Thursday, October 29, 2009

October in the Garden

October is a month of radical change in our upstate NY garden. If we've been lucky enough to avoid a killing frost, there's quite a nice variety of plants still blooming during the first half of the month.
Our first damaging frost zapped the Dahlias and several other plants a few days before Bloom Day in the middle of the month, but a few of the hardier plants held on for a while afterward.
Even though I dread seeing the frost come, it can create a magic of its own.

It put a ruffled lacy edge on the blue bells of dwarf Campanula, seen here with white Alyssum,

sugar-coated the snapdragons,

Obedient Plant/False Dragonhead (physostegia Virginiana), which is still blooming,

Lamium (also still blooming), Posted by Picasa

.....and Wax Begonias.

A few honeybees have been spotted, still at work on the petunias earlier in the month,

And this little fellow on the Anemone de caen/Dutch Windflowers last Sunday.

Verbena "Homestead Purple" continues to bloom.

This is one plant I never want to be without. I usually find a few self-sown seedlings in the spring, and I also buy new plants in six packs at a local nursery.

I recorded my last sighting of a Juvenile Ruby Throated Hummingbird on September 23rd and couldn't resist putting its picture in this post. I'm completely amazed at their uncanny ability to find their own way on the long journey south, leaving a week or two after their parents. Nature is extraordinary!

Just before that frost we still had beautiful Dahlias blooming. This one is Eveline. Posted by Picasa

And here's Park Princess.

The multiple flowers of Bonny Blue in the New Rock Garden were covered in bees on this sunny day.

And a Monarch enjoyed the flowers of the still blooming Phlox.

The seeds for this Castor Bean plant were given to me by my friend, Marie, who generously passes along so many interesting plants and seeds. If I'd managed to plant it earlier it would've grown much bigger, but it grew quickly once in the ground and I loved those gorgeous big leaves. I hope to do better with it next year. You can see that there were still a few blooms on the Butterfly Bush during the first part of the month too.

Here's that same spot after the hard frost.

And the Clematis in the Lily Garden which blessed us with such late blooms this year.

Hannah explores near the Hydrangea Limelight, its lovely blooms now browned by the frost. Posted by Picasa

And look what she saw outside on the morning of October 16th!

Here's the view out the back door, looking across the snow-topped Cosmos to the Pink Garden.

That Friday actually turned into a beautiful day when the sun came out about mid-morning and melted the snow away very quickly. It was one of the few lovely sunny days we've had this fall. Posted by Picasa

Lately though, we've enjoyed a few more beautiful days, although they've been interspersed with some very wet days. Yesterday we had an inch and three quarters of rain, and an inch and a half last Friday night and Saturday.
In the photo above, taken last Sunday (October 25th), the Spirea glows in its autumn colors, while Lamium and Obedient Plant (on the left) are still blooming bravely, even after being cloaked with snow.

The Obedient Plant is past its glory stage, but still pretty. This is a real bee magnet.

If you click to enlarge this photo you can see it behind Tink and Isabelle, who were keeping me company on that cloudy afternoon.Posted by Picasa

Here's the New Rock Garden, still brimming with color near the beginning of the month. Dahlia Bonny Blue and Zinnias were putting on a wonderful show, amid other pretty annuals.

But that hard frost zapped the Dahlias, Zinnias and Coleus, and damaged most of the other plants. Only the pansies were unphased, and are still blooming today.

The yellow mounds are Lemon Gem Marigold. It hung on for a day or two, but quickly faded. I've saved seeds for next year.

So sad to see the Zinnias go. They made such a bright, cheerful display. Do you see the Sunflowers behind them?

They are self-sown from bird seed. Sprouting later than the earlier "volunteers", they gave us a lovely splash of late color, and now the birds are enjoying their seeds.

