Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall Is In The Air!

This will be a note sort of post-not a lot new here at Dragonfly Corner. But I am getting tired of looking at my last post, so I am sure you are! I have worked some extra days this week, had a couple of doctor appointments, (more on that another time) and have been trying to get a little fall cleaning done. In other words, time has been in short supply for enjoying the garden, taking pictures or writing posts. I did want to share a few things with you and writing gives me a good excuse to sit for a while. I did manage to finally put a picture in my header. Wendy suggested I use the moonflower-aka 'heavenly blue' morning glory. It is still blooming and I see no end to the buds.

Fall is here. Or at least these butterscotch mums think so. The temperature dropped to 48 degrees last night so it is on it's way. This is one of my favorite colors for this time of year. Makes you think of football and pumpkins doesn't it?

There are very few cone flowers left. This one is still attracting moths and butterflies. I'm not sure, and this is not a great picture, but I think this is called a wolf moth. Most have gone to seed like the one on the right. I had thought about cutting the heads off to save the seed and cleaning up some of the stalks, but one of the bloggers(can't remember who-sorry) has suggested leaving them for the finches and other birds to enjoy. Sounds like a great idea to me!

The 'teddy bear' sunflowers, courtesy of Cheryl, are still blooming. These have been a delightful flower. They have bloomed all summer long, the blooms last for weeks at a time and the butterflies and bees have loved them. I am going to save some of these seeds for myself.

Speaking of butterflies-the zinnias are still blooming and attracting more than their share of butterflies. The 'painted ladies' have been thicker in the gardens this year than I can ever remember. It could be because of the zinnias. I have really enjoyed them this year and plan on planting more next year. Maybe I will even use some for cut flowers. This year, I couldn't bring myself to cut any of them.


I was a little disappointed at this picture. The caladium leaves are a much deeper red than shows. I have the container sitting in front of the morning glory and the contrast is striking. In the past, I have neglected to dig my bulbs up for the winter thinking it was just as easy to buy new the next spring. This year, I plan on at least trying to save them. (and still buying more next year!)

You may have seen a spider like this on Gail's blog a while back. It's a Argiope aurantia-female. In the comments, several different names were mentioned. It seems this species covers a wide area and there were lots of local names for it. My grandmother always called it and 'educated' spider I think because of the z's it makes in the middle of it's web. What ever you call it, I call it yucky! There are several of them around the house and in the gardens. Now, having been converted by some of you bloggers, I let them stay and do their thing as long as they do it outside. Now if they try to come into the house....
*************************************************************************************
Fall will be a busy time for all. The gardener has much to do to get the garden ready for it's long winters nap. Have I started yet-no. Have you?
Enjoy your gardens!

37 comments:

Shibaguyz said...

Yup... we've started too. The fall plants are in and the plans are coming together for the cloches and cold frames that will hold our over-winter crops.

Beth said...

I brought in the hanging plants last night as we were expecting a frost. So, now the projects turn to making the beds look as good as possible and preparing for winter.

Rose said...

Beckie, I love your new header photo. It may not be the moonflower you wanted, but this blue morning glory is quite an eye-catcher. And I love your orb spider! I took a photo of one last year, but I still haven't seen any here this summer; I must look a little harder.
I've been busier than usual, too,lately, and I don't even want to think about preparing for winter! Other than ordering a few more bulbs, I haven't done a thing. Still more tomato juice and applesauce to freeze...

PGL said...

It seems to be getting cooler here in the evening. But still quite warm during the day. I like your new header picture Beckie. Those morning glorys are so pretty.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beckie. I love your morning glory header too. I have a Granpa Ott on my porch railing but the Japanese Beetles chew the leaves so badly I can't get a really good photo.

I noticed your comment about the photo color in the caladiums. I have a free program that will adjust for that and give you a beautiful photo with stunning reds and blues. Maybe I'll write about it since lots of us have trouble with the colors washing out in garden photos.
Marnie

flydragon said...

Hi Beckie,
I haven't started anything to get my beds ready for winter. Every year I just get lazier and lazier. Maybe I'll start today. Yeah right.
I'm with you on the spiders. YUCKY.
I know they do some good things but I'd rather they do their good things somewhere else.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Beckie, your new header photo is stunning. It is so cheerful. That blue is so difficult to get in the garden. I am so enjoying these cooler days.

beckie said...

Shibaguyz, Welcome to my blog! I visited your site and WOW-what tomatoes you have. I can't imagine them growing that big. Of course when I was in Seattle a few years ago, I marveled at the size of the roses. It looks like you guys are getting ready for winter in a big way. I'm sure all your harvests will taste wonderful when the weather gets cold.

beckie said...

