Wednesday, October 16, 2013

As the days dwindle down ... to a precious few ...

No doubt about it ... it's fall. The days are shorter now that we are past the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night length are equal. They will be getting shorter faster until the Winter Solstice  on December 21. The nights are cooler too, forties, next week the thirties. Soon there will be the first frost in our garden. Sigh. I know it always happens each year, but I never like it ... too much of a harbinger of the cold weather and ice.

But a few plants are still showing some last minute spirit in the yard, including this little sedum. Sedums are pretty easy to grow in well-drained soil and sun. They have fleshy, succulent leaves and big heads of rosy florets.

There are leaves down, but still plenty of green ones on the trees today. Not much color yet, but maybe it will come later or be prevented by the late summer drought we had. This little aster doesn't care, showing its cheerfulness despite the shortened days.
Not many blue flowers bloom this late, but this leadwort is a reliable one. It's botanical name is Ceratostigma plumbagnoides. It's a ground cover but not an overly invasive one.
The hydrangeas are still showing their big headed beauty. The blooms have taken on a greenish color instead of white as the fall has come on.
The dwarf butterfly bush, Buddleia Lo and Behold, has been blooming constantly, attracting lots of those tiny white butterflies and some painted ladies as well.
The Japanese Anemone is flowering well even though my photo is a bit blurred. This plant spreads a bit, but it is so nice to have its pretty rose blooms in the autumn that I can't consider it invasive really.
Here's another of the upright sedums. I think that this one is called Neon.
Here's a close-up of the anemone.
And a better focused shot. I think this one is September Charm. The others are not so easy to grow in Illinois, except vitifolia robustissima, which is too robust and invasive.
As the summer wears one, the bright white cone shaped flowers of the oakleaf hydrangea take on a subtle rusty brown color.
This phlox is the last one still blooming in the garden in October.
Here's another hydrangea with interesting flowers of two different shapes.
The firethorn or Pyracantha bush has more berries this year than I ever remember before.
It's quite the star of the fall garden.

Well, this may be the last post about the garden for a while. There will be continued clean up work, cutting the tops off perennials after the first frost, taking in the chairs and benches and terra cottas, emptying the bird baths so they don't freeze. Soon we will be putting in some new lilies, a nice grouping of tulips, and some Dutch crocus. That will be the end of the planting until next spring, which seems a long way off to me now!

Next post will be our recent trip to the Indiana Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County.

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