Six on Saturday – Countdown to First Frost

I know a lot of folks in the Northern hemisphere have already had their first fall frost — people have been talking about harvesting frenzies,  or throwing sheets over tomatoes and eggplants to gain a few more days of growth.  Going by recent history, the first frost will arrive here within a week to 10 days.

Finally.

That’s right, I’m actually looking forward a frost, either hard or soft.  Then, I’ll be able to cut down my withered tomato vines without feeling guilty, without thinking I should let the leafless stalks hang on a bit in case those shrimpy, greenish tomatoes actually ‘vine ripen.’  I can chop down some of the overgrown annuals, like the Cleome that still has a few flowers blooming at the end of stems that weeks ago fell over.

Most of all, I’ll be able to enjoy a walk about in the early morning light, mug of steaming coffee in hand, and not be tempted, even a little, to bend down and pluck out a weed.  Or deadhead a marigold.  Or wish I had planted something different, something more, something better suited.

I’ll start to enjoy the garden, all over again.

In the meantime, some annuals, in particular, are really enjoying this first week of October.  And leaves on trees and shrubs are, of course, continuing to morph into glorious shades as chlorophyll retreats from foliage.  Here are six from my garden – to see more from around the world (including from the Southern hemisphere, which is now showing glorious spring photos), head on over to The Propagator’s site, where, in the comments, you’ll find dozens and dozens of links.

Snapdrgons
1-  I know I had a picture very similar to this one just a few weeks ago – here – but I  feel a need fr a repeat performance.  It’s the very end of the season and the Snapdragons are, ironically, at their peak. This is from my kitchen cutting garden – the ‘Rocket’ variety.  Like many annuals, they start off small but after four months they are tall and very bushy; each plant developing multiple flower stalks, encouraged by regular deadheading.
Larkspur seedlings
2 – Two years ago I sprinkled a few seeds from a free packet marketed as wildflowers.  The only thing that came of it, really was some gorgeous Larkspur (Delphinium).  They bloomed this past summer and I let them go to seed.  They’ve already sprouted – I’m hoping they know what they’re doing!  I also hope these are, indeed, Larkspur!!
Lamb's Ear and Burning Bush
3 – I’ve been loving this combo all summer.  Last year, a friend ripped out a too big for her Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) from her front yard and offered it to me.  I accepted, planted it at the entrance to the side garden, and it survived.  A Lamb’s Ear appeared, all by itself, under it and I let it stay. The contrast between the two is getting better every day.
Colchicum and Cornus alternifolia
4a – While they’re blooming, I can’t post a Six without at least one image of Colchicum.  Here’s a patch I’ve been adding too over the years, under a Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia).
Colchicum & Thyme sm
4b – Another patch, smaller, in the side garden in front of some Thyme.  No filter – this is the real colour!!!  Be still my beating heart!
blanket flower Sept 22 2018
5 – This picture was taken a few weeks ago but the Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is still blooming!  I know!  I’m amazed too!  This native perennial is a slow starter when grown from scattered seed, as I have done, but once it starts it just keeps on going!
bulbs Sept 28 2018
6 – And finally – Like many others, I”ll be planting more spring flowering bulbs in the coming days.  I’m particularly excited about the species Tulip, Saxatalis, and this new to me variety of Muscari – latifolium, with its purported tall  (for a Muscari) spires of multi shaded blue.  Look for pictures in six or seven months!

19 Comments

  1. Your snadragons are a success, especially when there are many! Lovely Colchicum too. The color is amazing! I can’t wait to see the muscari carpet in a few months. Don’t wait to plant them, do this before the frost … 10 days, you said? I hope more for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I know just what you mean. I get to a stage when all I want to do is cut the garden back and have a rest. I love the photo with the burning bush- nice combination of colours and textures. Snapdragons are flowering in a street near me right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Considering that you will be getting frost so soon, your garden looks no farther along than things look here. I sort of expect things to look more like autumn everywhere else. Our Boston ivy is already very colorful, and a few items are not far behind your burning bush.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. absolutely adore photo 3, Chris. Shall, w/o guilt, steal this idea. Your snapdragons are guns ablazing! And the blanket flower . . . I can never keep one going, even tho my neighbour a few doors down has a fantastic one in his front border. Envy, they name is gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steal away!!! I’m kinda surprised (and thrilled) that the blanket flower is doing so well, and spreading so happily, in my heavy clay soil. The blooms keep on coming, much longer than both Echinacea and Rudbeckia.

      Like

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