It appears that the technical issues from the other night have resolved themselves (Far, I do wonder if it was just a cache glitch w/the browser as you suggested) so I have a few photos from 2 November I've been wanting to share here. I first titled this post Survivors: November Post Frost Edition, because that's what these tough little flowers are! They even outlasted the Tricyrtis this year and some are, unbelievably, still around but looking pretty sad lately.
This shot is, of course, Escholzia californica, or California Poppy, the beloved state flower of California, and much beloved in many other gardens, such as ours! Over the past several years, our proliferous volunteers have diminished considerably and now they are much more a surprise accent annual in certain spots in the front boulder bed. Just three years ago we had wonderful drifts of them along the sidewalk in what is now a very bulby and Helleborish part of the Woodland Garden ... some got lost, others were crowded out by the likes of the Liatris, and just basically drastically thinned. But this year, now that we've got the bulbs in and still need to do some clean up, we plan on sowing a lot of seed before putting the bed to rest. We still have some seed left from a year ago, so it's going to be broadcast, as well as a bunch of Susans and Larkspur we've been sitting on. And not to forget, we have a lot of "Frank's Poppy" seeds to spread all over, since those were less prominent this year and I disposed of them promptly when they were done (there were other seeds to go in!) so not much new seed fell this year. If you're interested in these and can find the seed now, it's a great time to plant them. Much easier than working the ground while it's still partly frozen in the wee morns of very early Spring!
I was a bit surprised to spot this cheery little guy, complete with his tiny green bee ... nestled amid the leaves in the grass of the parking, a lowly Dandelion was making one of his likely last stands. We really don't see too many dandelion blooms so late in the season, especially after a few hard frosts ... I guess this one was just trying to remind me how pretty he really is and be happy when his clan reappears in the spring. I'm perfectly fine with having dandelions all over in the grass, but I'm ruthless about digging them from the boulder bed. But as I've preached before, they really are beneficial plant in the long run because they add nutrients to the soil and their long tap roots work wonders in breaking up clay. Nothing gets me more riled up than obsessive suburban "gardeners" (yes, those were air quotes) who are out dumping toxic chemicals into their soil just because they have some irrational fear about the dandelion and other beneficial weeds you should allow in the garden. Monoculture, bad. Polyculture, good. (Disclaimer: although we are at least 90% organic gardeners, and reserve the "big guns" only for noxious stuff like poison ivy and volunteer walnut trees that refuse to die a natural death.)
Gather ye dandelions while ye may, old time is still a flying...
This was another pleasant surprise: our Buddleia davidii Weyeriana that didn't bloom much in the height of summer but somehow gained a second wind and was still blooming as recently as a week ago. I have mixed feelings about this variety ... I love the intricate structure of the honeycomb like blooms, as well as its luscious yellow hue, but it's not the most flowerful of the Buddleias we've grown over the years. Though it has since died off (they're iffy in Iowa winters) our most floriferous was definitely Black Knight, one of the deep purple cultivars. At this point, I hate to say I've become a bit indifferent to Butterfly Bushes ... at least in our garden they're a crap shoot and they do require an inordinate amount of space and a hard pruning (that is hard to do) come spring. But at least as long as this, our last survivor continues to grow, I'll probably just let it go, though if it decided to die off, I wouldn't be in a hurry to replace it. Besides, the spot it occupies is prime Hibiscus Moscheutos planting area! Case closed.
Here you go, Gail, the last shot you'll see this year of Celosia Caracas ... I thought this still looked quite attractive and made me wish I had cut a few to keep dried in the house this winter. Next year, I'm not going to sweat it, as I'm sure there will be hundreds of them coming up out front around Finger Rock. Fortunately, Celosia seedlings are clearly identifiable when they're about an inch tall, with tiny replicas of the adult leaves. I'll be curious to see if Caracas shows any color at the seedling stage, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did....
So there you have it. I still have some nice shots of the Calendulas (who are still hanging around) to post, and a few other things I've gotten somewhat recently. But lately, either work (mostly) or the chilly weather has kept me from doing much outside, but I know there is still interesting life to be chronicled in the garden. So I'll close with my usual caveat that I'll be posting when I can find the time!
As for chilly: check the Weather Underground banner on this page for the current temperature!