Thursday, October 30, 2008

Maple Tree Ablaze

Our backyard maple tree was ablaze last week. Leaves are falling like rain this week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christmas Cactus in Bloom for Halloween

A sign of an early winter? All of my Christmas Cactus plants are blooming right now. I don't usually see that until the middle of next month.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back Patio

My back patio with scattered leaves. My friend cleaned it all up the other day and it looks so inviting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Black-eye Susans Gone to Seed

The glorious black-eyed Susans are done flowering. Now, I'll leave the seedheads for the birds. Oregon juncos are already feasting.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

River Birch Losing its Leaves

A river birch that we planted a few years ago. We're happy with this tree. It's a double-trunk version, people usually get a three-trunk. It's thriving. When we fade into our colorless winter, I'll get a close-up of the bark - which has shades of purple on it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Late Season Lavender

A couple of fresh lavender blossoms late in the season. This is my favorite lavender plant. The blossoms have a lilac note to temper the sometimes-stringent lavender. This is a Munstead variety.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dead Tomato Plants

My dead tomato plants. They wilted earlier this month during the first hard frost. Some people tear them down at this point. They are more ambitious than I. I like to say I leave them up so the birds have something to snack on all winter.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What is It?

Bees and bees' knees. A glass-sided honey bee hive. It may be autumn, but they're still busy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another Hardy Rose

A rosebud lurking in a mostly dormant rose bush that faces East.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Lingering Yellow Mini Rose

This is a mini yellow rose, one of just a few lingering into the end of the growing season. This one looked like it was glowing the other night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Peony Leaves

These are peony leaves with a little autumn color. Notice their notched edges. They really get chomped during the summer after they bloom.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Call for Mini Roses

The color of these mini roses always intensifies with the cold weather and first few frosts. Other flowers lose their color with the first blast of cold.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leaf Compost

It kind of looks like a bale of hay, but this is leaf compost. The gray-brown leaf matter at the bottom will be a prize for someone's garden beds. I hope they can tip this whole thing over to get to the good stuff.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Funny-Looking Lupine

This late-season lupine makes me laugh. I don't know what it's doing with that bunch of leaves sprouting from the top of the flower.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coreopsis is also Frost-Hardy

A bright spot in my mostly frost-killed garden beds. This is a coreopsis - sometimes called tickseed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Frost-Killed Zinnia

A bright zinnia lost its color with the frost. I leave these skeletons of summer up for the winter for birds to enjoy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oregano Gone to Seed

An oregano plant gone to seed. Oregano is wonderful as a decorative, low-growing plant. It comes back year after year. I do clip some leaves for cooking, but mostly, it's for the bees - as you can see in this earlier post.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Italian Parsley Doesn't Mind a Little Cold

Frost has killed most tenders in the garden beds...except the Italian parsley. I planted a row three years ago. Some of the plants come back, and it also seeds freely.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Frost Reveals a Giant

The frost killed my zucchini plant and revealed this giant. I had no idea it was there.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Harvest

Well, this is our pathetic pumpkin harvest. I had so many seedlings, and so many squash bugs. We have a green "volunteer" pumpkin, one that was supposed to be a giant, and one Cinderella pumpkin. Say "hi" to Sweetie. She was very interested in the harvest.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Frosty Grass

Some years, we've been able to enjoy tomatoes until the end of October because the frosts were light. Not the case this year. We had a hard, killing frost just a couple of days past average "frost date."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

First Oregon Junco of the Season

This isn't just a picture of black-eyed Susans gone to seed. That fuzzy blob is an Oregon Junco. I was just wondering this week where they were. They'll spend the winter here. I don't remember them eating these seeds before. Mostly, pine siskins will feast on these...if they come. They don't always winter here. They're not predictable. Update: hard frost last night, I'm glad I picked as many tomatoes as I could. Forecast includes a chance of snow tonight!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Geranium

Most things in the garden are slowly dying, or getting ready to sleep for the winter. Our cooler weather has made the geraniums happy. They won't survive the winter unless I bring them inside. I may bring this one in, and I have another ancient one that never blooms that I'll shelter for the cold season.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bee Balm Gone to Seed

This is a seed head from a bee balm plant. Bee balm is a favorite of bees and other pollinators, as well as black-chinned hummingbirds.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Virginia Creeper

The Virginia creeper is starting to turn. In many locations, I've seen it bright red already.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wet Yellow Rose

We've had about half an inch of rain today, with some pretty hard downpours. One woman told me there was an inch of rain that flowed into her garage. This is a yellow rose bush on the northeast corner of the house.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Garden Mums

These cute little mums are in one of my planters, they come back year after year.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Second Crop of Lupine

A second crop of lupine. I don't remember getting two rounds of blooming last year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monkshood or Wolfbane

The monkshood is blooming. I have it planted along with delphiniums. They look similar, but bloom at different times. The flower spikes are about 6 feet high.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Velvety Wisteria Beans

This is the first year I've seen such a large crop of wisteria beans. I know you can grow the plant from the seed, but it's much easier to take a cutting. My daughter and her friend have enjoyed collecting these pods, they really do feel like velvet.