View of the deck from inside

The deck gets a few planters each year, but most of the beauty that is visible late in the season is courtesy of the plants that grow up around the deck.

Here's what I see from the living room windows at this time of year.


Wet Sticks

The other morning was a wet one, and the Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' really caught my eye.

Looked even better through the vintage macro lens!


Cardinal Climber

Annual flowering vines are one of the key components of my garden, even though they really only get going late in the season. Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea sloteri) may be the slowest of the annual vines I grow, flowering not before mid-September for me...

...but it's such a beauty I must grow it every year!


Blending in?

This Green stinkbug nymph is trying to blend in with the red foliage of Hibiscus 'Mahogony Splendor'.

Not sure if he's pulling it off.


Beautiful Monster

You know I like big plants, right? Castor bean, bamboo, Colocasia and Alocasia -- those big ones fit the size of my yard quite nicely. This year I've discovered a new big one, and it was a surprise for two reasons. First, it got much bigger than the tag indicated.

Second, it has the most amazing color! It's my beautiful monster, Hibiscus 'Mahogony Splendor'.



In the previous post I mentioned how I rely on big annuals and tropicals for impact in my garden, and it's only in late summer/early autumn when those plants really start shining. For me castor bean (Ricinus communis) is one of these late-season stars, and this year I tried a new cultivar.

I don't know exactly the name of this variety, as it was tagged with just a "22" at Greenscape Gardens. It looked a lot like 'Zanzibar' to me, the type with the huge green leaves that I had seen at Missouri Botanical Garden a few years back, so I took a chance.


Walkway garden, late summer

It's here, my favorite time of year! Temperatures drop (a little), every day brings breezes (usually), it's sunny and dry almost every day, and most importantly all of the plants in my garden have reached full size. Sure, spring gardens are nice, but when you rely on big annuals or tropicals for impact it's the end of the season where things really shine.

So I'll be showing you around the garden before autumn hits, starting today with the walkway garden in front.


Mailbox Spiders

I've been so busy lately, it's been difficult to even get out into the garden, let alone post about it. Once in a while though something appears to me, visible from the office window, and I need to react.

That was the case a week ago when the early evening sunlight highlighted this mailbox web for me.


Pickle Springs Natural Area

A few weekends back we were having some decent temperatures, cooler than normal and breezy, so we decided to take a hike. Technically a drive followed by a hike. One of the regular customers at the pie shop had told us earlier in the week about this place, and after seeing her photos we just had to visit!

It's Pickle Springs Natural Area, and was a little over an hour from our house. There is no water access here, no river, no camping, although there may have been a picnic table or two next to the small parking area -- if you don't want to hike, you've come to the wrong place!


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