Six on Saturday – 12/10/2019 – fall foliage and flowers

After last weekend’s brush with frost (it was in the air, covering car windows and hoods, but didn’t settle to the ground, so tomatoes and basil have continued to prosper. Lucky me, since the week has been glorious, with loads of sunshine and temperatures hovering around 20 Celsius. Here then are six things in my garden still enjoying this early part of autumn, starting with the aforementioned basil. It’s a columnar variety, with small leaves that aren’t quite as aromatic or flavourful as other varieties. Still, it’s quite architectural in the herb garden, and makes a nice addition to pasta sauce.

Some more appropriate, autumnal things next, I think. First, the obligatory fall foliage – this from a Staghorn Sumac – Rhus typhina. Although The County is chock full of red and sugar maples with orange and bright red leaves this time of year, the leaves on my maple trees mainly turn yellow, then brown, then they fall off. I rely on the Sumac that rings the property to give me my dose of October Scarlet.

I’ve harvested my winter squash. That translates into carting the dead vines to the compost heap while lining up the half dozen or so fruits as I decide what to do with them. I wrote about my conundrum before, here, and how I grew different colour and sized squash all from the seed of one spaghetti squash. For now, they just sit at the side of the kitchen garden…

Last week I featured some gorgeous mums in pots. The white and yellow ones have started to fade already (well, I’ve had them for a month so that’s not so bad, really…) but even as the flowers wither they display a beauty, especially if, as with this white variety, a titch of dusky pink starts to come through…

I’ve shown one or two photos of Ratibida pinnata this year. The Prairie coneflower, aka Grey Head coneflower, self seeds freely and clumps of it bloom from July until…well, here are some from a clump still in bloom! I really love how the petals curve and spiral down – reminds me of being on a circus ride.

Finally, I can’t have an October Six without at least one Colchicum shot. This was taken mid morning earlier in the week.

Although several parts of Canada have already had snow (in general earlier than normal), the two week forecast for my part of the country is more seasonal – a mix of rain and sun, temperatures in the mid teens with no snow or even frost. Famous last words, I know, but warm(ish) weather means pleasant bulb planting next week. To see loads more Sixes this week, visit The Propagator‘s site.


  1. Your photos are just lovely. I particularly like the one of the coneflower dancing across the sky like the corps de ballet…imperious and yet elegant. And your squash…gorgeously golden and gilded with raindrops. Is the Rhus the plant we get sumac spice from?

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  2. You have tons of flowers for a group of autumn shots. Let’s hope the snow stays away just a little bit longer. That sumac foliage is stunning. Are all those squash from the same seed? I would’ve thought some were jack-o-lantern pumpkins, from the look of them. Can’t wait to hear what happens next w/that bunch!

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    1. No snow in the forecast (here at least!) But nights are chilly! Yes, all the squash came ftom seed from one spaghetti squash. My neighbor grew it last year, next to some pumpkin vines. Since spaghetti squash and pumpkins are the same species (!) they cross pollinated to produce endless variations!

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  3. I am sorry I missed all this last week. I missed this week too.
    Staghorn sumac was something I noticed in Oklahoma. I do not know if it was the same species. It was bare, so was nothing to look at. It was distinctive though. I mean, it really looked like a big sumac. Poison oak is starting to color for us, even with minimal chill. It will be in the upper 80s tomorrow.

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      1. Some might say that poison ivy and poison oak are the same thing. I think that yours is probably the ‘real’ poison ivy, with should be a different species. The single species (or variety) that lives here is poison oak when it is shrubby and free standing, but poison ivy when it clings to trees.

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