Friday, October 29, 2010

Shades of Autumn

Autumn clothes our upstate New York farm in a dazzling array of colors.

Festivities begin even before the Autumnal Equinox,

with wild Asters and Goldenrod putting on a spectacular display to herald the change of seasons.

The woods are alive with fiery earth tones.

Vines in the hedgerow across the road are quick to turn a bright sangria red, and fields of pale lavender Asters bloom with abandon beside the tall Goldenrod.
(Click photos to see more detail)

Looking toward the hill we see the trees decked out in rust and gold against the emerald and olive greens. Sheep peacefully graze in the pasture at center right. 
(a bit hard to see unless you click. I'd like to make the photos bigger but that doesn't seem to work with this template).

I've scattered deadheaded seeds of Rudbeckia triloba (a Black-eyed Susan) over the bank and they've germinated amazingly well. The patch was prettier a while ago when Queen Anne's Lace (now just brown stalks and seedheads) bloomed beside the Susans.

The fall colors compliment the red barn.

Cows can be seen grazing in the same field as the sheep, but usually at opposite corners.

I helped decorate for the party with a few spots of added color. Posted by Picasa

But very little help was needed. Mother Nature did a wonderful job all by herself. She gave us some spectacular skies, Posted by Picasa

and puffy clouds...

A few Posted by Picasa

glorious days

of warm sunshine

and mild temperatures,

burnt orange trees to match the rust colored cow!

Buff colored sheep and the soft wheat shade of sudex (sorghum-sudangrass). 

But there've been plenty of chill winds and gray, rainy days in the mix,

to prepare our thin skins for the cold days to come,

lest we forget that Old Man Winter is just around the corner.

We had a taste of him today with cold, wild winds and rain.
I hear another heavy shower pounding on the roof tonight and there'll be snow flakes in the air tomorrow, so the weatherman says.

But we've had a few days of perfect gardening weather this week - precious gifts to be savored and enjoyed.

The autumnal show is almost over, but oh my, it's been a joy to behold and we have much to be grateful for! Posted by Picasa

Shades of Autumn

A tangerine and russett cascade

of kaleidoscopic leaves

Creates a tapestry of autumn magic

upon the emerald carpet of fading summer.

The golden memories of sunsets and twilight

Hover in the backdrop of the peek-a-boo patch

of silver skylight.

Judith A. Lindberg

Time for a nap thinks Jasmine.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2010

On this mid-October evening a cold, rowdy wind is whipping the baskets and containers on the front porch and the sound of it is making me shiver! I've just brought the still flowering pink Abutilon in because it's blown over twice. 
Autumn is in the air, but tonight feels decidedly winterish.

Our first heavy frost hit the garden on 10/10/10 and zapped most of the color in one fell swoop. If you click to enlarge the longshots you'll have a much better view of the remaining colors. There are a few.

The bright patch of marigolds in the Lily Garden is frost damaged, but still pretty from a distance. Nicotiana is persevering and continues to open blooms, and in the front a couple of Gladioli stalks are gradually unfolding their flowers.

Calendulars resist the cold, frosty mornings.

Feverfew is one of the few survivers in the lower Rock Garden.

In this sheltered corner of the house the Rose/Clematis Garden wins the prize for the best show of colors. Unfortunately, the shadow of the large Silver Maple hides some of them. Back there in the shadows Pink Morn Petunias still bloom with Alyssum in a window box.

Below are more Petunias, self-sown Alyssum (I've thinned it several times!), a dark-leaved Heuchera, Homestead Verbena and Diascia. Posted by Picasa

Only one of the two Hydrangeas produced a bloom this summer - very disappointing.

Clematis Jackmanii surprised me with 2 bonus blooms. C. Carnaby has a few as well, but that's normal behavior for her.

Diascia is quite frost resistent and still blooms happily with Petunias.

Here it is in a pretty coral shade, surrounded by Alyssum.

A Cabbage moth enjoys the Homestead Verbena. Posted by Picasa

 Alyssum and Homestead Verbena are 2 very frost resistent plants, blooming prolifically all summer.

I've been moving the containers into the garage when frost threatens and some still look fairly presentable.

Crocosmia is a first for my garden this fall. I love its bright red flower sprays.

Osteospermums/Cape Daisy/African Daisy bloom best in the cooler weather of spring and fall.

Chysanthemum Zesty Victoria Coral glows in the afternoon sunshine.

We had 3 days of beautiful sunshine before cooler temps returned and rain set in yesterday afternoon and all day today. Wednesday was one of those golden autumn days that you wish would last forever - a precious gift. Posted by Picasa

A bee is busy on the Nemesia

Geraniums are looking good and blooming nicely.

Cosmos is lovely with the sun shining through the petals.

Gaura survived the frost in the Pink Garden Posted by Picasa

And Snapdragons hang in there.

Johnny Jump-ups just keep going! Posted by Picasa

This has been a beautiful container all summer. Yellow Bidens is a constant bloomer. Also in there is pink Nemesia, burgundy leaved Alternanthera 'Royal Tapestry', Osteospermum 'Zion Copper amethyst' (barely visible) and a Wedding Veil Coleus (not showing in this photo).

Salvia farinacea is still pretty with the small flowered 'Lemon Gem' Marigold, which holds up to frost better than the larger flowered group of 'Safari Yellow' marigolds on the right.

The Dwarf Burning Bush is never spectacularly red, like some I see, but it does provide autumn color and bright berries.

Stuck behind it and needing to be moved to a spot that delivers more light, is the beautiful white Japanese Anemone. The pink has finished blooming now. Jasmine fits in nicely with the fall colors. Posted by Picasa

I've been working this week in the Lilac Garden where the wheelbarrow sits. This bed was suffering from neglect and badly in need of tidying.
The Autumn Joy Sedum in the Driveway Garden has turned a lovely shade of deep red.

Knockout Roses 'Radrazz' bloom on either side of it.

Behind it is Malva Sylvestris 'Zebrina'/Mallow, self sown. It began blooming only recently. It's related to Hollyhocks. The deep red Dahlia to the right is 'Le Baron'. This photo was taken just before the frost, and the beautiful flowers are sadly, now whithered and brown. I saved a few for a bouquet though.

Here's a close-up of the Mallow with a little "Gorilla" spider friend. I call him this because he looks like a tiny gorilla. Click the photo to see him a little better. I'll show a closer photo of this curious fellow in a future post.

Rose 'Social Climber' is still producing a few blooms. Posted by Picasa

Gloriosa Daisies/Rudbeckia hirta hang on till the very end! Posted by Picasa

There's some color left in the hills but the peak is past. Driving through the countryside is a delight, with some leaves still clinging to trees and the ground strewn with carpets of orange and brown. I have photos of the peak colors and will post them soon.

Hannah is my faithful shadow

There's some 'Cerise Queen' Yarrow still blooming under the fence.

Mum 'Victoria Pink' and pumpkins decorate the front porch. Posted by Picasa

Happy Bloom Day everyone!

Stop over at Carol of May Dreams Gardens' Blog to see what else is blooming in other corners of the world, and if you're feeling as chilly as I am, maybe a visit to a warmer climate garden would help take the chill off.
Those Texas and Florida gals will be enjoying their gardens now, while Daffodils and Tulips are blooming 'Down Under' in Australia!