Tag Archive for sunflowers

Flowers, Poo and Fox

First frost has yet to visit my zone 6a gardens in south-central Connecticut but it’s right around the corner. Usually by Halloween frost has browned now weary-looking tender plants. A few plants continue to bloom – ageratum, mums, a smattering of lavender and a few morning glories – and look best outside. The better looking blossoms came indoors for close-up enjoyment. The last bouquet from my gardens is one of my most treasured, representing a season of gardening toil, a season of memories, a season of bloomin’ beauty.

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The hydrangea (Endless Summer Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmer’), sunflower (Helianthus debilis ‘Vanilla Ice’), rose (Knock Out Rosa ‘Radyod’) and gomphrena (Globe Amaranth Gomphrena) deserve recognition for their long flowering period and ability to withstand less-than-ideal weather … much rain, temperature swings, much rain.

On a totally separate note, our yard continues to be a favorite stopping or strolling through point for local wildlife and more local wildlife. Deer are the most frequent, and increasingly unwelcome, visitors. They’ve munched and remunched all the unfenced gardens and leave tell-tale piles of poo throughout to prevent any doubt that they had stopped by.

About three weeks ago I found a large, unfamiliar pile of poo in the front yard. (Familiarity with types of poo is one of the pleasures of rural living.) A thorough Google search led me to suspect a black bear had left this gift. A first hand look by a career outdoorsman pretty much confirmed the pile belonged to a black bear.

Headed out for this mornings walk, I flushed a red fox out of it’s resting place near our driveway. Later, Red Fox decided to come back for a stroll along the front walk.

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Red Fox sat for a spell …

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Had a quick scratch …

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Then wandered off to hunt.

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Hope it had a good, solid meal of vole,mice, mole or chipmunk … other creatures in abundant supply.

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An October Stroll

Unusual weather remains the topic of conversation in our neck of the woods. We continue to have heavy rains and, after chilly early-month temperatures, we’ve had a revisit of summer-like heat and humidity. Fall foliage has yet to blast in with its usual color. Salty tropical storm rains from Irene turned many tree leaves brown causing an early leaf drop. Leaves that remained have been slow to turn and, so far, show less brilliant color than Connecticut-living leaf watchers expect.

My south-central Connecticut gardens escaped the early light frosts that hit more northern gardens in the state.  But rains have limited photo-taking opportunities so, instead of grabbing a few last minute shots for this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, I offer a few photos taken since October’s start.

This year nasturtium put on the best show I’ve ever seen. These photos are from early October but they look just as good now.

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Usually aphids cover my nasturtium plantings by mid-summer causing me to cut them back and hope for a bit of late-season bloom.

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This year I’ve not seen one aphid and nasturtium had a hey-day. The two photos above show Nasturtium ‘Alaska Mix’ grown from seed from Renee’s Garden. Below is Nasturtium ‘Moonlight’ from Pinetree Garden Seeds. Both varieties will have encore performances in my gardens in future years.

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They have never looked this healthy and vibrant this late. What a treat!

I managed to thwart sunflower seedling-eating squirrels this year by hiding a couple of sunflower (Helanthus debilis ‘Vanilla Ice’) transplants behind other plants. Even chipmunks left the blossoms alone, likely because they were so full from eating tomatoes. Here’s an early October shot of my reward.

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One Star Rose (Mystic Meidiland ‘Meialate’) continues to offer up a show, looking nearly as fresh now as it did at the start of the month.

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Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) are by far the showiest, longest blooming annual in this year’s late-season garden. They looked like this on October 11.

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They looked just as nice late last night after a day of heavy downpours.

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Warmth-loving moonflower vines (Ipomea Alba) keep offering stunning blooms on nighttime strolls. This late in the season every moonflower bloom that opens is a special treat to be savored.

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Now, to see how other gardens look this October, visit May Dreams Gardens where, at Carol’s invitation, garden bloggers from across the globe share the beauty of their gardens.

Enjoy the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day party and garden thoughtfully.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Joene Hendry