Monday, October 8, 2012

It's autumn

There is a single male cardinal who hangs around the patio, complaining bitterly because he cannot get to the sunflower seeds when the heads are hanging low. I've seen my "pet" chipmunk climb the stalks, but I'm not sure he can get at the seeds, either. Once the seeds ripen up a bit more, I will pull up the plants and lay the heads on the patio table.

Now for the newbies: under the bird feeders, one New England aster 'Purple Dome' and two clumps of Little Bluestem 'Blue Heaven', plus a transplanted leggy pink aster whose identity will remain forever a mystery, 'Wild Romance'.

Arbor Farms sends me a gift card each year for my birthday, entitling me to a free perennial. This year I chose the New England aster.

And because the unwritten rule of freebies requires that I check out the rest of the plants, I also selected the Little Blue Stem. And because there were only two left, I had to take them both or they would have been lonely.

I had considered moving the bird feeders over the rhubarb patch, but decided birds pooping on something I eat did not sound very appetizing. I let some pokeweed grow behind the rhubarb, and those plants are loaded with ripening berries. Too bad the robins abandoned my yard months ago.

Too bad I did not get a photo of the 'Clara Curtis' painted daisy in their prime, as every fall they take over this bed on the south side of the house. I have plans for the bed next year: remove the mildewed peonies, the erratic climbing rose, the iris that won't bloom; move the lilies and day lilies; and plant a drought-resistant prairie plant collection. I'm sure some of the 'Clara Curtis' will survive.

I don't have much luck with chrysanthemum, but the ones I planted last year are just incredible.

Well, two of them are. The third one did not make it through the winter.

The 'Autumn Joy' sedum started in this bed, got moved around a bit, found their way back last year, and look very thankful to be home again. Keeping them watered during droughts makes a difference, I guess. That is 'Dragon's Blood' sedum growing below it.

This was my first year growing pineapple sage. The plants did great, but by the time they bloomed, the hummingbirds were long gone.

I also did not realize pineapple sage was an annual when I purchased it. If I grow it next year, I will locate it in a sunnier spot, in hopes of earlier bloom.

Crocosmia is not supposed to bloom in the fall, but weird weather sometimes causes weird plant behavior.

Although we have had a couple of frosts already, they have not been severe enough to kill much. Yet. I harvested the sweet potatoes this weekend (good crop!) and am putting the rest of the vegetable garden to bed for the season. I just need to remember to plant the garlic in November.

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