterfly
T. erecta 'Big Duck Gold'

If you look closely, you'll see that the grasshoppper in the previous photo was joined by a painted lady butterfly; the blooms are so big they can share a perch.

Conoclinium coelestinum

Some of the Blue Mistflowers have gone to seed, but some are still blooming.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' with C. coelestinum

In the side sunny garden, the Mistflower is trying to take over, and is crowding the Sedum a bit. I do like the color combination, though.

Lantana camara 'Bandana Rose'

The Lantanas were crowded out a bit, too, this year, but they're still blooming.

Cuphea 'FloriGlory Diana'

Another AAS winner, Mexican Heather 'FloriGlory Diana,' is still blooming and setting buds. Although I have it in partial sun, it faces south and gets enough light to flower.

Coreopsis tripteris

Tall Tickseed is new for me this year...well, I should say it's new in its current spot. I found a volunteer in the sunny garden last season and moved it. I've been warned that it can be aggressive, so I put it in a confined area. I really like this bright, native plant, but I'll try to keep it from spreading too far.

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix'

Finally, the elegant Cosmos flowers keep sharing their airy beauty. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a place where Cosmos always blooms?

How about you? What's blooming in your garden? I'm linking in with "Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day" over at May Dreams Gardens. Check it out!

September 25, 2019

A Green Wideshot Wednesday

Is Wideshot Wednesday a meme? I don't know who hosts it, but I have an entry. I've been noticing how green everything is around here, so I snapped a few wide shots of the back garden. They show the mess and the fallen leaves and the lack of blooming plants, yes, but also how little fall color is in the woodland.

over pond


The ferns are senescing and some of the Oak leaves are falling, but most of the foliage on the trees and the plants is still very green. We've had a wet, warm September, which is unusual here. It's quite comfortable and lush, but strange.

Cooler weather in the next few weeks likely will bring on much more autumn color. Are you seeing fall color in your garden?


If you saw my last post, the monarchs in the classroom are making progress. Check it out. :)

September 17, 2019

The Late Bloomer


Can you see it?


How about now?


Yes, that's right; it's a monarch caterpillar. I believe it's a fourth instar, which means it probably has about a week left as a caterpillar, and then about two weeks in its chrysalis. This would put it at about the second week of October for its flight to Mexico.

This is not unheard of here at the 43rd parallel, but this little buddy is definitely a late bloomer. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate to give it warmth and cooperative winds for a successful journey south.


My neighbor is a teacher, and I gave her three other caterpillars for her classroom, which the students named Jeffrey, Gus, and Spike. I also handed off this little guy/gal: I wonder what they'll name it?

Stay tuned: I'll keep you posted on the progress of Jeffrey, Gus, Spike, and the late bloomer.

  • Jeffrey was indeed a male (there was discussion of renaming him Jennifer Lopez if a female, but no need). RELEASED
  • Gus was a female, so her full name is Augustina. RELEASED
  • Spike was a female and was set free in front of all the 4th and 5th graders at the school. RELEASED
  • The late bloomer, named "Youngblood" by the students, formed its chrysalis on Monday, 9/23.