Fall is officially here, not just the date but temperature and the color of leaves. The ground is practically covered with leaves and the branches are becoming more bare everyday. We start grinding up the leaves for mulching and composting when we have days off. I don’t cut back much of anything except for the Butterfly bushes (Buddleja davidii). This lovely, fragrant and food source for butterflies and bees is very invasive if the flowers are allowed to set seed. I left other plants in the garden stand as they are during winter so birds and insects can have food and some protection from the harsh elements of winter.
As bare as the garden looks now, there are some diehard flowers that are still standing up to the cooling temperature. Frost will eventually stop them but it’s still a different beauty.
Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora) starts flowering in summer and won’t stop until frost. Its light fragrance draws bumblebees in.
This little flower, tiny, low to the ground but tougher than they look. They keep going and are good for bees and other insects as a last resource.
Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a real diehard. It can tolerate drought, wet and cold to some degree. I have no idea which one this is since I let them grow freely and cross-pollination results in many shades of phlox in the garden. I only know that the phlox ‘David’ is white.
Rosa Rugosa ‘Ms Doreen Pike’ is still producing flowers here and there. This one is soaking wet from the rain.
Once I pulled some of the Bee balm (Monarda) out to give more space to this rose ‘Antique Caramel’, it seemed to be happier and flowered more than last year.
I don’t remember if I ever mentioned I got this rose ‘Knockout’ for free from the nursery, two of them actually. They’ve been doing really well and never let me down from early summer to frost.
This is one of the Zinnia that is still flowering. Most of them have black spots due to an excess of rain lately. But they are doing well this year.
As a request from my editor and partner in crime who helped dig the plots and mowed the lawn to plant roses that bloom more than once a year. No, I didn’t know when I started this garden that some roses bloom only once in spring. I came from a place where roses bloom all year round (the sub-tropics) so I assumed that it should be the same here. The first couple of roses I planted put on a show of colors in spring then nothing else for the rest of the season. Though they offered nothing else but a home to the birds, they are still worth keeping.
Learning from my mistakes plus his request, the roses I’ve been planting after the first batch are either re-blooming or bloom continuously. Even in the uneven weather we’ve had this year they are still performing well. Blackspot fungus caused some damage to Eden and William Shakespeare roses, but they still try their best to give the garden some color. Here are a few that didn’t get beaten up too badly by the recent storm.