As the forecast temperature tonight is 29ºF (-1ºC), our first freeze should take care of any remaining blooms in my garden. I've been taking a few photos over the last week or so (in between pond digging sessions) and it seems like an appropriate time to share them.
I'm starting with the scarlet sage - Salvia coccinea. It's an annual here, but it's a permanent part of my garden now. It grows pretty much everywhere, right up until the first hard freeze takes it out.
Hopefully that's not tonight, but we'll see. Like the Salvia leucantha I write about every fall, this salvia starts out with some great fuzziness too:
Unlike the leucantha though, it becomes less fuzzy after the bloom opens. This plant always gives the hummingbirds and late-season butterflies something to eat. It's also the plant that most often rewards me with frost flowers when it gets really cold.
Another salvia that's still going strong is Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing':
I've got a couple of these perennial salvias, and my main plant is now being shaded too much so didn't get as large as it did a few years ago. It's a really vibrant hot pink color, which makes it a bit difficult to fit into the garden. I've put it in about the worst place possible, as it's got a red climbing rose next to it, and these orange chrysanthemums:
The pink and orange is not a nice combination. The plant is so nice when in full bloom though, and the hummers love it, so I'm going to have to figure out where to put it.
Something I can't figure out is why the echinacea has flowered again so late:
It's just a single bloom, but I never see these flowers so late in the year. Strange, but welcome.
The Rudbeckia triloba (often called "Brown-eyed Susan") has mostly gone to seed, but there are a few stragglers that are keeping the cheery yellow blooms going:
This is probably the plant I'm least in danger of having die out in my yard. I saw a plant growing at the edge of a road several years ago, collected some seed, and now have dozens of these growing everywhere. I usually pull out dozens of young plants each spring when I do the bulk of my bed cleanup too. I love these flowers though!
Now a couple of non-bloom photos for contrast, and because I don't want these photos to be forgotten and unshared.
In the autumn, the colorful leaves of deciduous trees are often as beautiful as any flowers, and the bald cypress is no exception in my opinion:
It was just starting to orange up in that photo, but still lovely.
This next photo is included only because of the rareness of it. This side of the bamboo planting is always in full shade, as there's really no way for sunlight to get here. It seems though that at the right time of year, when certain trees have lost their leaves, a sunbeam reaches this spot.
It lasted for just a few minutes and I was lucky to capture it. (Right place at the right time!)
Actually, I guess I'd have to say that I'm lucky to be able to capture any of these photos during early November. It's the time of year when a freeze can happen at any time, and that will mean an end to the color (except for browns) in my garden for the next few months.
Note: it's morning now, and it doesn't seem to have gotten as cold as they predicted. It possibly reached 32ºF (0ºC) but I think many of the blooms should still be around. I'll know more once it gets light outside.