Right now we are getting cold rains and my body is aching from all the bulb planting, weeding and perennial planting. I know I will miss that ache this winter. Wanting so much to get out and weed the garden just to be in its presence.
By this time in October, I am hard pressed to find many plants blooming because we have had many frosty morns and at least one hard freeze. No freeze yet, but the frosts have come and many flowers have faded under the weight of the cold. But I was so pleased to see some flowers still hanging on. Of course they are my lovely natives who are unafraid of a bit of cold weather. I think they relish it. They are hardy souls who long for that clear, crisp air in order to grow. So in honor of Wildflower Wednesday hosted by Gail@Clay and Limestone let’s take a trip down memory lane when these hardy beauties were blooming profusely.
One of the best performers that I will miss this winter will be phlox. They are incredible bloomers that I can move all over the garden in wet, dry and full sun to part shade and they bloom until the first freeze takes them. They have come back to life with the cooling temps this fall. I am seeding my meadow to add some of these beauties.
Swamp milkweed is but a memory. Its seeds have scattered to the wind. Where they end up in the meadow and garden will be a surprise. I have decided not to gather the seed and cast the seed, but let Mother Nature do it for me. I love the papery seed pods and how they remind me of what is to come in spring. The more of these beauties, the more monarchs will be finding their way to my garden. I hope they have passed the word on their trip South that my Purple Door Gardens are not to be missed next year.
Coreopsis is another winner in my Wildflower garden. There are so many great performers amongst these flowers. The cold rain has begun to takes it toll on ‘Full Moon’ here, but others are still putting out blooms or springing to life for another small flush.
The meadow asters have bid us goodbye. It will be a full year before I see them again. They appear in late summer and through early fall. The colors and non-stop blooming is well worth the wait. If you don’t believe me ask any monarch butterfly. They wait in anticipation for the flower nectar of the aster. They know where the best flowers are, and you can see them in large groups wherever asters are blooming.
Another wonderful wildflower I wait for in fall is my Chocolate Joe Pye. This was one of my first native plant purchases when I was deliberately looking for unusual native plants. Of course anything with the name ‘chocolate’ cannot be passed up. The deep purple brown stems and dark foliage are gorgeous, and then the white flowers burst out to make a stunning contrast. I plan to move this beauty around the garden now that is it established. The white garden needs a bit more late summer/early fall blooming. This will be perfect.
Bright blooms of yarrow are popping up around the garden again. These flowers do have a tendency to move all over the garden, but I have come to let them go. After all the feathery foliage and beautiful blossoms are a welcome sight from spring through fall. I find the more moisture they get, the happier they are. Who wouldn’t want to see this bright flower in fall when all others have gone to sleep? I know the pollinators are happy to see it still blooming.
Native geraniums are back too brightening up the fall garden. I am amazed at this plant. It never really stops flowering if you deadhead it, even in the heat of summer. These are my go to flowers, to fill in reliably and bloom in conditions where other more particular flowers would never tread.
My native potentilla ‘Tangerine’ shrub is back for more blooming. The color is stunning this fall. Sometimes the heat of summer will wash out the color to a more yellow, but this cool fall weather is producing an incredible flower I am glad I did not miss.
Dwarf echinacea continues to resurface. Just when I think it is finished, I find new blooms popping up. It is just loving this cool, wet weather, and I am loving seeing these bright pink petals.
An unusual rudbeckia has decided to start blooming in the meadow. It is a small plant but it has a spectacular flower. I was ecstatic to see it in the cold, rain when most of the other rudbeckias have gone and only seed heads remain.
And speaking of fall color, it is also time to reveal my Autumn Walk Challenge photo. Carolyn@This Grandmother’s Garden, challenged bloggers to walk everyday this autumn and take your camera to capture your experience. While most of my walking was done in my garden daily, I was able to get away for a long walk one day to Beaver Lake Nature Center about 45 minutes from my house. I plan to do a whole post about this for my Beautiful Wildlife Gardens first Saturday in November post. It is an amazing place every season. This image is of the lake on a wonderful, still a bit foggy, fall morning. There were thousands of geese on the other side of the lake out of sight, but this image is one of tranquility.
“Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!”
– Humbert Wolfe
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Special Note: My friends at Walkabout Chronicles have been busy revamping their wonderful website/blog. Guest posts, like mine, can now be found at Walkabout Chronicle Friends. My latest post is, Wander. I hope you enjoy it.
Hope you enjoyed my first post at Beautiful Wildlife Garden, If You Build It…. I blog the first Saturday of every month at BWG. Check out my next post the first Saturday in November.
I’ll also be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday. So drop by to check out all the wonderful flowers.
Shameless Book Flaunt–For those that have asked my poems were published in the book, The Moment I Knew. You can order the book from the publisher Sugati Publications where more of the proceeds go to the womens’ groups chosen by the authors. Free shipping from the publisher as well. You can also order it from Amazon soon. I hope you enjoy the book and I would love to hear your feedback on my poems.