Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Last Hurrah of 2015

The furnace has been running more and more steadily tonight which means the temperature outside is dropping.  The weathermen have been warning us Wisconsinites that the party is over, the temperatures will be dipping down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit for the next two nights.

I spent the day in a rather bleak mood, half-heartedly wandering around the garden and sighing a lot.  I know what my problem is; I don't like change.  Last weekend our temperatures were in the balmy 80's; today we struggled in the lower 50's.  I liked last weekend a whole bunch more.

Speaking of last weekend, we had the last wedding of the year here for photography on October 9.  The weather was glorious and the wedding party was in high spirits. 

Partying it up on Quarry Hill
The mosquitoes were biting but that didn't dim the enthusiasm of this crowd.

Best wishes to the couple!

I thought this was a very cute idea.
(Thankfully there were no surprise visits from any raccoons this time.)
Adorable, isn't she?

Bridal party photobombing the couple
Looking back on last Friday; was it really a week already?  Sigh.  There I go again, sighing.

Carl's pipe ball makes a great bouquet holder for weddings.
 So here we are, a week later and the flowers are going to freeze tonight.  I should have gone out and dug up plants and hauled things in that I want to save, but instead I grabbed the camera and took one last look.
Fantastic marigolds from seed, called 'Alumia'  I will be planting these beauties again.

'Alumia Vanilla Cream' is a new marigold for me, and I highly recommend it.  I kept them deadheaded and they rewarded me with a continuous display of flowers.  (They are covered up tonight with rugs, I want to see if they can bloom right up until the snow flies.)

Very tired rudbeckia, one of the 'Cappucino' seed series.

The first time I planted nasturtiums some thirty years ago, they were attacked by some sort of caterpillar which completely destroyed the plants.  I wasn't very experienced with gardening and thought, "Well, if that's what happens to nasturtiums in the garden, I'm never planting them again."  This nonsensical idea of mine went on for a good twenty-five years before I tried them one more time.  Now I could kick myself for being silly.  They are truly fantastic bedding plants, trailing happily wherever they are planted.

And of course, the Bubblegums, still popping blooms out at a breakneck pace.  Petunias are known for their cold hardiness, I would be surprised if the frost knocks them down entirely.  I debated covering them all, but then I came to my senses.

Dwarf spruce, 'Mucronata'
Thing One and Thing Two, not much left here but miscanthus and some very tired hostas.

Marigold 'Inca Orange'
I've been planting the 'Inca' series of marigolds for decades now; they are daylight neutral, meaning they don't decline in flower production when the days grow shorter.

Yes, I know marigolds are common, but I will always have them in my gardens.

I bet she could use a coat tonight.

Heading out to the Quarry and beyond:

The miscanthus really lights up this time of year.

Melampodium 'Melanie'

The little melampodium 'Melanie' plants came up from seed this summer.  Another stellar annual.

I hauled  the Dragonwing begonias and King Tut grasses in these pots to the garage.  Not ready to part with them yet.
Echinacea 'Pink Double Delight'
  Ok, if I keep yakking about all the stuff I'm going to miss, this post will go on forever.  It's getting late, so here's a bunch more random shots.

'Tidal Wave' petunias crawling up and down the hill.
Ok, let's see what's happening in the Quarry:

I turned the Girls loose on the gardens again, there's not much they can destroy now and they love looking for bugs.  The slugs don't stand a chance with this crew.

Shocking red, Celosia 'Fresh Look' is always a beacon.

Carl was working on cutting stone for Castle Aaargh while I moped around in the gardens with my camera.  When he put his tools away for the night he was a bit surprised that I hadn't hauled anything into the garage yet.  I told him I just couldn't commit to digging anything out, but I had no excuse for why I hadn't hauled anything in other than procrastination.  Just before dark we went out and tackled that job together.   

All of the driveway pots are stuffed behind, on top of and around our cars.  There's supposed to be a few good days left next week, so I'll drag the flowers out to the very last minute.

Tomorrow morning we'll have to unbury the cars before we can go anywhere.  But it's worth it to have flowers for a little longer, right?

I don't want to feel blue just yet.

Last of the 'Blue Butterfly' delphiniums
 All too soon, the scenery will change from this:

To this:

I need a little more time to adjust.   Balmy days are gone, but I can still remember them fondly.

Ok, let's get a shovel and start digging those cannas out...........


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Beautiful as always dear Karen. I would feel 'blue' too and procrastinate with putting away summer as winter comes rolling in. (I am a big time procrastinator.)

I think my favorite photo was the one with the shed behind the white plumed grasses, with the iron piece. Something about it nabbed me.

Love & hugs to you and Carl ~ FlowerLady

Pamela Gordon said...

Hi Karen, I'm with you in not being ready to see the end of summer. We had a frost last night - probably the heaviest yet, and our temperatures are cooling for the weekend. I love nasturtiums and have planted a few the past 3 summers. They love blooming in the fall it seems. You have a wonderful spot for wedding photos and I think it's wonderful that you open your beautiful gardens for them. I have to admit the winter photo of the garden is very beautiful. I love snow for a month or two but then it can be gone, which does not happen here. Our fall colours are glorious right now but will soon be gone. Take care.

