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Slurping October Down

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

This time of year, the middle of October, is the exact correlate to when everything blooms and the leaves pop out in late April. It's suddenly all too beautiful and you can't possibly take it all in. But you try.

I love October so much. 

I'm doing this post for Phoebe, as much as for anyone. I miss that girl like I miss the moon when it's cloudy for weeks. I miss her like I miss  the scent of tuberoses in February. And I know she misses this place, but oh! she's having such fun in Panama, learning how to sweat around the clock while

studying abroad, watching birds,  making great new friends in the 15 other girls in the program; learning about forests and agriculture, loving on sloths,  

and sharpening her Spanish to a fine point. Anyway, I figure she and her friends (please bring them all home with you as I want to meet them!)

 would like to see what the place looks like about now. And maybe you would, too. 

Every spring, I come up the deck stairs and say sadly, "Well, it looks like Rio Samba (a rose I planted in 1993) didn't make it through the winter. It's dead."

And Phoebe says, "You say that every year!" Well, I am here to inform her that it has died. Again.

It looks good, I know, but it's dead. Just like I predicted. And that bud coming? Just a final salvo. It's a lot less dead than it was last summer, but it's definitely dead.

The morning glories are FINALLY blooming. I've been hearing from lots of quarters that morning glories waited all summer long, waited into October, to bloom. Whaa? And now, just in time for a balmy week, they are going nuts.

This was my first view this morning.  The low last night was 68, so the ones that opened yesterday morning never closed. And there they were smiling back at me at first light. Fabulous.

The vines around the back deck are monstrous. 
 They make a great pillar of green, studded with sky-blue saucers.

I managed to catch the elusive Liam on his way to class this morning. He's there for scale.  He's over 6' tall now, so let's see. That's about 2.5 Liams of morning glories. 

And a peek of Rio Samba in the lower left corner. 

Yep, still dead.

The pond garden is bursting with life. See the white pitchers emerging from the corner of the pond? My pitcher plants are happy and now grabbing pollinators. Not sure how I feel about that. They're greedy, exuding a honey scent but offering no nectar, only death by digestive fluids. I check every day and let some of the trapped insects go.  I stick a straw down in there and the grateful insects climb out. Hate to see ctenuchid moths and honeybees struggling in there. Those plants can eat houseflies. 

Sheffield Pink, a super-hardy mum (formerly known by me as Suffolk Pink), which legend has was the first mum brought to America by English colonists, is doing its pre-frost thing. Some jaunty orange calendulas I planted are a nice surprise. The zinnias self-sowed, and I fear I may have to bring some seedlings in the greenhouse. What I'll do when they get big I don't know.

A gift from painter Cindy House, who grows it in New Hampshire, Sheffield Pink is one of my favorites, for the cheery burst of new color it lends to the autumn landscape.

I'm planting bits of it all over the yard, filling bare spots, and now have enough to give some away, too, as some happy Reader Rendezvouers found out. Sheffield. Not Suffolk. I think. It's pink, anyway.

It's been a long time since the back gardens looked so pretty. They make me happy. 

And so do the myrtle warblers pouring through right now. Fall warblers and flowers...that's a good combo for a hungry eye. I'm slurping October down.


I miss northeastern Octobers.

Posted by Gail Spratley October 18, 2016 at 7:58 PM

My 0.3 Liams of Morning Glory also just now bloomed (I'd assumed they were dead)... thought I was an anomaly, so good to hear I have lots of company (but what does it mean?)

I love watching October from my computer, all the blogs and IG photos from my northern friends and people I follow. Our October will arrive sometime in late November...ah, the sub-tropical south! I get teases: red sumacs, goldenrod, a sassafrass or sweetgum opting to turn, but not flush of color until later.

The colors of fall bring me so much joy; almost makes me forget about the winter ahead. Being outside helps to temper the longing for my daughter away as well. Your post reminded me to send her pics this morning too! I love the mums this time of year...drawing so much late season pollinator action. We are all soaking as much up as we can before the cold sets in! We will have to compare my Sheffield pinks to your Suffolk pinks. Wonder if they share the name or are truly different?

Wow, wow, wow! So much lovely color. That very first photo should be framed. Phoebe looks like she is having a great time. Thank goodness for computers and being able to communicate with far away kids. I'm sure she appreciates being able to see what's going on at home.

Absolutely gorgeous! You are one lucky woman to enjoy gardening and have such a lovely garden to show for all your devotion and attention.

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