Sedum Autumn Joy kept its color well into the month. This photo was taken a week ago, on October 22nd. That Thursday won the prize for the most beautiful October day this year. The temperature reached a sunny 70ºF/21ºC. It was a glorious day to be outside in the garden! Posted by Picasa

Here's what the front yard looks like now.
I missed out on getting photos of the prettiest part of the Autumn because I kept waiting for a sunny day to take the camera out, when I wasn't working or running around doing other things. We've had a very busy month. Our fall foliage was rather disappointing this year, and most of the leaves fell quickly in the windy, rainy weather.

The red spot on the right is the dwarf Burning Bush.

These photos were taken last Sunday in the late afternoon light, hence those long shadows. Posted by Picasa

Green, gold and brown are the predominant colors now.

The large Silver Maple holds on to its leaves much later than the big old Sugar Maple in front of the house.

I think that little tree is a Sugar Maple too, but being much younger and healthier, it holds onto its leaves longer than the old one too.

And so the days dwindle down to a precious few.... and every opportunity is taken to soak up those glorious rays of warm sunshine, between the windy, rainy days, before Old Man Winter comes to stay.

I hope you're all enjoying whatever season you're in at the moment, be it fall or spring.


Liz said...[Reply]

Wonderful photos, so much to see!

I especially love the frost photos at the beginning :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

Sugared Snapdragons sounds like a delicious treat. I am surprised you have had a snow already. I guess I shouldn't be because you live so far north. It was fun seeing the last of your garden blooms. The kitties are so pretty. They will be all of your ornamentation in the garden until spring.

Barbee' said...[Reply]

Beautiful photos, as always. I remember one spring we had tulip blooms filled with snow. Your frosted flower photos (and cats') are delightful.

Marrissa said...[Reply]

The frost gives the flowers a whole new magic doesn't it! I finally had my first play in the snow during my holiday to New Zealand, it was a shame it was only a little bit and it didn't last long.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the sweet message :) Baby is doing well, only 6 weeks til he's due!
Take care ***

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...[Reply]

Kerri, what a delightful post and wonderful pictures! Campanula flower, cats,black&white image (actually is greenish, but looks like b&w), dahlias - oh, so beautiful! Thank you!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, so many photos with this post...all beautiful! I loved the sugary-coated flowers, and the contrasts between the before and after shots of the zinnias, and the obedient plant is just gorgeous this time of year in your yard! This is my first year having 3 plants, and they were so pretty while they bloomed. They haven't been in bloom for a couple of weeks now, but hopefully will do well next year. I really enjoyed their blooms! I hope you'll have many more lovely fall days before you are faced with months on end of that 'white stuff'!!

Nell Jean said...[Reply]

My first visit to your blog, by way of Blotanical. Your garden and flowers are lovely.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...[Reply]

Those frosty blues, pinks and purples look like great dessert!

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

I can't believe that you have already had such a hard frost and snow. What will winter bring for you?

As usual, Kerri, your pictures are just breathtaking. I especially love the magical look that the frost has given the flowers and the last of the hummers for the year. It amazes me too that they can travel such a long distance and still return year after year. They are so tiny for such a journey.

I have always loved the Dahlias. My grandmother was such a fan of them and always had so many beautiful ones in her garden.

Gail said...[Reply]

Kerry, Thank you for the beautiful frost tickled flowers! They were a delight to see~~The first frosts on flowers are wonderful~~We haven't had a frost and by the time it arrives the prettiest flowers are already gone! Love your dahlias and apparently so do the bees. That is the best sight on a fall day! Take care~~gail

Corner Gardener Sue said...[Reply]

I enjoyed your October photos. Your weather sounds like ours, including that one nice day this month. I love your dahlias. Do you store the tubers? I have mine dug, but haven't put them in vermiculite or whatever it is I was going to put them in, and I read where I should have done that by now.

Alice said...[Reply]

Still plenty of colour in the garden, and as though that's not enough, you go and ice them for us as

The leaves on the Castor Bean tree are very attractive indeed, but did you know that it's very toxic? Not only the seeds but the leaves too. I have also heard that they can give a nasty rash. Please take care, won't you?

Do you collect any of the autumn leaves for the compost, or use them as mulch? Funny how we never heard anything about mulch years ago. I guess it's the lack of water that's really brought it to the fore.

