Mid-October — already?!

I was going to try to post every week through the fall, but as always time gets away.  There’s still no color in the trees (except for the dogwoods beginning to turn), but the asters and mums are coming into their own. The temperatures have dropped at night and in the morning, although days are still hot, and we’re expecting more heat this coming week.


Rosa ‘Laffter’ stretching up for one last show.


‘Ryan’s Pink’ chrysanthemums are opening as of this weekend.  These are in the brightest sun near the sidewalk, and behind you can see the blur that will spill into the rain garden.


So proud of this little “trellis”:  The ‘Ryan’s Pink’ mums usually spill over into the sidewalk, but last spring I got rid of most of the ones there except for this one clump, which managed to grow upward within the strong stalks of Verbena bonariensis!  Over the summer as the verbena has faded I’ve snipped it back, but left the structural stems, which are now nicely hidden by the mums, which greet me at waist-high level.  Wonder if I can make that happen again next year?


Last year I planted ageratum behind the ‘Ryan’s Yellow’ mums, hoping for a nice blend of the soft blue and yellows, and I guess that’s what I’m getting.  But the ageratum turned out to be a little bit of a garden thug, and it squeezed out a nice stand of my favorite daylilies.  It also looks really wilted and pouty when it’s not watered, so I may rethink this idea next year.  ‘Ryan’s Yellow’ is always pretty much the last thing to bloom in my garden, always a signal that it’s time to shut down for winter–but this year they seem to be coming on a little earlier (or it’s later than I think!)


Still no show from the Angel Trumpet, but the buds are looking more fully formed.  They should do a little bit of their thing before frost, but I’m a little sad that they’re so late.  One year they were still blooming like crazy on the day before we were to get a frost, so my brother and I cut a few branches to take inside;  those that we cut withered and sank, but the ones that went through the frost kept on blooming for quite a while.  So, not as fragile as some fear.


Little firecrackers of purple, aster ‘Fanny’ underneath the Angel Trumpet.  Wish they’d both explode at once.


The Aster ‘Tartaricus’ is fading, and the Rosa ‘Red Cascade’ never put on much of a show this year, but these mums, from some grocery store or other a few years back, are taking over.  In the right background are the fat buds of ‘Ryan’s Rainbow’ mums, 5 clumps of them that I planted as a sort of informal memorial to him for the last of this gardening year.  They’re nestled in between the 6 tea olives, planted in a serpentine swath, that we like to call the “Gainey Swerve”, since Ryan was the one to suggest it.  Tea olives were in full fragrance last weekend, noticeable from almost everywhere in the garden–they’re calming down somewhat now.


Finally!  This poor salvia ‘Indigo Spires’ was trampled two years ago, then cut back last year in favor of showing off one of the small cannas, and this year it is making up for lost time.  I do love this plant, and it’s sorta hard to find these days.  That’s one plant!


Bees are still working all the salvias.



Rosa ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ got a huge haircut late this summer, but it’s coming back strong, as if to convince me not to get rid of it.  It is the most beautiful fragrance.  I’ve promised this rose to at least three people if they’ll come and take it–it’s totally in the wrong place, much to aggressive for this narrow space.  But sooo pretty.  (And the dish, presented as a gift from my NC Master Gardener visitors, really shines there.)



Camellia ‘Yuletide’.  I have one on each side of the front door, and they’ve had a hard summer settling in.  The buds look promising.  The low Georgia savory (Clinopodium georgiana) is really happy in that spot, a good bit of sun but some afternoon shade.  The savory plants I put in full sun all day struggled.



Still not looking like fall with any of the Japanese maples.  They don’t ever give me much color, anyway–wonder why?



The little ornamental pomengranate finally settled into its spot and begin to grow–almost 2 feet of new growth just this season.  No blooms to speak of, but I did notice these two just now.  What a show this will be if it really blooms and fruits next year:  little pumpkins, right at Halloween!



Rosa ‘Mutabilis’–rank, weedy, shoots off in all directions, still a favorite I wouldn’t be without.



Perovskia.  Moved it too late for it to get much height going, but beautiful blooms in the rose garden.



Rain lilies!  After whatever nasty creature took them all the way to the ground in August, they’re rebounding and showing off.

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