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.)
|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,
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