I always enjoy your garden and photos in any season, Kerri.

Susan said...[Reply]

LOVE the frost pics! You always find beauty in everything, thanks for sharing!

Tabor said...[Reply]

I hope I get an opportunity to take some frost photos, I would love to see what develops. Transistion photos are so nice and you have had a long season of blooms. So you dig you dahlias up every year? I am too lazy for that and only planted dahlias once.

Seeing Anew said...[Reply]

I love your frost on flowers shots! A nice reminder that winter has a beauty all its own.

Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

Your flowers looked lovely right up to the freeze.

We had very few sunny days this past October. It's going into the weather journals as one of the wettest on record. Very strange summer and fall. Wonder what this winter will bring us.

Darla said...[Reply]

None of us gardeners look forward to the first killing frost of the year, although it does make for beautiful photos. Your gardens are gorgeous! I dropped by from Catherines.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...[Reply]

The frost really did make those flowers extra pretty. Looks like your October was a very pretty one. Even now after the frost it looks so nice there with all the hills and trees in the distance and blue sky above it all.

Pam/Digging said...[Reply]

Beautiful images, as usual, Kerri. I especially like the frost-tinged flowers.

We're still enjoying beautiful fall weather here in Austin. Frost is a ways off yet, but the nights are getting cooler.

kk49 said...[Reply]

Great photos, Kerri. Thanks for posting pics of Hanna!

Naturegirl said...[Reply]

Awww..Kerri! What a wonderful treat
this Hallows Eve to stop by your magical sugar coated garden!
It is always a treat to view your garden delights and fur buddies!
I so appreciate you stopping by my blog and leaving such an encouraging message and I pass along blessings to you for holding me in prayer.
hugs aNNa xo

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

Wonderful photos as always Kerri! The one with the frost on the petunia is amazing! Our foliage was rather disappointing this year too. I don't know if it was because we had to much rain early on that affected it or what. Now we are about the same drab color everywhere. I didn't even get any pictures this year.

I will have to give Picassa a look. I know I have it, if I can't figure it out I will give you a holler! Thanks! What really annoys me is that I can't move pictures around once they are downloaded onto my post. I used to be able to just click on them and then pull it over to the arrow and move them anywhere I want but that does not work any more. I always did get rid of the space by backspacing the cursor but that won't work any more either. I wish Blogger had tech support. Sigh....

That hummer is just gorgeous! I find them such amazing little creatures! I didn't have any this year except what came to the flowers. My feeder kept getting filled with ants and I finally took it down as the hummers won't touch it with ants in it. I don't blame them! :o)

Your cats are beautiful!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Hey Kerri,
I was here yesterday, but couldn't get comments to open. It was your site, but our internet connection. They are working on it, and someimes it is so slow that I time out.

What a lot of flowers you still have! My main garden is at the lowest point in our yard, so the frost hits there first. Good planning, huh? Live and learn, I guess.

The frost does look lovely on flowers. I always think of that as their goodbye song. The only thing that has been hit several times and still looks halfway decent is the 50 cent chyrsanthemuns I bought at Walmart last year. They didn't bloom until the day before the first frost, not being local.

Are your grandchildren coming to treat or treat at your house? MIne are almost 12 and 14, and already way too cool to go. They do still like candy, though.

Hope you and your family have a nice Halloween!

Ilona said...[Reply]

an amazing array of photos- I think your garden is one of the ones I like best online. You take photos that just sing-love them all. The frost pics were perfect- and I like seeing your vistas, too.

Patsi's 'Garden Endeavors' said...[Reply]

You still have exciting.
Amazing shots of the frost on the flowers.
Of course...I always love your mountains.

Blackswamp_Girl said...[Reply]

Wow... amazing how quickly things change, isn't it? I always enjoy your photos, Kerri, but the "sugared" blooms at the top were especially fun to see! :)

em said...[Reply]

kerri, wow, you certainly know your best photo! that frosted campanula is a beaut! all your photos are lovely. we haven't had a hard frost here yet; it's late. i hope to catch things are nicely as you did when it comes. i haven't seen a young hummingbird before, thanks for this! also, you know, you write the best comments!

