Thursday, November 16, 2017

November GBBD: End of Another Season

What a difference a few weeks can make!  Last month I was counting butterflies and enjoying the beauties of autumn's late arrival.  This month we are headed straight into winter.  We haven't had any snow, other than a few stray flurries, but it's been cold--frost on the windows in the morning is now the norm.

As for my garden, well, this is pretty much the scene everywhere.  The hostas stayed green longer than usual this year, but when the first killing frost came, they seemed to say, "Ok, ok, we give up!"

As I looked around the garden a few days ago for something still blooming to show for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, the only thing I could find were some blooms on the Yarrow.

And one errant 'Stella d'Oro' bloom that was frozen in time for awhile.

Even the Knockout roses have given up for the year.

Although the temps dipped below freezing several times in late October, it didn't seem to affect my garden.  Then we left the first of November to visit my daughter and family in Texas for a week, celebrating my youngest granddaughter's first birthday.  The morning after we returned, a killing frost finally signaled the end of the season for the garden.

No more zinnias for butterflies to enjoy--and no more butterflies this season, for that matter.

  But there is still some beauty to be found in the garden, even in winter.  'Wendy's Wish' Salvia (in the forefront of the photo) gives one last lovely gasp before succumbing to the inevitable.

Behind it, the Amsonia hubrichtii and the berries of Beautyberry add some pops of color.

A glaze of frost gives the seedheads of coneflowers a little extra pizzazz.

They will look even better with a topping of snow.

The cold can bring some other surprises--I never saw any blooms on my milkweed, but they did produce seed pods!  I'm so happy--maybe next year there will be more than just one or two plants for the Monarchs.

Anyone recognize these plants?  They're asparagus--finally, it's time to cut them back.  In fact, I haven't done any clean-up at all in the vegetable garden.  I managed to get all my bulbs planted before we left for Texas, but that's about all I've accomplished in the garden this fall.  I'm hoping for a couple of warm, sunny days to finish up the must-do fall chores before the snow flies.  Everything else will have to wait till spring.

The blooms on the 'Limelight' hydrangea are aging well.  They will hang on through winter; the branches of this shrub are a favorite of the birds since the suet feeder is nearby.

The trees were slow to change color this year, and once they did, they didn't last long.  It took weeks for the maple in our front yard to fully turn gold/orange.  Luckily, we arrived home from Texas just in time to see it in all its glory.

Now, a week later, half the leaves have fallen.  With any luck, a few windy days will blow these all away into the fields . . . if not, it looks like a good job for the grandkids:)

Although I am sorry to see the season end, I'm not really sad. I'm ready for a break from garden chores, time to enjoy the holidays and re-charge for a couple of months. And time to dream and plan for next year's garden, which I'm sure will be the best ever!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is held the 15th of every month.  Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this so faithfully and keeping me motivated to keep a monthly record of what is blooming in my garden.