Everything in my garden changed overnight it seems. Yesterday was summer; today is autumn. The leaves of the maple tree turn red and blanket the front lawn. Echinacea flowers disappear, to the joy of twittering goldfinches gorging themselves on the seeds. Brown, rust, and gold overtake green in the cottage garden. The final glory of summer goes on in fuchsias, zinnias, and nasturtiums, but I am acutely aware from the untidy messiness of it all that it's time to clean up and begin preparations for (dare I say?) winter.
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.-- Hugh Johnson
|Maple trees near the front of the house.|
|It surely looks like fall!|
|View of the pond from an upstairs window.|
As the pond takes on its new-season look, the fish and frogs remain active, not yet ready for winter's sleep. We close the pond between Halloween and Thanksgiving, so a few more weeks yet.
|Lotus leaves with brown seed pod tickling the fish's nose.|
While the leaves turn to gold, little punches of color are evident in cottage garden blooms ...
|Phlox 'Bright Eyes' and perennial geranium surrounded by the yellowing leaves of gooseneck loosestrife.|
|Threadleaf coreopsis with lambs ears.|
The petunias in the window boxes remain true to summer until the first frost.
|Three of five window boxes on the tractor shed.|
One of our grandchildren, very young, pointed to the tractor shed and said, "Who lives in there?" An understandable mistake since he saw lace curtains at the windows. I explained it's where Pappy keeps the farm equipment including the old field tractor. I didn't tell him the reason for the curtains: H.H. and I, a bit like the 'Odd Couple,' differ in our idea of tidiness. I don't want visitors to my (usually) orderly garden looking through these windows.
|Zinnias, cleome and the seeds of puple cone flower.|
Most noticeable in the garden today, zinnias present a riot of color -- my reason for growing them. In the butterfly garden they vie for attention with the exuberant cleome. I use the word 'exuberant' because the flowers remind me of a burst of fireworks.
|Cleome and zinnias at the entrance to our farm.|
|The butterfly garden attracts butterflies still ...|
|... and bees.|
The grape over the pergola is full of fruit. It grew from just one small plant. H.H. added a wild grape that he dug up in the Woodland Walk, but I don't believe it survived. In any event, the wild one doesn't produce fruit. I'm reminded of the many tasks I must perform before the end of this garden season -- including making grape jelly or juice. Unfortunately, by this time of year I am feeling tired, and usually leave the grapes for the birds.
|As well as the enormous Concord grape, notice two clematis in bloom.|
|Walking under the pergola, it smells like Italy.|
In the Woodland Walk the beautiful Virginia creeper punctuates the tree trunks with red, providing more evidence of the changing season.
|My mini horse, Dude, peeps around the vibernum that grows in the shade garden.|
Finally, the kitchen garden and more zinnias ...
|The sunflowers bow down under the weight of their seed-filled heads.|
Everything in the garden changed. Now we are under the threat of winds and heavy rains from Hurricane Joaquin, so more changes ahead, and with no gardening for a few days. What changes are you seeing in your garden today?
One of Nature's ironies is that a garden's warmest colors blossomas the skies turn gray and cold.
-- author unknown
Enjoy October, dear gardening friends!
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