We had a very light frost in late September, which killed leaves on a few of the cucumber plants, and nothing else in my yard.
A few plants in bloom in the first week of October included asters, of course (which were in bloom all month) …
Persicaria ‘Painter’s Palette’ in the back border, with its stems of tiny red flowers:
Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Little Zebra’) and comfrey in the sunroom border:
White snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’) and turtlehead (Chelone ) in the rock wall area:
Calendula (an annual) in the front garden:
And a white toadlily (Tricyrtis) and ‘Summer Pastel’ yarrow in the fruit guild:
During the first nine days of October, one or two very light frosts (lows around 40F) browned a few of the most sensitive plants’ leaves (hosta, sensitive fern) but left annuals and most perennials alone:
These perennials were holding their own, looking rather stylish:
That first week or so was the last time the nasturtiums, Mexican sunflowers, zinnias, and balsam camellias (from a butterfly mix) really looked good:
Even the oleander aphids on the milkweed made it into mid-October! They were late this year and I let them be.
Between the 10th and 19th, lows hit 30F on several nights, which took out some annuals —
— and some perennials —
— but most annuals were spared —
— even another Mexican sunflower in the same patch as the wilted one, above:
And arugula popped up in the veggie garden:
The ‘Purple Emperor’ echinacea given to us this year by a co-worker even re-bloomed:
As did the lance-leaf coreopsis (part of the butterfly seed mix), in the fruit guild, which was also blooming at the end of June this year:
And a new weed, honeywort, planted itself in a few spots in the front garden; note the bumpy leaves:
Also in the front yard, the perennial white mum, and the ‘Rozanne’ geranium and ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, were shining:
On the side yard, I liked the look of the spent bee balm and elderberry bushes:
Meanwhile, the blooms on this hydrangea along the back border went through white, cream, pink, brown stages; for the first time, I noticed that the undersides of the bloom heads stay pale even when the top sides are deep pink:
In the fruit guild, the purple sand cherry played well with the anise hyssop and the black-eyed Susans from the butterfly mix:
And one of the winterberries (‘Red Sprite,’ the female) got into the Christmas spirit a little early:
Time marches on, and from the 24th to the 27th, lows dipped to 29F, 27F, and 23F, which crisped or liquefied most of the perennials and most of the annuals (except the herbs: parsley, sage, and thyme).
This Clear Day orange gazania, and a few of its ilk, was frost-wilted but somehow still looks great on 2 November:
On the 25th, we had a few hours of snow and sleet, which didn’t stick to the ground.
And on November 1, we were down to 22F, our lowest so far this season.
Most of the garden is brownish now, much of it flopped over itself, some of it disappearing back into the earth already.
The asters are just about finished blooming but were still attracting bees and other pollinators late into October.
I can’t believe the snapdragons are still blooming, in early November!
And the ‘Summer Pastels’ yarrow:
As always, the insects, birds (both photos taken from inside), and other animals merit attention:
(no, you can’t see the moles here — though we have found a couple of young ones dead in the yard, probably the work of roaming neighbourhood cats — but these mounds of dirt in the lawn are evidence of their existence underneath)
(This fox might have caught a mole, or a mouse; it seems to have something in its mouth.)
Finally, a few fall foliage pics to end the changeable month. Happy November!
In the front yard:
We also have two euonymus bushes in the front yard, one on each side border, roughly; I know they’re invasive but they’re huge and they’d not going anywhere soon. I do remove seedlings that I (infrequently) find around the property. Autumn is their ‘burning bush’ moment to flame:
The tulip poplar tree and the euonymus make an ideal autumn pair, and below, you can see the difference a week (and a nice, misty morning) makes in the colour:
In the side yard, another invasive, the Norway maple, glows:
The fruit guild’s got it going on, too, with winsome yellow peach leaves scattered near and far (the black bushes are baptisia I haven’t cut back yet):
Nearby, the shed provides contrast for more fall foliage:
And the various penstemons (this one is ‘Dark Towers’) burn red this time of year:
A large aster leaf and some red oak leaves by the back door:
Grasses in fall and winter are necessary:
Even the Virginia creeper, which I pull out a few times each season, was welcome along the rock wall:
And the asters bloom on …