November 15, 2021

Just a Few Blooms Remain


It's the end of the growing season, and most of the plants are dormant. Though we've had several freezes and snows in this USDA zone 5A area of Southern Wisconsin, there are always a few blooms that hang on this time of year. Some are very hardy, others are near the house or rock walls or other warm structures, and still others can take some cold weather if it isn't brutal or extended.

This will be the last month of this growing season that I'll post about outdoor blooms, and as long as I had a few I thought I'd participate in Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Th'Ozawa' Alliums (Allium thunbergii) I posted about three weeks ago are still hanging on, although they're shriveling and forming seeds (see above). They're still pretty and holding their color, though.


The Oso Easy 'Double Pink' roses are near a rock wall. Unless the buds bloom in the next week, I think they've lost their chance. (The plants bloomed a couple of times already during the spring and summer, so it's OK.) If they start to open, maybe I can force them?


While this potted Fuchsia (F. triphylla 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt') has mostly passed on, a few of the stems and blooms near the warm house are still blooming.


Calamintha (C. nepeta) is a tough little bloomer, and I wouldn't be surprised to find blooms under the snow even into December.

That's it for now! Thanks to Carol for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

November 03, 2021

Wordless Wednesday: Prairie in Autumn

prairie midautumn
prairie midautumn 2021
[Click on images to enlarge for detail.]

prairie late summer
prairie late summer 2021

prairie midsummer
prairie midsummer 2021

prairie late spring
prairie end of spring 2021

burned prairie 2
prairie midspring, following a prescribed burn 2021

prairie late winter
prairie late winter 2021

prairie late autumn 2020

November 01, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Goodbye Cut Flowers

face vase

Having plentiful cut flowers through the end of October has been a special treat this season. Now I face the cutting garden finale, with low temperatures dropping to or below freezing for the next five days. Bye-bye, growing season.

The Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus 'Rocket Mix') in the first photo will last a few days, but the Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) will dry and last indefinitely. Yay.

zinnias 1

I will especially miss the Zinnias (Z. elegans 'State Fair Mix' and 'Zowie' Yellow Flame). They are so tall and vibrant and cheery. A flower stem from Coleus scutellarioides 'Wizard Mix' and filler stems of A. densiflorus round out the simple mix.

zinnias 2

Oh well, time to turn inward and focus on the upcoming holidays. Plenty of dried and purchased cut flowers will be available in the the months ahead. Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme.

October 27, 2021

Wordless Wednesday:
Frost-Free Until Next Week...

sensation mix
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix'

wizard mix
Coleus scutellarioides 'Wizard Mix'

Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa'

Impatiens walleriana 'Fiesta Burgundy'

blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

mum hybrid
Chrysanthemum morifolium (unknown hybrid)

state fair mix
Zinnia elegans 'State Fair Mix'

Calamintha nepeta

accent burgundy
Impatiens walleriana 'Accent Burgundy'

potted plants
Potted mix of blooms and foliage

Fuchsia hybrida 'Marinka'

Asclepias curassavica

rocket mix
Antirrhinum majus 'Rocket Mix'

Zinnia elegans 'Zowie! Yellow Flame'

Fuchsia triphylla 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt'

Oxalis vulcanicola 'Zinfandel'

Tithonia rotundifolia 'Goldfinger'

September 27, 2021

Midwest Gardeners Meet-Up at Kenosha

prairie blooms 1

For the past several years, a group of Midwestern garden bloggers and communicators has met at various locations to tour gardens, arboretums, and plant displays. We skipped last year because of COVID, and this growing season was challenging for some weather and personal reasons. But several of us met last week in Kenosha, Wis.: myself, Danniel Ward-Packard, of Botanica Fine Gardens and Landscapes, and Jason Kay and Judy Hertz, of Garden in a City. It was a small group and a cloudy, windy, cool day, but we had a great time and some fabulous discussions about plants.

The first stop was a hikeable portion of the Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area, which is part of a 4,500-acre lake plain in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. It was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Significance in 2015.

prairie blooms 2

It's a captivating place, with a diversity of wet prairie species, even though this has been a particularly hot and dry growing season. The natural swaths of asters, sunflowers, goldenrods, grasses, and other plants were fascinating to view.

lake michigan

Across the road on this windy day, the turbulent waves of Lake Michigan were dramatically lapping the shore.

So many autumn native plants to observe and so little time. I believe I have the names correct on these beauties, but let me know if not.

canada goldenrod
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

showy goldenrod
Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

ne asters
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

sky blue asters
Sky Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense)

rough blazing star
Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera)

fringed gentian
Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita)

For lunch, we met at Kenosha's waterfront Eichelman and Wolfenbuttel Parks, which have some colorful annual displays.

park sign

park display 1

park display 5

The trellises and pergolas frame the park's Lake Michigan view and the nearby boat marina.

park display 4

park display 3

park display 2

They were lovely formal plantings surrounding the area.

Our final destination for the day was the Hawthorne Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum. I think this property surprised all of us with its 12 charming acres of prairies, gardens, and historic buildings.

prairie restoration

A small prairie restoration was in process.

old-fashioned rose

This beautiful unmarked rose reminded me of my great-grandfather's rose that he crossed for my great-grandmother.

swamp rose mallow

A vibrant, blooming Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) shrub couldn't be ignored.

foundation planting

This border along the side of one of the historical buildings was autumn-impressive, and had me wondering about its plant display during other seasons.

asters and sunflowers

On the way out, more asters and sunflowers took the spotlight.

It was a cloudy, windy day, but the companions and the gardens--both natural and intentionally planted--were top-tier.

I'm looking forward to next year's gardener gatherings!