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We are beating the odds here this year, reaching mid-October with no hard frost yet!  My gardens are still filled with flowers, some looking fresh as new, while others look a bit world-weary.

I cleaned the spent beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers out of the vegetable garden over the weekend, but left the flowers.  Here is Burpee’s ‘Best Marigold Mix’:015Zinnias ‘Fruit Smoothie’:016I need to plant my zinnias earlier next year, and then pick the flowers frequently so the plants will develop more branches and blooms!  The first week of July is not early enough here in the Northeast!

This is the only salmon colored one of the bunch.  I wish there were more!012Cleome ‘Violet Queen’ and the multi-branched sunflower, both self-seeded:013I like that I can see the sunflower out the windows when I sit at the dining room table!  Did you spot my line of ripening tomatoes inside the windows?

This is Zinnia ‘Old Mexico’, one of only two in the vegetable garden.  It’s a short plant, about a foot tall, and the flower is an inch and a half wide.  I tried these as an alternative to ‘Zowie’ this year; they germinated poorly, though, and were a disappointment:018

Up the hill, the only thing blooming in the lasagna garden is the bright pink Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage), which has flowered continuously since I planted it here in June.  I took some cuttings of this plant over three weeks ago, but there’s no sign of roots yet.  104

On to the rock garden, which with its bronzed ferns and deep maroon Sedum, seems the very definition of autumn.106Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’:107Dendrathema x rubellum ‘Sheffield Pink’, the latest blooming flower in my gardens:050This Sheffield Daisy, which opened its first flower just a week ago, seems a very hardy chrysanthemum/dendrathema, bouncing back well after the very cold, long winter we had last year. It needs a better spot, though, than this too-crowded end of the rock garden.

This bright yellow chrysanthemum is the only other mum that has reliably wintered over in the ground for me:  034

The roses in the rock garden are enjoying a modest resurgence.  Hybrid tea ‘Sedona’, transplanted here last fall, is set to open its first flower:053

Like the Sheffield Daisy, ‘Sedona’ suffers from the crowded conditions here in the rock garden.  It deserves more space and less competition!  I must be ruthless in tearing things out of there next year, but what, and where will it go?

Rosa ‘Alba Meidiland’ has dropped most of its lower leaves, but still blooms prolifically:046As does this unnamed pink cluster rose:037Finally, a touch of spring in fall, with this Dianthus showing off some hot pink blooms:033

Moving away from the rock garden now, here are the wax begonias and Sweet Alyssum underneath the rhododendron.  The begonias still look pretty good, but some of the alyssum has dried out:069The morning-glory vines that twined their way through the rhododendron stopped producing flowers in late September.

In the blue and yellow bed next to the side porch, Aster ‘Peter III’ is in full bloom and has flopped down under its own weight.  I’ll try to remember to give it a little support next year:039

I’m happy with this combination of blue Salvia, yellow marigolds, and light purple aster:043

The mums and asters I put in the containers on the side porch have opened up and create a lovely fall tableau: 060063I wasn’t overly impressed with this Bacopa for most of the summer; it seemed to undergo lengthy periods with no flowers. I recently read that it comes from a family of aquatic plants and may stop blooming if allowed to get too dry, taking two to three weeks to re-flower. It’s been blooming to beat the band now since mid-September, and I probably will use it again after all:064

Inside the house, the first of my “Christmas” cactuses is blooming:001006

Back out the front door we go, where Zinnia ‘Zahara Fire’ is starting to peter out a bit, with smaller, less vibrant flowers, but the African Daisy and wax begonias are still going strong:099Here’s a tiny heather, planted on a whim last fall, and the only one of three to survive the winter, hiding under some Dusty Miller foliage:101Most of the Cosmos ‘Pink Sensation’ at the corner of the garage have gone to seed and dried up; just one plant remains:072

The same Cosmos in the Terrace Garden are still green and filled with buds, but it appears that something has tramped upon them and mowed them over.  It could have been deer, or perhaps even the flock of turkeys I’ve seen traverse across the yard:076Look at all of these buds!077The bumblebees love the Cosmos!  There were dozens of them buzzing around!008I’m sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to show you two on one flower.

Another kind of bee preferred the Cleome in Dogwood Corner:

015 (2)098While the marigolds, in this case “Hero Yellow’ attracted a late season butterfly:084(The bee and butterfly pictures were taken two days before the rest of the bloom day photos, on a sunny afternoon!)

Marigolds ‘Bonanza Orange and Yellow’ and ‘Inca Orange’ are still full and lush, and just right for fall:078080One last look at Dogwood Corner, highlighting Salvia ‘Evolution’:097Soon, perhaps Sunday night, we will have a cold enough night to kill most of these beautiful flowers.  I’m happy, though, to have had such a long, mostly successful season with them, and have already set my sights on changes and improvements for next year!  047Thanks to Carol, writer of May Dreams Gardens, for hosting this regular garden party allowing gardeners to show off all that is blooming in their gardens on the fifteenth of each month.  It’s a great way to learn about the differences and similarities among gardens all over the world, as well as to make some new friends.  I highly recommend clicking the link and paying her blog a visit!108