“October’s the month
When the smallest breeze
Gives us a shower
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down –
October is red
And golden and brown.”
– Can Teach Song
Clocks just shifted yesterday, and the days of sunlight have grown shorter. We are entering the cocoon of autumn as we finish up outside work, and batten down for a long winter soon enough. Time in the garden is savored as it is fleeting. The lake effect rain and bone chilling winds bite at my fingers and nose. There is snow mixed with the rain now making it harder to grasp the garden tools for very long. But any time I find to work in the garden into November is a blessing indeed.
I watch the sun rise and set on my way to and from work. It is a good thing I have a wall of windows in my office so I can get Vitamin D throughout the day. I need to make a point of going outside every day to soak up whatever rays can reach through the thick gray clouds that seem to make a permanent statement in the sky in late fall.
As I close out this lovely month of October, I am joining in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View. There is much to share so sit back and enjoy!
We had almost 10 inches of rain in this unseasonably warm beginning of October. Lots of sun and temps averaging in the 60s for the first half of the month. We made up for the warm weather with late month rain and snow mixed and daytime temps in the 40s. Brrrrrrrrr!!!! But it was also the only month we had a rainbow. I captured the full Hunter Moon through the few leaves left on the trees as it rose in the sky.
And that deep gray sky that brought many storm fronts set off the lingering fall foliage. Soon after this picture, we had a whopper of a storm and lost most of the leaves.
We had no frost in October which is so unusual, but we ended the month with a very cold freeze in the 20s. That ended the garden for this year.
Here you can see some fall color from the hydrangeas and grass. I still have not had time to clean up these gardens. Maybe as November rolls along there may be a few good days for more clean up.
And here are a few close ups showing what was still blooming.
This is one of my favorite combos. I am not sure what the light purple flower is, perhaps a mum or an different aster although the leaves are not aster like. It grows like wild every year almost like a ground cover right through the fairy rose. I love the spent hyssop blooms poking through. It is a favorite spot for bees and butterflies late in the garden season.
This island has ninebark, sage, lavender, sedum and lots of bulbs and echinacea. My front lawn is turning into a bed of weeds although we don’t worry about it much. You can barely see the stick of a tree we planted behind the sage. It is a Eastern redbud we hope will grow. I will be showcasing the ninebark in December and the sage next week.
These are some of the blooms that were growing in the back gardens in October. Once the freeze hit they quickly faded.
The back gardens still have so much work to be done, but that will wait for spring. We planted 2 wintergreen bushes, 1 mock orange, 5 spice bushes (top left) and an American Linden tree (right). Then we top dressed veg beds and planted garlic in the one in the background. The bed in the foreground has one row of garlic that will grow between the tomato plants that will be planted there next year. You can see the nasturtiums still growing right up until the freeze.
The Itea is showing off in the white garden next to the Colchicum Autumnale ‘Alboplenum’. It was glowing in the autumn morning sun. Another show off in the October garden was the Viburnum.
Ageratina altissima formerly known as Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ is a wonderful native that flowers in fall.
Swamp milkweed, actually all the milkweed pods, burst open showing off their gorgeous silken seeds. Many birds use the silk for their nests.
There were a few more veggies on the plants before we pulled them in mid October. Sad to say goodbye to all this yummy produce. I wish my veg garden season was longer.
The top 2 veg beds (that had beans, peas, cukes, peppers, tomatoes, okra, eggplant) were readied for garlic and tomatoes as we rotate the beds for next year. We still have one bed covered with carrots growing. Even some Brussel sprouts in tubs on the patio. The small bed in the back is the one with ants. Instead of planting veggies, I moved the blueberry bushes and some of the strawberries from the side of the house. The bed behind the tall grass is new. We added this in October. It will help us to grow more early season veggies and squash/melons in summer.
The frogs were still hanging about the pond in mid October. This is the last shot of the waterfall as we pulled the pump for winter on the 23rd. The cattails are late to go to seed and were just cut back this weekend. We usually cut them back to keep them under control in the small pond.
Here’s the pond on the 29th after a hard freeze. Frogs are long gone.
Here’s the meadow after the freeze. See the remnants of the same rudbeckia in the right lower corner.
The monarch were still in the garden on October 20th. They were joined by Clouded Sulphurs although the one bottom left did not look yellow at all. And look at this big spider at the front door. He better stay outside.
The Wooly Bear caterpillars are about, and you can see he is predicting a mild winter with a bit of snow at the beginning and end of winter. We shall see. The birds have been active. The top 2 are goldfinches wearing their winter drab colors. I am posting about them at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens on the 12th. Lots of sparrows in the garden especially Chipping Sparrows. The bluebirds have returned after a short hiatus, and what a pleasure to see them. And what a surprise to see the Juncos. They are said to forecast winter and snow. Once they showed up, the snow started mixing in with the rain.
The Wide Shot
Xericstyle is hosting this meme the first of every month, and all you have to do is post your favorite wide shot of your garden. I am still watching the view from my bedroom window surveying the entire back garden. Here’s what the end of October looks like.
You can see there are few leaves and lots of color right before the last weekend of October. Love the maple leaves behind the gazebo. Those leaves were gone right before the end of the month.
Gardens Eye Verse
In late October, the days grow shorter and colder. As we move into November and the holidays, I leave you with a stunning view of the sky and a bit of prose.
Late October Evenin’
Darkness descends upon me a little earlier every day,
As colors seem to leap from the trees to paint the sky.
The cold winds howl through scraping branches,
While my bones ache a bit more now.
But as the last slip of the light hastens me home-
Soon I will feel the hearth warm my soul and bring gentle rest.
Seasonal Celebrations is coming December 1st. I hope you will join in as we celebrate the changing of the season. The Winter Solstice will be upon us here in the North and the Summer Solstice in the South.
Next up on the blog: Monday is time for another profile of a favorite herb, sage. Then I will have a GBBD post later that week. Wonder what if anything is hanging in there.
I enjoyed doing a guest post over at Vision and Verb. I hope you will visit this wonderful website of women writers.
I am 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.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now. Tuesday brings my next post.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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