Thursday, October 31, 2019

October is the Garden's Finale

Here in central Ohio, October can start off pretty summery, but by month's end there's usually a drastic change. Still, there's no guarantee that it will end chilly and bare. Some years, we're still fairly warm, with plenty of fall color yet to enjoy. Other years, you'll find the end of October to be a harbinger of winter. Today will be a little bit of both. It's rainy, with warmer temperatures for morning, but by tonight it will change over to bitter cold. My flowers will come to an end, which is fitting for the last day of the month.

The rain should stop soon, and I'll go out to gather a final bouquet or two. From a distance, the zinnias still look good, but up close I probably won't find many to pick. I'm always sad on this day, but part of me is ready to let it go. I have bulbs to plant yet, and my own personal rule is that the zinnias have to be gone first, since it's easier to plant bulbs with them out of the way. The difficult part of my rule is it is invariably pretty darned cold when I finally getting around to planting my tulips and such. Oh but I'll be so glad I did when next spring arrives!

On the warmer days this month, which extended until just a few days ago, I still had many butterflies passing through Robin's Nest. My biggest draws for them were the zinnias, butterfly bush, and verbena bonariensis. These continue to bloom right up until a hard freeze, so they're die hards here. We've already had a couple of frosts, but they weren't strong enough to cause much damage. Tonight will likely be different, since they're calling for a freeze warning instead of frost. It's time, I'm ready.

Sulfur butterfly

Buckeye butterfly

Corn ear worm moth


Painted lady

Swallowtail caterpillars

Orange sulfur

Since my family doesn't live nearby, I don't decorate much for holidays indoors. And yet I love to decorate the outdoors. I think it's because decorating the outdoors feels like gardening. I do harvest decorations instead of Halloween, and leave it out until Thanksgiving. After that, it will be time for winter greens that stay out into March.

I've done a lot of traveling about this month, trying to soak up the autumn vibes in all of my favorite places. But I decided to do a second post about that, since there is so much to share. So today I'm just showing off the 2019 finale of Robin's Nest. November and December may have a few things to see, but I know it will be meager compared to summer's bounty winding down.

It really was a banner year here. We had a lot of rain early on, and everything got a big boost from it. I overplanted, as I often do, so it was a  jungle. The jungle can be a bounteous beauty, but I find it to be prone to pests and disease. I'd say I'll try to rein it in next year, but that's not likely to be how it turns out. Time will tell. And I have no garden sunsets to close with this month. Instead, I'll show off the eagles that have been gracing the nearby ponds. I've discovered that if I go down there about an hour before sunset, there's a good chance I'll see them. My camera has a 50X zoom, but more would sure be better when it comes to these beauties. I think they're a fitting finale too.