The Growing Season is Over

trees in our backyard

     We had our first hard freeze about two weeks ago, a little earlier than normal.We usually don't get the first hard freeze until November.  We had peak color on the trees here this week.  Now suddenly the leaves are falling in abundance.  Here is what the yard and gardens look like now.

One of several maple trees in the yard, this one is in the front yard.

This is the only cherry tree in the yard that still has leaves.

The dogwood trees in the back yard add a bright note with their red berries.

I am still cleaning out all the annuals in the side yard garden that died in the hard freeze. The zinnias and vinca are pulled, but the marigolds and lantana  are still there waiting to be taken out.

In the back yard garden the hardy begonias are dying back.

I still have pansies blooming in the back yard garden.

There is a protected petunia that is still blooming in the back yard garden also.

The standard impatiens that are in a protected corner of the deck made it through the hard freeze.

The miniature rose bush my husband gave me on valentine's day that I planted in the back yard garden is still blooming.
     I won't be posting as much in the next few months as we are beginning to move to our old house we lived in for many years before being transferred out of state.  We will be doing renovations so we probably won't be in until mid-December.  It was such a coincidence that our old house, that we built many years ago, came on the market as we were looking for a smaller house and yard than the one we moved into after getting back here three years ago.  It was meant to be. Happy Halloween!   

Fall Happenings

back yard garden

     The leaves on the trees are just starting to turn here.  We have twelve hours of daylight now, and night temps are in the low 50's.  The back yard garden is so lush and full now with the fall plants flowering.  I know in six weeks it will all be gone.  Here are photos of  what is blooming in the back yard garden.

Japanese anemones

hardy begonias

raspberry lemonade zinnias


I bought some pansies to put in bare spots now that we have cooler weather.

I replaced some tired plants in my deck railing pot with ornamental peppers.

I also added pansies in another deck railing pot.

In the side yard garden, the goldenrod fireworks bush is in full bloom.

The bees were all over the goldenrod bush.

Out in the back yard the black walnut tree has been dropping its walnuts encased in green balls for about a month now.
The squirrels have been busy cracking the walnuts open revealing their black interior.

Most of the follicles on the milkweed plants have split open.

The wind has been carrying the seeds with their white, silky filament hairs all over the yard, making the yard look like it has cotton balls spread all over it.

The only thing I have seen on the plants are milkweed beetles.  There was not a single monarch caterpillar on these plants, their most preferred food.
     We will be moving in about a month to a smaller house and yard on the other end of town.  We have been looking for something smaller several months, and it is such a coincidence that our old house which we built and lived in for years came on the market.  We quickly bought it.  The yard and gardens have not been kept in good shape, so I have my work cut out for me.  It is always exciting putting in new gardens!

August Blooms


black-eyed Susans
     I started this blog post two weeks ago, and so many family obligations interrupted me.  It is almost September and time for fall blooming flowers.  These black-eyed Susans are in my side yard garden which has several perennials and annuals in bloom.  Here are photos of several more flowers blooming in the side garden.

The cone flowers are starting to fade now. I put some fencing around them with netting over the top while they were growing because the deer took a liking to them.  But once they flowered the deer seemed to leave them alone

The zinnias are finally full of blooms.  I really don't like the varieties I planted this year.  They are not strong bloomers and the colors aren't as varied.

For the first time in years I planted dwarf sunflowers.  They did not do well.  Only a few grew, and even though I fenced and netted them for a while, the deer finally got to them.

This is the first time I planted strawberry lemonade zinnias.  They did not turn out as colorful as I thought they would.

This is one of my latest blooming hostas in a dark corner of the back yard.

This miniature rose bush my husband gave me on Valentines Day continues to grow and bloom, and I have not done a thing to it.  It seems very hardy.

These petunias  in the back yard garden are just starting to fade and die back a little.

     So many seeds I planted did not seem to do well this year.  I don't know whether it was the cool spells we had in May and June, or the seeds themselves.  For the first time this year I planted gomphrena from seed, and not one of them came up. Seems I've had a lot of gardening disappointments this summer.  But I am looking forward to all the fall perennials that will be blooming soon.

Midsummer Blooms

Shasta daisies

     So much blooming is taking place in the garden.  I took most of these photos before we went on vacation ten days ago.  Some of the blooms are fading now.  The photo to the right shows the daisies that line the front of what I call the electric garden that hide the electric box in the yard.

     Here's what else was in bloom ten days ago.

The milkweed surrounding the electric garden is full of bees.

I noticed that the balloon flowers in the side yard garden had finished their blooming when we returned . 

The glossy abelia bush in the side garden is growing and blooming nicely.

The butterfly bush has shot up dramatically from last year even after pruning.

The wonderful scent of the asiatic lilies perfumed the backyard garden.  Now there are only about three lilies left.

The hosta plants in the backyard garden were in full bloom when we left and are now about done. 

The miniature rosebush in the backyard garden is putting out more blooms.

     There is more blooming in the backyard and side gardens.  But that will have to wait for the next post.

Time Flies!

Brunnera and grape hyacinths in the backyard garden.

     Where did spring go with its grape hyacinths, brunnera, and flowering dogwood trees?  It has been so busy in our household for the past six weeks, that I haven't had time to blog, much less appreciate what was happening in the garden.

     The flowers on so many plants and bushes have come and gone.  I would notice and quickly photograph each blooming, and then all would promptly be forgotten in the swirl of activity in the household. 

The Japanese iris blooms swiftly came and went.

As did the blossoms on the sweet woodruff.

And on the rhododendron bush.

          The following photos show what is blooming now in the yard.

Pink astilbe

Midnight salvia



Oriental fountain grass Karley Rose

          I've had some deer damage in the side yard garden on plants the deer did not touch last year and on seedlings that I planted a few weeks ago that had just pushed through the soil.  There are several other plants that are just about ready to bloom that will be in my next post. We had an unusually cool first week of June here, with one day not getting above 58 degrees.  We were tempted to turn the heat on one night when it was in the high 40's.  And this past week has been 90 or above almost every day.  It's fine with me if it stays hot from now on after the bitter and prolonged winter we had.