Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. ~ Carol Bishop Hipps
Our first freeze was Saturday morning. The temp dipped to 29 degrees which froze the flowers still bravely blooming and sugar coated the leaves everywhere. The ground was hard and the air was chilled as I ventured out to see the damage and the beauty. This is the first stage in the demise of my garden in fall. All the hostas and other tender plants are done, and will quickly fade. Many flowers though will linger such hardy souls.
Then on Sunday we had an inch of rain with temps reaching 70. Yep a true Indian Summer is upon us and I look forward the sounds, scents and colors in the garden.
So today is the perfect time to see what is happening in my zone 5b garden in central NY as I check in to Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day hosted by Carol@May Dreams Gardens.
Roses are always a joy to see all fall. A few climbers and all the Knockouts are blooming. Of course once the freeze happened, the roses were hard hit as they were coated in icy crystals.
These are the only Japanese anemones that bloomed this fall after our harsh drought. They happen to be in the shade of the house on the north side.
I love how the yarrow I cut back in summer continues to bloom this fall.
This mum is one I took a piece of from my mother-in-laws garden once she passed away. It really struggled this year. I weeded in between it, and I hope to see it rebound next summer.
Hardy cyclamen is popping up all over the shady parts of my garden. I love the sudden surprise as they unfurl.
The most reliable fall flowers are the fall crocus, colchicums. They send up their foliage in spring and summer. Once the foliage dies back, I forget about them until I see there colorful heads poking out of the ground. Some colchicums resemble waterlilies, and are the first to bloom in September. Then in October we see the saffron type like the white one top right. The yellow is a specialty bulb, Sternbergia lutea, which is a crocus look alike that blooms in fall.
My fall garden is putting out spectacular color even without many blooms left. In the northeast if you want color in the fall, plant the right bushes and plants to give you incredible foliage color.
I am linking in with Pam@Diggingfor her Foliage Follow Up on the 16th, and Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd as I share my fall colors. Let me introduce you to some of my best native shrubs for fall:
This frosted blueberry is very yummy in fall. It puts on a the best show in fall after giving me yummy berries in summer.
This shrub is one I look forward to every fall, Oakleaf hydrangea. Look at that spectacular red and the peeling bark. This bush was being swallowed up by Obedient plant so I moved it to a more open spot for all to see.
Now it is time for grasses that shine in fall. I lost the tag on this one a long time ago, but it sits at the corner of the patio close to the house and gives me delight from summer through winter with the colors of the foliage and the plumes it produces. Look how the sun shines through it after the rain.
I love showcasing my native Northern Sea Oats grass every year (many times a year). It is lit up from from the sun with its ‘oats’ as they change color.
Lastly are the heucheras (right and bottom left) and heucherellas (top left). I think the red one is ‘Georgia Peach’. I love the foliage of these plants all year. What a great plant to have for color even after the delicate bell flowers fade.
Ho! For the leaves that eddy down,
Crumpled yellow and withered brown,
Hither and yonder and up the street
And trampled under the passing feet;
Swirling, billowing, drifting by,
With a whisper soft and a rustling sigh,
Starting aloft to windy ways,
Telling the coming of bonfire days.
~ Grace Strickler Dawson
**If you click on the picture above you will see a speck in the upper right hand corner. It’s a red tailed hawk that was riding the currents on Saturday. The woods are across the street and directly behind the houses there. They are a forever wild area, and cannot be cut down.
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month on the 3rd Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. My latest post will be up on the 16th.
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