October 15: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

It could be the last Bloom Day of the season, but November sometimes offers a few surprises. It is the annuals that are showing off, of course, but the mums, a bargain at $2.00 a pot, provide lots of color. And, Honorine Joubert Anemone is shining brightly in The Secret Garden. There is one surprise. The morning glories that I planted late last May have finally decided to bloom. The last hibiscus flower is looking gruesomely beautiful.

I couldn’t resist getting the two standard poodles in this month’s chronicle, though they weren’t very cooperative. What I didn’t know at the time is that Lucy, the black poodle, was busy digging yet another hole in the lawn. See all those bare patches? That would be Lucy’s contribution to the gardens. What is interesting, though, is that I take her regularly to a large dog park where she hasn’t dug a single hole. Anyway, the mums and the Limelight hydrangea in the upper left are blooming. And, of course, there are the annuals that keep summer going a bit longer. I’m always grateful for marigolds.

Mums, marigolds, and, um, moldy peonies are part of the lower garden. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new day lilies look next July.

But, as usual, State Fair Zinnias are still kicking out bouquets. I usually plunk a few hosta leaves in the vases with them.

Here’s a beauty shot of one zinnia.

It’s been a dreary, rainy day, and it perfectly intensified that morning glory blue. The raindrops are just an added bonus. I’m glad my young standard poodle, Lucy, and I got our two mile walk in before the rain came.

I think the Honorine Joubert Anemone is more than six feet tall, propped up, of course by a hidden tomato cage and some garden twine.

They are slightly iridescent so that, even on a rainy day, they glow.

The leaves are reddening and falling. This maple probably found its way from a giant tree in my neighbor’s yard. Last fall I picked up fallen leaves during my walks with Bridget, my 11 year old standard poodle. They are pressed into various books. I think I may have to start collecting some this year, too. The red “sputnik” berries come from the Kousa Dogwood in The Secret Garden.

And, lastly, the gruesomely beautiful dying hibiscus flower. See you next, my beauty.

Of Butterflies and Coneflowers

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on the Fragrant Angel Coneflower

This pretty swallowtail butterfly couldn’t get enough of the Fragrant Angel Coneflowers yesterday.   I was actually hoping I could get pictures of the Cedar Waxwings that have been eating berries in the park.  And while I could hear them, I couldn’t see them.  But Ms. Swallowtail was very compliant.

Swallowtails are common butterflies in Michigan, but their size and lovely colors make them a welcomed visitor, nonetheless.

Something else that was unexpected in the Secret Garden is a pink hibiscus (rose mallow).  I had completely forgotten that I’d planted it.  And, in fact, I dug it up last spring thinking that whatever it was had not survived the winter.   Luckily, I forgot to toss the rootball before I went on vacation.  When I returned, there were green shoots coming out of the rootball, so I replanted it.  I kept thinking that it was some sort of oakleaf hydrangea, but, honestly, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it.  Color me surprised when I saw dinner-plated sized pink blossoms.

Rose Mallow

The Tardiva Hydrangea is blooming now, a welcome event just as the daylilies fade.  I hate to see them go.  I’ve been pulling out the flower stalks so that the clumps look tidy. The liatris is doing quite well.  I love how it blooms from the top down.

Liatris, Echinacae, and Catmint (Cool Cat)