Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday Wanderings

Don't let the title mislead you--it is Wildflower Wednesday, the monthly celebration of all untamed beauties.  But the wandering is a mental rambling of this and that, not a physical journey.  I had planned to take Sophie to one of our favorite places, the nearby forest preserve or the prairie park for a walking adventure in search of late-blooming wildflowers for this month's post. But a nasty sinus/respiratory/icky something infection has kept me inside more than I would like for the past week and too drained of energy to do more than what is absolutely necessary.

So instead I wandered around the farm, looking for possibilities.  The pickin's were slim.

I found only a small remnant of last year's October subject, the Aster pilosus, otherwise known as frost aster.  Last year there was a swath of these airy blooms around the outbuildings, providing some late flowering interest.  But a zealous trimming/weeding this summer by Mr. Procrastinator eliminated all but this small stem that escaped the powerful weedeater.   

Ah, to paraphrase the old saying, "One woman's wildflower is another man's weed."

Speaking of weeds, nearby in the butterfly garden, a late Aster-maybe is nearing the end of its blooms.  Its blooms are much smaller than the rest of the native asters and despite the photo's presentation, a pale pink in color.  I have no idea what type of aster this is and whether it even is an aster--or ex-aster for the experts.  The stems and branching habits are somewhat different than the New England asters, and in fact, I thought it was a weed of some sort.  It resisted pulling, so I left it alone.  Its late delicate blooms make me glad I did, although I may be sorry  if it tries to take over this garden next season like some of the other natives.

One of those thriving natives, the New England asters, have completed their show and already setting seed.  I did say a while back I was going to keep these from going to seed, didn't I?  Oh well, spring will be a good time for pulling unwanted seedlings, and I do like the looks of dried seedpods in the winter garden.  Hmm, this reminds me I still need to buy marshmallows for our weiner roast on Saturday.

Before we leave the butterfly garden where most wildflowers/natives reside, I want to show you this photo taken a few weeks ago.  It's a Penstemon X (the proper name escapes me now) given to me two years ago by our generous wildflower hostess Gail.  It's a spring bloomer, but never before have I noticed how lovely it looks in the fall--just look at that burgundy foliage!

Letting the feet and mind wander away from wildflowers now . . . two nights of frost last week have finally done in most of the annuals.  The once multi-hued zinnias are now all a uniform color, in varying shades of brown.

Some annuals are more cold-hardy than others, however.  The white 'Snow Sonata' cosmos in the same garden are still providing a feast for the hungry bumbles and honeybees.  Many of you have commented on these cosmos in my last few posts, and I will agree that these are definitely must-haves in my garden from now on.  I only wish I had saved more seeds from them, but they should be readily available again next year from Renee's Garden 

I've been giving a lot of excuses in the past month or two for why I haven't completed all my intended fall gardening chores, and here's one more.  I spent many hours over the past several weeks completing this crib quilt.  I'm no master quilter--that's my mother's forte--so this piece is not perfect, but lots of love goes into making one of these every few years.  This is the sixth baby quilt I've made, each one for a special grandchild.

And did I forget to mention I have a new grandson??  Already a month old, here he is at one day old.  Grandma is anxious to get over this icky virus to get some new photos and spend some quality cuddling time with him again.

Thanks for indulging my ramblings this morning; for more informative posts on this Wildflower Wednesday, be sure to visit the ever-enlightening Gail at Clay and Limestone.


  1. What a beautiful post, Rose, and congratulations on your new beautiful grandson. The quilt is quite lovely ... such talent!

  2. Rose congratulations with the birth of your grandson. I hope he is going to have a beautiful life.
    gr. Marijke

  3. Congratulations Rose on your 6th grandchild and that quilt is lovely.

    I'll be thinking of marshmallows from now on when I see my aster seedheads.

  4. So good to come by your blog today. I'm not at all familiar with the wildflower with Hostess Gall. What a dramatic performanc4e it has righ6 now.Thanks for introducing her to me.

  5. Hi Rose,

    The quilt is lovely. You are truly blessed to have so many grandchildren. The little one is beautiful and I understand your longing to hold him. Enjoy.

    Seedheads are truly pretty in a winter garden. Also good for the birds. The frosts have taken my Cosmos, but like you, I will be growing them again next year.

    I do so hope you are feeling better tiresome when it messes up your plans.

  6. It's a beautiful quilt for a wonderful grandchild! Congratulations to you all. Do get well soon - Baby needs his ration of grandma hugs.

