October 2021 roses and the edge of cold

It is 15 October and no frost so far here in southeastern South Dakota. I think leaving any of the house plants outside past this weekend will be tempting the chilling gods to come out and nip at the plants. I still have tomatoes producing new fruit… always such a wrench with the end of the season. The dahlias are still doing really well. But what greeted me most effusively (aside from the cats) when I returned home was the pink rose in the front of my house. It has five open roses on it.

October 2021 monk’s hood and a couple kitties

These are such late bloomers, it always surprises me that they get open at all. The kitties are NOT late bloomers –but Sidney and Martin Frobisher are all the way at the end of the post.

I don’t know which variety of aconitum this is. I have two bunches of this –the one that gets more sun is much taller –about 5 feet. The other one that is more protected is only about 3 feet tall and really seems unlikely to bloom this year.

This plant is getting ready –you can see the already open one in the background.

October 2021 dahlias as big as a cat’s face and mums

I make fun of the gardening catalogues that have “dinner plate dahlias” with an obligatory picture holding the bloom next to a child’s face for scale. “Look! This bloom is as big as a head!” If you google that phrase you will see images that confirm this…. However, at my house, I think the dahlia blooms should be measured on the scale of a kitty head. Sorry this picture is a little blurry… but you can get the idea.

I think the above dahlia in this bed just west of the front fence won’t get all the way to full blooms–if they do, it will be really lovely with that red amaranth. These red dahlia are in an odd spot but they are so gorgeous.

When my mother was visiting she bought me two gorgeous potted chrysanthemums, one yellow and one a reddish burgundy. They are on my front step and so bright and cherry now that they are open. I haven’t decided where to put them in the ground, but that will need to happen very soon.

I keep thinking that pink rose is really done…. but there are still more buds coming. And below is Pretty, she is such a little sweetie with her soft paws and her little meow.

September 2021 tipping of seasons and a fig

Oddly the season is feeling very autumnal and still summer is hanging on. It was chilly here. Last week it was down to 39F (just below 4C). But this week the highs during the day have been up to about 91/92F (32/33C). I am pleased since the tomatoes are still coming and I’d like a few more to ripen.

In any case, the lawn is once again very green and not crunchy. It has recovered as though the end of July crunch didn’t happen.

The fig in the picture below is one of many on the fig tree that is right up against the south side of the house. I don’t have much hope of these getting to ripe….

September 2021 herbs, dried tomatoes, and handsome cats

I had a lovely puttering day yesterday picking herbs, doing laundry, and putting tomatoes in the oven. The kitties were enjoying the day too. And I managed to cut the lawn in the back garden; I will take some pictures of that since it looks lovely and green with the recent rain and cooler weather.

The herbs are doing well –I try to pick a batch at the beginning of the year to dry but some of them are better now, thyme for example.

I had thought to have it be a game –how many of these herbs can you identify? Turns out (after seeing these pictures) that the game will have more to do with seeing past these not-very-good images. There are six different herbs here, but I think one might be completely at the bottom of the pile.

Mostly I try for the leathery consistency in the sun dried tomatoes (that I do in the oven), but invariably some of them end up totally stiff and dried –rattling around like dice on the tray. Turns out they are delicious crumbled into/ onto various things. My mother makes a fantastic herb mix that includes very-dried crumbled tomatoes –it is great in olive oil for bread dipping, on scrambled eggs, and sprinkled on popcorn. It has herbs and dried garlic in it too.

Above is Martin Frobisher, looking handsome. And below are a few pictures of Cousin; he was in a posing mood.

September 2021 marigolds and asters

The weather is shifting all over the place, with a windy, blustery rain storm last night and this morning. The marigolds are doing their showy bit and the asters are fully out. I think I had already put up some pictures of the china asters, but here is another one.

There are also loads of these asters in the front near the yellow dahlia.

The marigolds are planted near the potatoes (in an attempt to keep away the potato bugs, which I think works).

This weekend will definitely be a time to clear up some things in the barn and get beds organized for the outside kitties. The end of September always slides in a bit too quickly and the beginning of October can be quite chilly here.

September 2021 dahlias and faded rose

The yellow dahlia in front of the house continue to be amazing. They are so large, it is surprising the stalk is strong enough to hold them. I do have a wire ring around the plant lower down, but the stalks are holding the blooms.

This might be the perfect image of the last rose of summer. It isn’t actually the last rose though, because other roses are still blooming in my garden. But it is a lovely perfect image of September.