Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Royal Visitors on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Today dawned cloudy and damp. Not ideal conditions for taking photographs. But it is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, so I venture outside to try my luck. I can hardly believe my eyes when I see two monarch butterflies dancing among the verbena. Few monarchs visited my garden this year, in spite of all the additional milkweed I planted, so I am delighted to see these beautiful creatures today. If you look closely at the first picture, you will see a yellow ladybug there, also.

Monarch butterfly on Verbena bonariensis

What began as a dreary day turned into a joyous one with this little taste of summer in my entry garden. The rest of my garden is a picture of autumn with fallen leaves and fall colors. I love the colors, but feel the garden looks very untidy, especially as I haven't started the fall clean-up in earnest. Looking at Octopus's Garden I see I have an enormous amount of work to do. You can't tell in the picture below, but I must weed, divide, and cut down dead perennials.

Time to put this untidy garden to bed.

Let's take a walk and see what is blooming.

One last waterlily on the pond.

The weeping Japanese maple over the waterfall is turning a spectacular red.

Not blooms, but lovely textures in a bowl of succulents.

At last I have some beautiful rose blooms. Winter damage and Japanese beetles created the worst year for roses I have experienced. Now two of my favorites are blooming and the flowers remain undamaged since there are no more beetles.

Yellow Knockout rose.
(Note the trees behind the fence are green. They are catalpas which don't change color in fall -- the leaves just wither and fall off.)

Rosa 'Peace'

Tubs of zinnias catch a little sunlight.

This has been a wonderful year for snapdragons. The new horseshoe-shaped garden-with-no-name is still ablaze with them.

 Hydrangea macrophylla 'Perfection',

Rose Campion Lychnis coronaria

Fuschia in hanging baskets on the porch.

No blooms in the shade garden, just lots of fallen leaves.

The leaves of the climbing hydrangea on the fence are turning golden.

It is not easy to see on the picture below, but the false hydrangea climbing over the swing bloomed this year and a few petals are evident still. 

A cushion of leaves on the bench in the Woodland Walk

At the entrance to the Woodland Walk, the zebra grass is resplendent with feathery panicles.

More zebra grass at the front of this picture and beautiful fall colors behind the potting shed.

I am still harvesting produce from my kitchen garden: carrots, parsnips, peppers, cabbages, and onions. I planted fall season vegetables: lettuce, radishes, spinach, and beets. All, except the beets, are providing food daily. Hopefully, the beets will be ready for pickling before the ground freezes. Pictures of the kitchen garden are for my next posting. There are some flowers blooming there...


Milkweed seeds give me hope there will be monarchs next year.

Feverfew Tanacetum parthenium with declining zinnias and marigolds in the kitchen garden

The Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania are wonderful for fall colors. The trees around our fields are nearing peak splendor.

The lower field.

An abundance of nuts on one of our many walnut trees. Does this mean a harsh winter?

Finally, on our Bloom Day walk, we return to the entry garden which I planted as a butterfly garden this year. The new echinacea are still blooming with no sign of the aster yellows disease which necessitated pulling out all purple coneflowers in the cottage garden. 

The monarchs have left. It has started to rain.

Purple Conelower Echinacea purpurea

I go indoors just in time. As I write this, it is pouring, but a blessing really because we are 7 inches down on rain for the year. 

My thanks to Carol for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th of each month at her lovely blog, May Dreams Gardens.  If it wasn't for you, Carol, I probably would not have ventured out this morning and I would have missed seeing my royal visitors. Carol has monarchs in her garden today, too. Do check it out!

Happy Bloom Day everyone,
Pamela xx

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. I live in the Binghamton, New York area - and I loved all your photos, especially the ones with the monarch butterflies. It's been raining steadily (and sometimes heavily) since lunchtime here but, like you, we need the rain. Happy GBBD! Ramblin with AM.

  2. Wonderful Pam. So many flowers still blooming and all that produce. the voles got to my veggies so gone....and monarchs too! Your garden is looking great and glad to hear your echinacea is growing disease free.