  7. The sweetest wildflower is the new little grandson!

  8. A wonderful post. What a rich life - flowers, quilts and babies.

  9. Hmmm, I have a lot more frost asters this year than I ever have before. Your seeds must have blown my way. HA! Congrats again on the new grandbaby, and hope you are feeling better soon to go for another visit!

  10. Hi Rose. There isn't much blooming around here either. Beckie told me you hadn't been feeling well. I hope you are feeling better now. The quilt is so cute. Great job.

  11. Congratulations on the new grandson!

    Looks like the weather in your neck of the woods has been similar to ours - the asters are just at the point of making lots of fluffy seeds. Somehow it's always easier to pull them out in the spring rather than deal with them now. And, it's nice to have a bit of winter interest too.

  12. Congrats on the new grandson! He's adorable!

  13. I like the brown and crispy perfect for the season. And those seedpods are so beautiful.

  14. Ohhhhh, a new grandchild! Congratulations, Rose. What a happy occasion! You are blessed indeed.

    I too have a yukky cold and can't wait for it to be over to visit my grandkids once again. I hope you get well soon.

    Yes, those white cosmos are pretty in the garden, and the seedheads give character to winter's snow blanket.

    Nice quilt! I haven't even attempted one yet, but love the look of yours.

  15. Congrats to you and your growing family, Rose! Many blessings to come, I'm sure!

  16. That's a beautiful quilt --I've made a couple of small quilts as sewing projects with my daughter, and it's harder than it looks. Yours looks perfect.

    The zinnias make me think of very old wedding dresses, rediscovered in a closet, and falling to pieces when they're touched.

  17. Congratulations! I hope you feel better soon. Happy Wildflower Wednesday!

  18. Hey Rose! Congrats! He is beautiful...I think I have had the same virus..mine has lasted several weeks and has knocked me out! Hope you feel better soon so you can cuddle that sweet bean!!! Cheers!

  19. Hi Rose, Conratulations on your latest grandchild! What lucky grandchildren to all have a quilt made specially for them. It will be a real keepsake that I am sure will be passed to their own children. Hope you are feeling better soon!

  20. Aw, what a beautiful boy your new grandson is Rose - Congratulations! Hope you're feeling better and can catch up on cuddling time with him soon.

    Pickin's do get rather slim this time of year, and you've done a nice job capturing blooms, seedheads, and foliage in your garden for WW.

    Your late aster-maybe looks very similar to one here. I hope yours doesn't make you sorry and gets a pass to stay. The one we have that's similar is still behaving itself so far after three years.

  21. Congrats, Grandma Rose! I hope you get to feeling better soon. Those little 'uns grow up far too quickly. You don't want to miss a minute.

    It's been weird weather here lately. Last weekend we came near to having frost. Now it's in the 80s, and this weekend it's supposed to be dipping down into the low 40s at night. Oh well, it will feel a little more like Halloween is here.

  22. Congratulations on the new grandson - and on creating a beautiful quilt for him. Get well soon!

  23. Congratulations on the sweet new grandbaby! Your quilt looks lovely.

    I leave the seedheads on my rudbackia all winter, which makes the birds happy!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  24. Congratulations on the safe arrival of your grandchild. Already a month old! Love the quilt. You are clever!

    The Autumnal seed heads and flowers look superb even though they are passed their best. Love the bee in that flower.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  25. The best flower in your garden is your new grand! How wonderful. That other pretty is Penstemon calycosus~and it does have lovely foliage. Happiest of times with the new grandson. xxoogail

  26. Congrats on the new grandchild! You are multitalented, Rose! The quilt is beautiful, and I'm sure your grandson will treasure it for many years. Also, I agree that burgundy Penstemon is impressive! Hope you feel better soon!

  27. Dear Rose,
    I do hope you are feeling better today. Having a sinus yucky is never fun.
    Blessings for your new Grandson. You are so blessed. Your quilt is darling too. A gift of love for sure.
    I have stopped covering the flowers. Time to let the gardens rest.
    I so enjoy seeing your cone flowers and butterflies on your sideboard.

  28. Well, the asters are nice but the new grandson? Fabulous. I have just one granddaughter and she is a joy.

  29. Thanks to all for your kind comments. I am on the mend and hope that all of you also afflicted with this cold/virus/whatever are feeling better soon as well.

    Grandchildren are indeed a blessing; they're the best part about getting older!

  30. The quilt is adorable and the baby too! I so know what you mean about one woman's wildflower being another man's weed. I am constantly having to tell DH "don't mow this" and "don't mow that -- you'll thank me later!" LOL I'm sorry to hear you've been under the weather and hope you're feeling well soon!


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