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...........