Saturday, October 17, 2015

Stay Away Jack Frost

Our first frost is threatening tonight. Say it isn't so! Now I know it's that time of year, but I'm always in denial right about now. I tell myself that the frost will magically pass me by. But eventually it arrives, and that's the end of my garden season till next year. 
Endless Summer hydrangea with begonias
Dinner plate dahlia
Birdbath jumble
Got what I needed, thanks! 
There hasn't been much new to look at in my garden for awhile. It seems like every day I'm taking more photos of the same zinnias, snapdragons, and dahlias. But they continue to delight me, so why not? 
Raspberry Lemonade mix zinnias 
Queen Red Lime zinnias
Tequila Lime zinnias
Digiplexis Berry Canary with Tall Ribbon Mix snapdragons
Cafe au Lait dahlia
Dahlias and sunshine
I've found that autumn light is extra favorable to garden photography. The low angle of the sun makes the light softer. I can hardly wait till the sun begins to set, so that I can run out and get more photos of my grasses glowing. 
Morning Light miscanthus
Lone Queen Red Lime zinnia with Karly Rose pennisetum
Karly Rose pennisetum 
Karly Rose with verbena bonariensis
A few butterflies still pass through, which always delights me. Every monarch that comes through is photographed if possible, while sending them off with good wishes towards Mexico. 

The roses have been revived by the cooler air. They tend to survive a few light frosts because the blooms are up above the ground. One year I had roses in early December, what a treat! 
Sunny Knockout rose, the fragrant knockout
Funny Face rose
Chinatown rose
For reasons that I don't quite recall, we are having a late start with our fall color change. There's still a lot of green out there for mid October. After this frosty weekend ahead, we should really start to see some color out there. If you didn't look too closely, my garden looks almost summery. Almost. 
Queen Red Lime zinnias with Sedum Autumn Joy
Amsonia hubrichtii starting to turn gold
Last year, I did a trial for Proven Winners, which was a lot of fun. The annuals are long gone, of course, but the perennials live on. This is Cinnamon Curls heuchera, and while it's pretty, it hasn't grown any bigger than when I first planted it a year and a half ago. Maybe next year it will put out some growth or flowers? Sure looks nice here in the tapestry of the other foliage nearby. 
PW Cinnamon Curls heuchera
This PW is Sugar Shack buttonbush. It looks like the leaves will be putting on a show. But those same leaves are popular with leaf cutters of some kind, and I'm not sure how to fight that. If it's going to look like this all summer, what good is it? It gave me one "button" flower this year, but the plant itself has grown by leaps and bounds. I'm sure I'll see more blooms next year. The verdict remains out. 
PW Buttonbush Sugar Shack
PW Little Quickfire hydrangea is a real beauty. Last year it had two flower heads, this year there are many more. I love the way the flowers start out white, then fade to pink and then dark pink. I've dried a few blooms for the winter, but didn't want to leave the whole thing bare by cutting anymore. I'm hoping that it will have so many flowers next year that it can spare a few more for me. 
PW Little Quickfire hydrangea in July
PW Little Quickfire hydrangea in August
PW Little Quickfire hydrangea in October
I was honored to find out that I took home honorable mention in Gardening Gone Wild's recent End of Summer photo contest! Do you think I should tell them that I didn't even use an SLR for this shot? 
Let's all cross our fingers that frost stays away from my garden for a little longer, shall we? I just need a few more flowers to get me through winter. 
Perky pansy pot
Queen Red Lime zinnias with extra pink coloring
Queen Red Lime zinnias with extra muted coloring
Zinnias, verbena, sedum, gazing ball jumble
Rieger begonias


  1. You do take wonderful photos and your end of summer photo is really fab - congrats on the honorable mention. The zinnias, snapdragons, and dahlias are great photo topics this time of year.... suppose the frost will soon drive them away.

    1. Just as predicted, a heavy frost arrived and took out all the zinnias, dahlias, begonias, and coleus. But the snapdragons held on tight, so I still have their burst of color for awhile longer.

  2. Wouldn't it be nice if we could Jack Frost exactly what to take out? Your zinnias are spectacular, especially the pink lime. I must grow them next year. Your garden does look so beautiful at the height of its glory just as the weather cools. Love they Endless Summer, too. Gorgeous photos.

    1. Thank you Ann, those Queen Red Lime zinnias are a real favorite of mine. Kind of a trademark, if you will.

  3. So many beautiful blooms! That Little Quickfire hydrangea is gorgeous! Congratulations on the photo mention, it is a beautiful one. We had a two day cold snap here near Boston, and most of my garden is pretty much over for the year.

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog Indie! Just as I feared, the frost took out all the annuals except the snapdragons. But I'm glad I still have those.

  4. Your weather is just like ours right now and yep, we had our first frost a few nights ago, too. And now it's back up to 70 during the day! Of course, won't last long. It's so sad to say goodbye to all the flowers, isn't it? I absolutely love all your grasses. They are especially beautiful in the fall and seem to just glow in the early evening light.

    1. The fact that the weather warmed up again is what makes it so discouraging when the frost kills everything. But I did save a huge hanging basket full of bright yellow begonias by hiding it in the garage!

  5. Oh, I hope you missed out on the frost Robin! I'm exactly like you, hate the thought of that first frost but after it happens, I move on, start planning for next year. I would say the photos of your garden look a lot like summer. It looks good! We still haven't had a frost either which makes me pretty happy.

    1. Oh it certainly didn't miss us! Two nights in a row with temps in the high 20's, and all zinnias, dahlias, begonias, and coleus are all dead. Phooey! But the snapdragons are holding on, you've got to love that about them.

  6. I just love that Red Lime Zinnia. Have to write that one down for seeds next spring. Your Dahlias and grasses are just lovely. Only 3 of my hydrangeas bloomed this summer. The Nikko blue was just starting to bloom when the freeze came leaving brown tops on the blue blooms. Summer always goes too fast.

    1. I usually buy my Queen Red Lime zinnias from the Burpee site. They tend to be a little pricier than most seeds. I think I've figured out why too. The blooms last forever, and don't even begin to make viable seeds till frost.

  7. Is your weather holding? the zinnias especially are so beautiful, and I know the butterflies love them. I saw the first monarch in my garden the other day for the first time this year. I think they must be migrating through. I used to see many more of them.

    1. No, my wishes didn't help. It frosted hard those nights, and all the summer annuals were lost. But time to plan for next year!

  8. It's sad when the first killing frost arrives, Robin, but you have some amazing pictures to remind you of a wonderful gardening season. P. x

    1. That first frost aggravates me because it always gets warm again after that. I could have just those pretty annuals for another three weeks after that, it was so pleasant. Phooey.


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