frost approaching

These days the weather forcast keeps threatening frost–so far we haven’t had a hard frost, but I took a few quick photos of annuals before getting in the car to go to work the other day, just in case. The garden next to the still-a-work-in-progress white garden is mostly annuals, planted under and around the old swingset. In this picture you can see the cat’s head home-made bird-house our friends gave us, and the apple tree branch trellis we put up for the red honeysuckle vine. To one side is a vigorous trumpet vine. You can also see the compost bin, and the bright annuals planted there: petunias, marigolds, pansies, and dianthus. To the side of the compost bin is a giant annual tithonia (Mexican sunflower)–we got the seedlings from David’s sister and they turned into bushes.  annual-garden-and-compost-binHere are a few close-ups from that area:

a lovely dark red petunia and a few hastily placed rocks.

a lovely dark red petunia and a few hastily placed rocks.

cute little annual dianthus

cute little annual dianthus

marigold with rocks and sticks

marigold with rocks and sticks

I kneeled down and got a close-up picture of this marigold plant. It is one of the few survivors of the nightly raccoon destruction we experienced in the early summer. You can see in this picture my design habit of putting lots of rocks in the garden–low border walls and scattered around singly or in little piles.  I find that crickets and spiders and other creepy crawly friends love these rocks. And I like to “plant” dead branches and sticks in the garden–I don’t know why but I think it’s fun. And I’m always happy when I see a bird perch on one of the taller ones.

Mid-October winding down

After a dry hot summer we’ve had a milder and wetter fall. Still no real frost, so the garden is lingering. Many of the flowers don’t know the flower season is over!

many types of phlox are still blooming

many types of phlox are still blooming

johnny-jump-ups

johnny-jump-ups

Johnny jump-ups are the first to bloom in the spring and the last to stop in the fall.

blue fortune agastache

blue fortune agastache

Many perennials are slowing down but continue to bloom, which is good for the bumble bees and other insects still hanging on.

chelone turtle heads and honeysuckle vine

chelone turtle heads and honeysuckle vine

These turtle heads start blooming late and continue until frost. The honeysuckle vine is an early spring to late fall bloomer. The hummingbirds have left now, but the vines are still putting out flowers. Also blooming is the pink native plant physostegia virginiana, false dragon head or obedient plant, in several large patches. Another stalwart blooming from May to frost is catmint, which I have in every bed in the garden. It isn’t quite as showy as some plants, but it feeds a lot of insects and is almost a ground-cover for me.

catmint growing around some garden art

catmint growing around some garden art

The most colorful flowers now blooming are the annuals. Marigold, petunias, zinnias, cleome, blue annual sage, and some volunteer sunflowers and nicotiana:

marigold

marigold

patch of pink zinnias

patch of pink zinnias

bright purple cleome

bright purple cleome

annual sage

annual sage

tall volunteer sunflowers

tall volunteer sunflowers

sunflower with a honey bee

sunflower with a honey bee

volunteer ornamental flowering tobacco

volunteer ornamental flowering tobacco

And in the wild meadow gardens, the purple asters are still bright:

purple aster with bumble bee

purple aster with bumble bee

aster

aster

It’s a beautiful season. Yesterday we took a walk in the fields and overgrown meadow near our house. Apples and other fruits like nanny berries and wild grapes are abundant. apple-tree

nanny-berrysunny-meadow-late-afternooncat-on-the-walk