Beth, frost warnings already?! You do have a short seasn there. I remember you still having snow when we were already planting this spring. Good luck with all your projects.

Rose, thanks! I am enjoying the blue and maybe next year I'll have a moon plant to use on the header. I keep trying to get over to help you with the apples, but something or someone keeps coming up. Maybe we can get together soon.

beckie said...

PGL, aren't these cool nights wonderful?! I love that even the warm days have a hint of fall in them.

Marnie, the morning glory is one plant the beetles didn't seem to bother here. I have been playing a little with the frame program you gave us. So far not anything printable, but will get the hang of it, I'm sure. The program for the colors sounds great. I have noticed even with Kodak easy share I can't seem to get the true colors.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey, Beckie. Would you give me permission to use your caladium photo to illustrate what the photo editing program will do? I will, of course, post a link to your site and explain it is not my photo.

You can answer here and I will visit again before tomorrow morning. Or leave a message on my site. Thanks Beckie. And feel free to say no if it makes you uncomfortable.
Marnie

beckie said...

Flydragon, I too, have been procrastinating about doing the 'fall' work in the garden. i use the excuse the birds and bee are still getting some use out of the plants. :) I do okay with spiders if they are outside, but won't tolerate them in the house. They don't need my turf too!

Thanks, Lisa. If I can save some of the seeds from the morning glory, I'll get you some. It is a true blue and has turned out to be a plant that took no special care. I knew you would enjoy these cooler days. :) Like you, I can't take the heat and humidity anymore.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love the new header! How ironic that your plant mistake ends up there. I deadhead most of my coneflowers (all the ones in the front garden), because they self sow like crazy. I also get some rebloom or extended bloom on them that way. I have so many that there's plenty of seed for the birds from the ones in the back along the fence. I call that spider the "Amy Winehouse spider." It's my favorite. This is a very busy time in the garden, but no, I haven't started planting the Lavender yet. Too many other things to do first.

Darla said...

We are not quite to fall here, in the 90's all weekend long. Flowers are fading from the heat though, nice blog!

beckie said...

MMD, your lavendaer will look great in the new bed, and I know you will enjoy it next spring. Why Amy Winehouse? I know there are plenty of coneflowers for the birds-I'm just using that as an excuse! :)

Darla, thanks for visiting! I feel for you in the heat. We are in the 70's for several days with 50's at night. Gorgeous weather!

Susie said...

I'm too busy planting to even think about fall bed prep.

The new header is gorgeous! Those blues are striking.

I know what you mean about digging up those caladium bulbs. Last year I had mine in a pot and they did great. So, when it was time, I took them out of the pot, put them in a paper bag in the garage. I planted them this spring and they have done wonderful. I will probably dig them up and throw them in the garage again.

Laurie and Chris said...

Great fall pictures. I started cutting some stuff back yesturday.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'm lovin' this cooler weather! I have yet to figure out how to get a header picture to work on my blog. I have the stretch layout and they look funny to me. Great job on yours; very pretty!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Your new header is beautiful! Of course, I would think so. ;-) It is hard to imagine such cool weather. When I took Bocephus for his walk tonight, it was like walking into a steam room when I opened the front door! We have Ike to thank for the hot humid air we are experiencing now.

Meems said...

Beckie, Okay I'm so jealous of your 48 degree temperature. We won't see that until at least November ... more likely December. Your new header is very bright and perky... and I'm really liking the caladiums (quite partial to them as you know)in front of the moonflower.

Send some signs of fall this way if you can :-)
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

beckie said...

Marnie, lefy a comment at your site too. Sure, you can use the picture. It will be interesting to see how the program works.

beckie said...

Susie, somehow I figured you would still be planting. :) Rose and I were talking today about what to do with the bulbs after they are dug. Dry and cool right? But my garage is not heated and we get pretty cold here. The basement may be too warm and humid. I guess all I can do is try. Hope Ike doesn't affect you!

beckie said...

Thanks, Laurie and Chris. I need to be cutting back and down,, but it's raining and supposed to for several days so I have a while yet to procrastinate.

Robin. the cooler weather is great and should give me some energy, but so far it hasn't worked. :) I have tried several times to do a header picture with no luck. Finally, I marked the 'shrink to fit' spot and it did great. Just keep trying-you have such lovely pictures to chose from.

beckie said...