  3. That photo of your sheds situated in front of all those glorious fall trees and the white picket fence in the foreground - spectacular. That is such a captivating shot. Your garden looks absolutely lovely and not unkept at all. Nice variation of grasses and flowers, you've done well finding plants that have some staying power for this time of year.

  4. What wonderful colors - from the trees as well as your ornamentals. And congratulations on the Monarchs. They have been few and very far between in my garden this year. I can actually count on my two hands the total that I've seen all year. Very depressing.

  5. I enjoyed visiting your fall garden! I especially enjoyed seeing the fall foliage. The photo of the foliage behind the potting shed is just gorgeous!
    It was graitfying to see your Eastern Royalty. We have been enjoying visits from our Western Royalty, too. It's the first time we have seen Monarchs in our yard for many years. So glad I planted the Milkweed!

  6. The rain today is so very welcome! I've seen a Monarch or two every time I've gone out to take pictures the past few days; I'm so very glad!

    You, unlike me, must have remembered to water your fall veggie crops. I planted spinach seeds in September, then promptly forgot to keep them watered through most of that very dry month. No homegrown fall spinach for us this year!

    Your gardens look beautiful; "untidy" is not a word that comes to mind when I look at them!

  7. How exciting to see Monarchs! I haven't seen any this year. The trees are looking so beautiful with all the colored leaves. You still have quite a lot going on in the garden. I love your little bower in the arbor - what a great place to sit and read!

  8. I'm glad to read the Monarchs have finally visited your garden. What a wonderful sight.
    Whilst you have lots in bloom and the blooms are looking fabulous, your pictures really captured the essence of autumn, I thoroughly enjoyed this post Pam.

  9. I don't think your garden is looking untidy at all, it looks fabulous. You've still got so much blooming, and the colours are amazing.

  10. Still lots of flowers in bloom and your autumn colours are wonderful. Monarch butterflies in your garden, I should like to have them too, they are fabulous.

  11. Outstanding photographs Pam and the Monarch Butterflies are just breathtaking. It is so nice they visited your garden. We just got the rain today so it has been a good day for staying in and catching up on Bloom Day. I enjoyed your gardens as always!

  12. You have so many flowers still blooming and yet you are way ahead of us for leaves turning. It must have been wonderful to see those monarchs as I haven't seen any this year.

  13. Beautiful photographs! I don't think it looks messy at all, I think it looks colorful and autumnal. There will be plenty of time to clean up once all the leaves come down, and even then the wind is just as good at cleaning up :)
    The fall colors behind the potting shed are particularly nice. What do you think of the colors this fall? I thought it is one of the better years and hope it lasts for a little while longer. Snow and ice don't have to rush in on my account :)

    1. Thanks, Frank. I agree this is a good year for fall color. The trees behind the potting shed, however, lost a lot of leaves during the rain storm. I took the picture just in time. Your comment on snow and ice is well taken -- I dread it. x

  14. I am falling I'm love with this blog. I really really like gardening. And I think I will find inspiration here.
    Every year I make a garden "laboratory " to grow flowers I insert in my backyard garden next year. I discover new things here and I will come to visit again.
    We had a beautiful fall here but now we do not have red leaves and it smells snow soon...
    It is great to see flowers pics as my flowers are dead now.
    Have a beautiful day.

  15. Today I tucked my milkweed seeds in an envelope for the next garden. Never did get around to planting them here ...

  16. I was just in Pennsylvania to visit family in late September. It's so pretty there now with all the Fall colors and your garden is as always one of the most beautiful I have seen. Those walnut trees can be dangerous! There are a few down by the Lehigh fields where we go to walk my parents' dog and they are all over the have to be careful not to trip on them or watch they don't bop you in the head! Happy to see the monarchs came for a visit. I had some here too over the Summer. They're always fun to watch.

  17. Oh, autumn is so lovely in your garden! I want to swing on that swing, will that be okay? Like you, I feel so honored when a monarch stops by my garden. They are definitely the queen of the butterflies.