November 2021 autumn garden

There was some snow here in these upper plains, and then some strong wind, and then a little rain. All of which means there is no snow here right now and the garden is struggling on in its odd autumnal state. Bits of color from drying blooms still show through but the yellows and browns are starting to prevail. In the mornings, the temperature has been hovering around 38-40F (about 4C). Although it did get to about 60F one day this last week (15C): unseasonably warm for this late in November. These temperatures mean that the plants are all easing into winter.

Some of the monk’s hood (above) still has its lovely color, while some of the stalks are blackened and done. The purple cone flower heads (below) make such dramatic stalks.

November 2021 kitties in the garden

Here is a good sense of what the outside kitties have been getting up to. The long autumn is probably coming to a bit of an end here –there is a chill in the air and rain/snow in the forecast for later in the week. Before that happens, these kitties are having a lovely time in the dry leaves and sunshine.

Tiglet being as cute as ever.

Sidney, looking svelte.

Here is Pretty looking very relaxed with that paw outstretched.
Tiglet stalking that squirrel. The squirrel escaped.

October 2021 late fall blooms

As the weather gets ever closer to the nighttime frost, the blooms continue to claim the above freezing time. Here are several things that are still going in the garden.

These cosmos seeds grew into plants so late I was convinced they wouldn’t make it to blooming. But they have just started.

The walnut trees are blazing with turning leaves.

The yarrow has had a second life. I had cut it back as it died off in the heat of August. But now it is fully back and even blooming again.

The roses are showing no signs of recognizing the coming frost.

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.