Morning Glory, is yours a 'heavenly blue'? What ever it is I like the blue of it. As Lisa said we so rarely see a true blue in the garden. We have been having great weather with low humidity until this evening. Now it is like a steam bath out there with rain and fog. And then the remnants of Ike are due here Monday so more rain. I'm sure you will cool off soon.

Meems, now you really wouldn't want 48 degrees now would you?! I'm sure all your tropicals would not like it. As for the caladiums, I would like to plant more of the red in the ground next year to set off the blue morning glory. Not quite sure how I will keep the MG from taking over though. (You notice I am already planning on having it again. I think I will have lots of seedlings come up from this plant!) You really don't have much of a fall there do you? I guess that's a trade off for having a great winter. But I do like the changing seasons.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Beckie, thank you for allowing me to use the photo. I'll put it on my post next Monday or Tuesday.
Marnie

A Gardener At Larrapin said...

Beautiful header photo! And beautiful photos all around. Glad you are letting your garden spiders do their job. :-) I have the same rule as you: outside I defer; but come inside at your own risk! LOL!
Thanks again for your lovely post.

Gail said...

Beckie,

It's in the high 80's here...it is still summer but I know what you mean, in spite of the temps...it's out there, fall!I Love the morning glories in your header, they look beautiful.

Gail

Wendy said...

Hi Beckie - how did I miss this post??? Your header looks fabulous!!! And thanks for the linky (grin).
I saved my giant dahlia bulbs (or rhizomes or whatever) and it worked like a charm this year.
But other years I've tried to save bulbs and they just grew moldy.
So I'm glad you are going to save your cals - I will try some more dahlias, they seem to work for me.

Your spider looks yukky - and like you, I let them be - as long as they stay outside!! LOL!
I haven't done much in the way of fall gardening either. It's raining here now. Good excuse. No, I will wait for some really warm autumn days with lots of sun to put my garden to bed (but then, it won't feel like fall and I will probably let them be).
Happy Gardening.

Mountain Mama said...

Your blue morning glory header is gorgeous. Blue is my favorite color so it really appeals to me!
It's fall here too. I have been trying to get done all the outside things I put off all summer. Painting my front and back decks is what I am doing now. What a nasty job!! We get a lot of mold and green algae on everything so have to scrub it all down then sand, dry, prime and paint. YUCK!!! Not my fav. job at all.
I love your flower pictures!

beckie said...

Larrapin, a lot of people seem to agree with us on spiders. Glad you like the header. It seems a little too spring like, but that is what is blooming now. Loved your chickens and will enjoy watching them grow.

Gail, 80's seems a little too warm to be thinking fall doesn't it? But there is s certain smell to the air and the way the sun cast it's shadow that you just know fall is coming.

beckie said...

Wendy, trying to save the caladiums is the phrase! I'm not sure if they will make it. Like you I tried once with something and they rotted. Glad you like the header and thanks for the idea. We are getting rain and looks like more in the forecast so it will be a while before I do much outside. Then I want a cool crisp day to do it.

Bev, thanks, I'm glad you like the morning glory. My goodness you have been busy. That sounds like a lot of work. Our deck needs sprayed with that wood bleach stuuf and then resealed, but it's going to wait until next spring. Don't work too hard!

joey said...

Please know that you are not alone, dear Beckie. In between our crazy lives, I do believe we are all reluctatly putting gardens to bed.

Aiyana said...

We haven't started quite yet. Maybe in a few weeks when the temps come down another 10 degrees. I love your header post. Sometimes I come back just to take another look!
Aiyana

beckie said...

Joey, I know fall comes earlier to your area so you are probably having mild crisp days and lovely cool evenings. When the waether turns, it brings out the hunter-gather instinct in some and in gardeners makes us want to clear our beds and prepare our gardens for s long winter sleep.

Aiyana, I so glad you like the morning glory. It was you who identified it for me and others has since concured. I thought it was banned in your area because of being invasive, but someone suggested the seeds were hallucinogenic! Anyway, we don't have to worry about that with me...but how do collect those seed? :)

Amy said...

Love the name "butterscotch mums" and the colour is delicious too :) My purple cone flowers are just starting to bloom,but I started them from seed and this is their first year so I suspect they are later than normal.

Will have that extra long hot springs soak on your behalf :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

The "Amy Winehouse" was a comment someone (can't remember who) made when I said that this spider looks like the silhoutte of a woman with a beehive hairdo with her arms akimbo.

Baker Watson said...

Fall is starting to sneak up on us, too. It is still warm to hot during the day, but I can tell the plants and animals (especially insects) can sense it coming.

Baker