First snow!

One month before Christmas and we got our first snow of the year. Beautiful, but like most first snows, it promises to melt quickly. We moved the pansies up on the front porch and they have thrived through three nights of twenty degrees or below temperatures. You've got to admire their pluck!

Still in bloom. . .November 19!

My husband took a walk through the garden last night and came back to report that there were still seven different flowers blooming in the garden. So this morning, November 19, I took my camera and recorded them. I even found a bonus - a very late (or very early?) Bachelor Button hiding among the grasses (above).

So here's our late November tour of the garden...probably the last blooms you'll see here until spring since the forecast calls for low temps in the 20s later this week.
[You may have to click on some of these to see the blossoms, but they're there!]

Right, a variety of Verbena (I forget it's name right now) mingling with the Sedum.

Winterperry Blue Veronica Speedwell has tiny, pretty little lavender flowers.

The False Sunflowers just don't quit! I much prefer them to the Black-eyed Susans, too.

Alyssum. This little patch bloomed all summer. I think these seeds must have been in some of the extra packets we threw in the wildflower mix.

Fleabane, just barely still in bloom, but there are enough little flowers to make it count.

The Carefree Delight Roses have bloomed almost continuously from spring until now.

"Volunteer" Dahlberg Daisies are still going strong in the pavers on the patio.

And we didn't count the five or six pots that still have a few blooms left. What an incredible autumn it's been!

Planting a Secret Garden

We started our own little "secret garden" this fall, making a border along the side of the garden shed with the leftover rocks from Grandpa's pasture, and planting the sprigs of English ivy from the summer flowerpots amongst the rocks. We'd love for ivy to eventually cover the side of the shed...maybe even train it into an arch over the stone walkway in this narrow alley between shed and house. In the spring we'll look for some shade-loving plants to add to our secret garden. We also moved the Moonlight Broom to the corner of the shed. It was in danger of being gobbled up by the Blue Dune monster.

Our "three cats in the yard" love it when we are outside at work on a project. They follow us from garage to yard to shed to porch like so many shadows. Here, Sundae, the one kitten we kept (of the nine!), helps Ken water in the rocks, and explores Rock Hill Garden, where the sedums are still thriving in spite of several frosty nights. We installed a pet door in the garage so the cats can come and go as they please this winter. Wish we'd thought of that two years ago!

Veterans' Day 2007

Today we honor our veterans and thank them for their service and their sacrifice for our country. And what a beautiful day it was. Bittersweet, because autumn can't possibly last much longer, but breathtakingly beautiful in its last days. This is the view across the street. If you look between houses, you can see the prairie meadow across the way.

Pumpkins, pansies, petunias and purple kale

After two nights of freezing temps and a sunny November afternoon spent putting the garden to bed for the winter, things were looking rather dreary around here. A quick trip to Stone Creek Nursery this morning changed that: nothing like pumpkins and pansies and petunias and purple kale to cheer things up. (And everything was on sale this late in the season!) I know I'll have to bid adieu to all the flowers soon, but I'm determined to make the summer color last as long as it can.

Bringing the garden inside for the winter

The first of November, and we had our first freeze last night. I spent yesterday bringing in the pots I want to try to baby through the winter. It looks bare and drab outside, but oh, what a colorful garden we have in the corner of our kitchen. The coleus look like they were cultivated specially to go with my decor. One nice thing about that first freeze: it gives us a great excuse to light the first cozy fire of the season.