I can't believe it is almost November already! Winter is coming and there isn't anything I can do about it but make the best of it. For now, I'm enjoying what is left in my garden, and already thinking about what I'll grow next year! These last flowers of the season are so precious and the little seedlings are a delight as well, since they offer hope for the spring.
The mountain bluet has even sent up new leaves and buds in the last couple of weeks! If we don't get any extreme cold, there will probably be a few November flowers!
I love my herbs, and they have been providing some welcome color, texture, and fragrance this fall. Someday I'm going to find room for a larger, more formal herb garden.
Most of the little plants in this picture are self-sown. There are lots of forget-me-nots and evening dame's rocket, and some valerian, columbine, and foxgloves. I'm wondering if I will regret letting all these seedlings grow, but I don't have the heart to pull them out! Maybe it will just be a delightful jumble next year...or maybe it will be a mess! I'll just have to wait and see! I do intend to thin out any self-seeded nicotiana next year...they looked harmless enough last spring, but before I knew it they had choked out all the pincushion flowers, and even hid my new 'Crocus' rose! So from now on they will only grow where I put them! But one can't have too many foxgloves, (at least that's what I think now)! Forget-me-nots are wonderful, too, until they go to seed!
Close-ups of some of the biennials...
I hope everyone is enjoying the Fall weather...I'm sure many of you have more left to look at in your gardens than we do way up north! :)
As winter approaches, I have to look more carefully to find beauty in my garden, and also for something to put in a vase! I wasn't sure how this one would turn out, but I think it nicely reflects the wild, rugged beauty of the landscape this time of year.
The red leaves come from a Bridal Wreath spirea bush in the front yard. It has lovely fragrant white flowers in late spring, and I even found a few late blooms today!
Thanks to Helen at Toronto Gardens for encouraging me to use mountain ash berries in my arrangement!
Thanks for stopping by! You can see what others have found to put in a vase today at Rambling in the Garden. Have a great week!
I've always said I don't like garlic. However, a friend gave me some from his garden recently, and to my surprise, it was very mild and delicious! So, I saved the two largest bulbs for planting. I'm excited about this garlic! I don't know what kind it is...my friend got it at a farmstand in Fort Kent (near the Canadian border) 5 years ago and has grown it ever since. The lady he bought it from just said it was the kind her grandmother grew.
I've heard it said that it's not too late to plant garlic as long as you can dig a hole in the ground with a hammer and chisel! I have been known to plant my flower bulbs the day before the ground freezes for the winter, and last year I was spreading manure over the flower beds in late November with the snow falling fast. This year I'm happy to say that all the bulbs (flowers and garlic!) are safely in the ground already. We've had some really beautiful days this fall that were perfect for working in the gardens.
I used wide raised beds in the vegetable garden this year, and they have worked out nicely, especially for root crops!
I added some chicken manure and wood ashes before planting...
Preparing the rows with my favorite hoe...
I spaced the bulbs about 8 inches apart.
A mulch of leaves...I probably should add more before winter sets in.
And that's done! This is the first time I've ever grown garlic, so I'm really looking forward to watching them grow next spring!
These cheerful little flowers are almost all that are left still blooming in my garden, and they are thriving in the chilly weather. They seem rather insignificant during the summer months, but I really appreciate them now! I almost didn't want to pick any, but then I discovered this tiny vase on the shelf and decided it would be perfect to hold just a few of them. It is from Nicaragua and actually belongs to my sister, but she didn't mind my borrowing it when I gave the flowers to her. :)
You can see what others around the world have found to brighten their Monday here: ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/in-a-vase-on-monday-just-in-case
I have a little notebook where I copy favorite passages from books I've read, poems, verses, famous quotes, etc. I've kept it up for 7 years now, so it has become a rather varied collection, but of course, many of them have to do with flowers and gardens! My last rose of summer is "The Fairy". I cut it and brought it inside after taking these pictures, because I was afraid it would freeze overnight. There are still some buds on the bush, but I doubt they will have time to open now. I suppose almost everyone is familiar with this beautiful poem by Thomas Moore...
'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.
I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love's shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?
And then there is Ebenezer Elliott's "On a Rose in December"...
Stay yet, pale flower, though coming storms will tear thee,
My soul grows darker, and I cannot spare thee.
I managed to find a few flowers for a vase this week, despite more frosty mornings. I love these brave little flowers that seem to hold on as long as they can!
