End of the Season Holdouts

These images were taken on October 24 as the gardening season draws to a close. Frost usually occurs within the first few weeks of November, so bloom time is ending. I’ve done no deadheading, pruning, or watering this season; still, there are late-season blossoms. Black-eyed Susans are usually gone by now–the flowers reduced to seed. Yet, here is a perfectly happy specimen. And they’re not alone.

Catmint puts on a good show each spring until the June heat quiets it.  I am surprised to see their delicate lavender blooms in late October. Another odd thing is their overall resilience— they are bushy and blooming when they would have been brown or at least haggard in the past. Looking over the two-foot-wide mounds, I have no explanation for their persisting lushness.

Coneflowers can bloom anytime. However, mine usually stop blooming unless I deadhead them at least monthly. This unattended plant is loaded with buds and offers this gorgeous autumn blossom to show it’s still on the job. It is joined by re-blossoming black and blue salvia and a lantana plant that I cannot get rid of.

The garden never fails to offer a surprise or two. The last two years have provided some of the biggest. I have flowers in places I did not put them, lush plants that grew without my assistance, and now late-season flowers with little rain, no care, and no watering.

I’d like to think they are doing this to show they miss me. If so, the feeling is mutual.

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