Some color lingers

We had another freeze the other night, but amazingly some flowers have survived, and the autumn colors are lingering, giving me a little final taste of what the garden was this year.


Soon I may need to refer to this blog as "browns and bamboo", but for now there are still some other colors.

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I can't believe this Rudbeckia triloba. It's sitting there looking fresh and untouched by the freezes, as if it's the beginning of September instead of mid-November.


Obviously it was a plant that got started late this year, and I know that triloba is native and quite hardy, but this is still unexpected.

Even more unexpected is this Salvia:


How it escaped the freezes and didn't turn blackish like all of the others in my yard is a bit of a mystery. The only thing I can think of is the radiant warmth of the driveway protected it, as it is just a few inches above it.

Some of the Japanese maples are still putting on a show, as their leaves seem to be taking a long time to drop (which is fine by me):




Even the remaining ninebark leaves are looking quite vibrant with the sun shining through them:


The Sago Palm that I keep forgetting to move when a freeze is imminent is still fine, and has great texture:


(It also has painfully sharp tips on its leaves, so I don't enjoy bringing it into the house.)

The stems of Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) are a bright red color which doesn't show as well in the photo as it does in the garden:


Speaking of red, I don't remember these rose hips being so vibrant last year:


They're like lovely, tiny apples! (Except on a plant with deadly-sharp thorns that have grabbed me a few times in recent days, never noticing my heavy work jeans and embedding themselves deep in my thigh.)


Not all of the color is provided by flowers and bold leaves either. Sometimes the impact only becomes apparent when you take a step back and let the plants work together:


The colors and textures combine to create what is one of my favorite views in the garden right  now.


Finally, the last Ratibida flower, saved from the freezes by a covering of grasses:


It's not looking perfect, but it's in decent shape, especially compared to all of the others which are just petal-less seed heads.

I'm grateful that I can still enjoy these colors for a little while -- a couple of weeks at most. Then they will exist only in memories and my collection of photos... and in the archives of this blog of course.

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