October 15, 2016
We’ve escaped the icy grips of Father Frost in our garden, which means an extended season of flowers. Yippee. In the countryside and along the roadways, few nectar sources remain except Asters, White Snakeroots, a few Goldenrods, and the occasional reblooming wildflowers--confused, perhaps, that a restart of warmth means it could be spring.
Of course, we know better.
So the autumn march begins ... stuffing front porch pots with hardy kales and cabbages, decorating the house for Halloween and Thanksgiving, planning for upcoming family gatherings, and preparing our psyches for that season of white and gray and brown.
But not quite yet ...
Since we had a threat of frost recently, I clipped the brightest Zinnias and some Coleus foliage for a floral arrangement.
But after two nights in the mid-30s F (~2C), followed by a warm-up, the Zinnias (Z. elegans) are popping into bloom again.
Of course, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is in its element.
The Lantanas (L. camara) are budding and blooming as if it's May.
Same with the Pentas (P. lanceolata 'Graffit Violet').
I didn't clip the remaining 'Sensation Mix' Cosmos (C. bipinnatus), thinking they could take a light frost. Turns out, they didn't need to fight for life anyway. I'll have a few more for cuttings next week.
'Cathedral Sky Blue' Salvia (S. farinacea) looks straggly. I could trim it to encourage more blooms, but that would be silly since it's living on borrowed time. Might as well let it bloom for the straggler pollinators.
The Lamiums' (L. maculatum) little hoods also welcome any pollinators still hanging on to the last warm days of the growing season.
'Marinka' Fuchsias in hanging baskets are like ever-bearing shrubs. I overwintered them last year in the sunroom, and I'll do the same this year. Why not save a few bucks? The hummingbirds do seem to enjoy them so!
Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) has been blooming since August, adding clouds of soft blue to the garden.
I haven't seen as many bees on the Mistflower lately (unlike earlier in the season when they were busy buzzing around it), but I did notice a stink bug and a lady beetle, among other insects.
My vision for this part of the garden is starting to take shape: Mistflower makes a pretty backdrop for the 'Vibrant Dome' Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae).
The days are shorter and the light is lower in the sky. Autumn is with us, but it's a mild one this year.
How about you? What's blooming and brightening your garden this October?
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day