Ellie said...[Reply]

Beautiful pictures, and I love reading your blog.

Bird Girl said...[Reply]

Those first two pictures of the frost just blew me away! Number one looks like a little fairy dressed for the 'winter frost ball' - but beautiful! And your description of the second - sugar coated is just perfect! The color in your pictures is amazing - so many nice dahlias and other flowers that the bees are still enjoying! You little hummer is so cute!
My parents are from Canisteo, NY - don't know if that is near you? Lovely fall post, Kerri!

Teresa said...[Reply]

Great photos of the frosty day. YOur flowers lasted a long time. We are the same weather as you so I know what you mean about this fall. We still have leaves on some of the trees in the city. The rain really took the leaves quick this year though.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...[Reply]

I've got to say I love the look frost brings to the landscape at least until the sun really warms things up. Then, it makes me sad. I hope your winter isn't too cold or too long.~~Dee

*Ulrike* said...[Reply]

The photos are lovely and the flowers with frost look like they were sprinkled with glitter! Sad to see all of it go to sleep for the fall/winter, but they will be back before we know it!
Have a wonderful day!

kanishk said...[Reply]

Wonderful photos as always Kerri! The one with the frost on the petunia is amazing! Our foliage was rather disappointing this year too. I don't know if it was because we had to much rain early on that affected it or what. Now we are about the same drab color everywhere. I didn't even get any pictures this year.
Work from home India

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Hello Keri, I am finally back in my computer chair.
It's great to see your photos and I do love how the frost put such a nice sparkle on your flowers. I wish I was feeling strong enough to get out and do some photography myself but it will have to wait.
We have had a couple frosts and most of my flowers are gone now but When the dew is heavy on the pony tail grass and the sunlight is shining through it is just beautiful!
Thanks for sharing all your lovely views.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri, the beauty of your land never fails to astound me, mouth agape at the views! The frosty flowers are delightful, as are the kitties and your heart felt narrative. It is all so wonderful, even with the colors turning to browns and tans. You certainly had some gorgeous sunny days, then snow, then warm, sort of crazy quilt weather! Love those sweet kitties too. :-)

Moi said...[Reply]

those frost pictures are priceless, kerri......that blue bell image is like out of fairy tales......

we had our first frost around the same time too...and the snow in mid oct.......that was weird....but that cold snap brought our fall colors early...I loved was my first fall in east and I dont think i have colors like this before... :)

I so miss coming here and I am so thankful that you continue to stay in touch despite my irregularities.....thanks a ton, and stay connected..and keep posting the beauty that surrounds you......:)

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...[Reply]

Oh Kerri, what beautiful photos! I especially love the frost photos. I've not gotten to see that here yet, even though we've had a few light frosts and one hard freeze. The hard freeze took a lot out but there's still some blooms. Don't know if there will still be any by GBBD though. We'll see!

Thanks for the garden tour! Everything looks pretty good for this time of year!

Kathleen said...[Reply]

I haven't been by in a while Kerri ~ I'm going to have to spend some time this winter catching up on your summer posts. I can tell your garden was beautiful by the photos posted here. The frosted flower photos are gorgeous even tho I dread seeing it! I never make it outside to take my own either. Your snow scenes look familiar ~ we've already had a ton and it's barely November. I always enjoy seeing your cats. :-)

Karla Kotelett said...[Reply]

Your frosty photographs are beautiful! Also the hummingbird and your cats.

Wish you a nice weekend

Karla with Sigrun

James said...[Reply]

You posted some really beautiful pictures. It is a shame the frost got some of those blooms

Annie said...[Reply]

Lovely icy shots, and I love the dahlia's and the zinnias. I have some zinnia seeds I must remember to throw in the garden. Planted some sunflower seeds last week in little pots and they have come up already.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Cool pictures! I am growing my first TickleMe Plant! What a treat.
The leaves instantly close and even the branches droop when Tickled!
I found the TickleMe Plant Greenhouse to grow it in at