(For those of you visiting for ABC Wednesday, scroll down to my earlier post today.)
It's hard to believe a month has passed since the last Bloom Day. My garden looks tired, as though it is ready for a long winter's nap. In fact, I have only one new bloom since the last GBBD, this lavender mum.
No, this is not one of my purchases made two weeks ago; this one is actually growing in my garden, a Walmart refugee I managed to save and plant last year. I didn't expect it to survive the winter, but it did, and I trimmed it back severely in July so that it wouldn't bloom too early.
There are quite a few flowers still blooming right now, but most look rather faded. The sedum "Autumn Joy" has turned from the rosy hue I pictured in September to a russet.
Let's look a little more closely at one flower--what is this clambering over the center? What else, but another praying mantis! I apologize for all my photos this time--my photo editing program was being cranky, so none of these photos have been cropped or edited in any way. Of course, the blurriness of this little guy is the fault of the photographer, not the computer.
Not everything is fading, though. This Knockout rose is full of blooms once again--if you enlarge the picture, you'll see more buds on either side of the flowers. Tea roses are much more beautiful and have heady fragrances, but this is the rose for those of you like me who don't want to have to fuss too much with plants. These roses have survived traumatic transplantings, severe prunings, drought, and onslaughts by Japanese beetles, and yet they continue to grow and bloom right up until a hard frost.
By this time of year my container plantings usually look pretty pathetic. I admit some of them are looking rather straggly right now, but many of the annuals are still blooming up a storm due no doubt to our unseasonably warm weather--this past weekend the temperatures were in the low to mid 80's. The pink zonal geraniums look as good as they did in June.
While some of you are busy cleaning out your containers and putting them away for the winter, I just can't bring myself to do that yet. I'm going to enjoy the annuals for as long as they last.
Of course, the real show right now is not the flowers, but the leaves. The leaves are just beginning to turn; we are probably another week away from seeing their full fall glory.
You can see this in my maple tree, half of which is covered with leaves of this bright orange hue, while the other half is still green.
I passed by the maple tree on my way down the lane to the roadside garden to show you a few blooms there. Look what I found hiding behind the dried coneflowers?
Apparently this little flower didn't know she was supposed to bloom in July like all the other coneflowers. She must have been a new seedling this year; next year she'll know to join the rest of the family in mid-summer. But I like pleasant surprises like this, don't you?
I've left the rest of the coneflowers in their wilted state so the birds can feast on them, but they don't look as bad with the bright flowers of the salvia "Victoria Blue" hiding them somewhat.
I've shown this salvia several times here, but I can't repeat often enough how much I like this annual. It's another flower that will bloom right up until frost. Once winter sets in, the blooms turn a frosty silver that adds a perfect touch to the winter garden.
And then there are the zinnias! When I planted a packet of seeds here, I just wanted something tall as a backdrop for my "Oranges and Lemons" gaillardia. I had no idea they would become the focal point of this area this fall. Many of them are 4-5 feet tall, and I love the bright mix of colors.
The best part is they show no signs of letting up, as evidenced by this emerging bloom or the bud below.
Finally, I wanted to show you the burning bushes behind the roadside flowerbed. They've begun to turn into a blaze of crimson. No doubt I will be showing more of these bushes when their transformation is complete.
While taking these photos I suddenly noticed the berries on these bushes, which you can see in greater detail below. I should have looked a little harder when I did my short post on berries a few weeks ago--there are more berries in my garden than I realized!
As always, I enjoy the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day--it makes me look a little closer at all of the garden to see blooms and details I might otherwise miss. And I enjoy seeing what is blooming in everyone else's garden. For more Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Note: This is a first for me--two posts in one day! I always join in the Bloom Day posts, but I also wanted to participate in ABC Wednesday today, as I occasionally do, just to show off another mantis photo:) Today, though, is another special day in Blog Land as many people are joining in a Blog Action Day and posting about poverty. I would really recommend you visit a local blogging friend, Joyce, who has written an excellent post today. It will only take a minute to read, but it will make you stop to think and appreciate that you have a garden to work in and the time to appreciate its beauty.--Rose