Alison said...

So sorry you have a frost in the forecast. Normally we would have one at least in the long-range forecast, but so far there's no sign of it. Such strange weather. I have plenty of rather common annuals here too, I love them for brightening up the beds. I'm glad you tried Nasturtiums again, they're one of my favorites.

PlantPostings said...

Gosh, you were busy yesterday--gardening, photographing, and posting! That takes a sizable amount of time! I hope you got some sleep! I'm still in shock that we didn't get any frost--especially since we were forecasted to have a freeze! It was supposed to get down to 26, but I don't think we got below 34. Everything looks pretty much like it did yesterday, except that it's declining and wind-blown. It would be fun to have Zinnias, Cosmos, Marigolds, and Lantanas for another week. But if it's time, it's time. Those wedding photos are priceless! What a great setting!

El Gaucho said...

Karen - Such lovely photos, thank you so much for sharing them. It seems like we've had such a nice late warm Fall, but we finally got a hard frost the past couple nights. The marigolds and petunias will still be fine for another couple of weeks, but there's always a sense of melancholy when you have to prepare for the snow. Sigh...

Karen said...

Rainey, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a procrastination inclination. It's very hard to say goodbye to summer this year for some reason. We're hard at work with the cleanup now. :-(

Pam, thank you! I wish fall colors would linger longer too and I'm with you, I like winter, but it tends to outlast it's welcome some years.

Alison, I hope you remain frost-free! I like to think there are other gardeners who are enjoying the growing season for a little while longer yet.

Beth, thank you! I have decided it is time to take everything out, it's frozen very hard two nights in a row. As you said, when it's time, it's time. It was a glorious year!

El Gaucho, I know, it's time to get the snow shovels tuned up. SIGH!

Garden Fancy said...

Karen, your gardens look so incredibly beautiful! No wonder people want to have their weddings in your wonderful creation -- lucky them! Thanks for showing the last look of the flower to to us, and don't feel too bad -- I know winter seems to go on forever (we jusy had the first frost on Friday night too), but it's a chance to rest up and think about what exciting new things you might want to plant next spring -- things will look even more beautiful come spring! Take care, -Beth

outlawgardener said...
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outlawgardener said...

Autumn is a bit of a melancholy time in gardens and even more so for northern gardeners. It always amazes me how much work you do to make your huge garden such a showplace each year and how much gorgeous rock work you've done! Your pictures are as incredible as the paradise you've created which is also gorgeous in the winter. It's different, though, when you can't be digging, weeding, etc. and enjoying the beauty of the growing season. On the bright side, just think of the time you'll have to do stained glass once those cannas are dug. You create beauty in so many ways and I admire you. It would be a treat to someday see your garden in person. For now, happy digging, gathering in, protecting and enjoying the last few days before frost. Oops, I said the "F" word.

Indie said...

Your garden looks so beautiful! It is so sad to say goodbye to all those beautiful blooms. The cold weather did seem to come on so suddenly. Most of my garden made it through the first day of our cold snap, but after night two dipped into the 20's, the garden went kaput. In true what-was-I-thinking fashion, I took my family camping during the cold weekend. It was my husband and kids' first time camping. We came home a day early.

Betsy said...

It's cold then a slight freeze, then back up again. No wonder we all are sick here. Croup for one grandchild, tonsillitis for the other and me with the same. Miserable. I wish the weather would change and stay changed.
Your garden is so pretty. I imagine the stone keeps the flowers warm at night. Petunias are an old standby for me along with zinnias, they both always put on a show.
Not to long before the snow will be here for sure.

Jennifer said...

It is a little sad that the gardening season is coming to a close. Your garden looks wonderful despite the changing season. Hopefully the annuals will hang in there for a little bit longer.
I can see why your garden is so popular for a backdrop for wedding photos. I have to say that the quarry looks great even in winter.

Lona said...

I have been doing some sighing of my one too. Not ready for the warm days to go but there is no stopping them. All the flowers are about gone now with the freeze we had. Now I am in clean up mode trying to get the garden ready. It is full of leaves and I have bulbs yet to plant.All I need now is a good kick in the pants to get me going. LOL! Your Quarry is just a magical place for a wedding setting and it looks beautiful as always. Have a great week.

Stephen Andrew said...

Well I get to delay my depression until dec 26 at 12:00AM. But when it hits, it hits hard. Why do we do this to ourselves?! Ohio winters are nothing compared to yours and it's still hard. Every year I dream of running away for March (hate the grey, muddy days) to South Carolina. One of these the meantime, you can always bitch to me. I have a sympathetic ear :)

Myra Glandon said...

I have no idea how you keep up with all that... it always looks amazing. Very inspiring and btw, I have rock envy :)