In my garden, Sweet William blooms late June through most of July, but this year some of my plants have surprised me with a few late flowers!
Mountain Bluet was a gift from our neighbor. It blooms almost nonstop all summer and into the fall. The second picture was taken last November!
Lavender seed heads...
The chives have a few flowers right now...
The last nicotiana flowers. Th plants still look healthy despite the frosts, but the flowers are gone now.
The heartsease is thriving!
And that's my vase for this week! I'm looking forward to seeing what others made at: ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/in-a-vase-on-monday-art-nouveau/
Now that we are coming to the end of the gardening season here, I've been having fun going through pictures, and thought I would share some of them here! It's been a great year, although I didn't accomplish as much in the garden as I'd hoped. Nothing looks impossible when springtime comes if you've been buried under as much snow as we were this past winter, so I just bit off more than I could chew! Looking back through these pictures I can hardly believe how much snow we had!
My greenhouse surrounded by snow drifts!
This is the trail where I run...
A frosty morning in February...
But gardeners are always hopeful (or try to be)!
Spring came at last!
The first seedlings!
The first really warm day...but also the day our well-house flooded!
Inside the greenhouse the same day...
Wait! What happened?!
Such brave and cheerful little flowers!
Spring finally arrives in earnest...
A trip to Quebec...
A trip to NYBG...
Whew! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this post! I guess it's been a busy year! and it isn't finished yet...I still have most of the garden to clean up, and bulbs to plant before the snow starts flying again. But anyhow, there's my year in the garden! :)
I prepared this bouquet a few weeks ago, but it didn't turn out as well as I hoped, so it got tucked away in drafts, but I have decided to post it today since it does give me an opportunity to show some of my favorite herbs (and flowers that for some reason I associate with herbs), and because I didn't have time to prepare anything for this week, out of what little is left in the garden at the moment! I will try to be more creative next week. :)
White Horehound...I love the fuzzy, silvery leaves! When my plants are more established, I will use it to make cough drops.
Some oregano seedheads.
Comfrey...an indestructable plant! It is beautiful, but it quickly grows to massive proportions.
The only Echinacea flower I had left...a groundhog has been raiding my poor flowers!
Lemon balm...the leaves are looking a little worn this late in the season, but it still smells delicious and is one of my favorite herbs!
Valerian, or garden heliotrope. It always makes me think of Tasha Tudor, who said it was "a fine old herb". I heartily agree!
Lavender...I have one plant which I plantedfor my mother 5 years ago. This is the first year it has bloomed...our winters are just too cold.
Heartsease, or Johnny-Jump-Ups...the flowers look like they have faces (to me anyway!). I think the flower that is tilted sideways in this picture is so cute!
Have a great week! You can see what other gardeners have found this week atramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/in-a-vase-on-monday-a-degree-of-ambivalence
Some before and after pictures since we have had a few light frosts lately and then a freeze last night. Most of the flowers survived the first frosts, being close to the house, but last night's 28F did quite a bit of damage. However, I was happy to see this afternoon that some of the nicotiana and even the petunias have mostly recovered! Still, it doesn't look so nice anymore.
This was taken the day before our first frost:
From the other side...I've been planting out some more foxgloves, sweet william, and valerian, as you might guess from the bucket and shovel laying in the grass!
Front view of a very messy garden. Sorry about the rather crooked arbor...you can really tell which direction the wind has been blowing from lately!
I am so happy about these little heartsease and evening dame's rocket seedlings that have been showing up lately!
Hyacinth beans on the arbor...
Only one plant climbed to the top of my Monticello-inspired arbor this year. I might try "Barnside Sweet" runner beans here next year.
Some close-ups from the day before the frost...
The frost was quite beautiful on the White Horehound!
More frosty scenes...
I hope to take advantage of the nice weather this week to do some cleaning up, especially in the vegetable garden. After another battle with cucumber beetles this summer, I promised myself I wouldn't be so lazy this fall. (According to what I've read, tilling up the soil in the fall exposes their eggs to the elements and kills them). And of course there will be bulbs to plant (when they arrive), and manure to spread!
I will still be posting here even after my garden is done for the winter...there is so much to plan and look forward to for next year!
You can see what others around the world are seeing in their gardens here: wordsandherbs.com/2017/10/04/the-real-tuesday-view-3rd-and-4th-october-2017
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading. I also blog for Heirloom Gardener.