Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November GBBD: End of the Season

What a November this has been so far!  The month began with the Cubs winning the World Series, the first time in 108 years.  This die-hard Cubs' fan was ecstatic and walked around in a joyful delirium for at least a day.  Three days later, a new baby granddaughter entered this world, and Grandma was filled with joy, not to mention impatient anticipation as we wait to make the drive to Texas to see her for the first time.  And then three days after that was Election Day.  Like many others, I watched in disbelief as results came in that night, and woke up the next morning filled with dread and worry.  Talk about running the gamut of emotions in just one short week!

But I'm not going to talk about politics today, nor the fairy-tale ending to this year's Cubs' season, nor am I even going to show off my precious granddaughter today.  Instead, let's talk about the garden.  The beginning of November was amazing with warm weather and many annuals still blooming in the garden.

Just a few days ago, November 10, to be exact, I was admiring this 'Senorita Rosalita' Cleome.  I've planted this cultivar in pots the last several years, and it never did particularly well. This year I decided to plant it in a bare spot in the sidewalk garden, and what a difference!  Topping out at 3 1/2 feet tall and spreading even more in width, it is obviously much happier here with room to grow.  Lesson learned for next year.

On the same day, I walked around admiring the zinnias, knowing their days were numbered.  To my surprise, I found a late visitor enjoying the blooms.  This poor Monarch looks like he's had a rough time, and sadly, I don't think he had time to make it South before the cold set in.  Many of the zinnias were looking just as tattered, but there were still enough fresh blooms to enjoy one last time.

One last time...because this was the scene the next morning.  Our first frost arrived on November 11, and what survived that first morning was given a final blow the next morning with even colder temperatures.  Seeing the end of summer/autumn blooms is always a bit sad, but I'm not complaining.This was the latest first frost ever recorded in our area, so we had an unusually long season to enjoy the garden this year.

While the frost pretty much zapped the garden, there are still a few annuals blooming.  'Victoria Blue' Salvia is still looking good as are the geraniums, and surprisingly, some verbena in a pot survived the cold.  Of course, the few pansies I have are thriving.

As is the ruffled kale, which seems to get more colorful as the temperature drops.

The few roses I have don't mind the cooler weather either; 'Zephirine Drouhin' has even put out a few new blooms.

As the garden winds down for the year, it is a good time to enjoy the last days of autumn color.  The leaves turned late this year. My maple, the star of our front yard every fall, still is hanging on to many of its leaves.

Grasses are at their peak right now, and the seedheads of switchgrasses, for example, add beauty to the garden as they rustle in the breeze.

One of my favorite vignettes in the garden each year is this, Amsonia hubrichtii with a Beautyberry next to it.  My camera wants to wash out the color for some reason, but this Amsonia is a dramatic gold right now and positively glows in the sunlight.

While November doesn't have the riot of colors that summer has, there is still much to enjoy in the garden.  Even seedheads have a beauty all their own and sometimes an extra surprise if you look closely enough.

 I've really appreciated the extended season this year, especially this past week as I've found once again that there's nothing quite like gardening for soothing your soul.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.