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Getting Through October

I plan to get up early tomorrow and spend the day cleaning the garden and getting rid of the dead stuff. I will feel better if I don't have to look at the brittle corpses of plants that once were healthy and full of blooms. We have had no rain since the bit we got two weeks ago, and the weatherman is saying the current drought will extend at least until November.

We just need to get through October. Many leaves are shriveling on the trees and shrubs, then falling in gray heaps. The grass is crispy tan. But I am fortunate to have a lot of evergreens that adapt to whatever the climate delivers; so at a glance the garden doesn't look too bad.

This is a view overlooking the woodland garden. The 'Saybrook Gold' junipers have proved durable through all seasons.

A little farther up the drive from the 'Saybrook Gold' junipers is my beloved 'Feelin' Blue' Deodar Cedar. Behind it is a Trident Maple, a Forsythia, and a huge Southern Magnolia.

This Anise 'Florida Sunshine' has prospered in the woodland garden with minimal care. The leaves have a wonderful fragrance.

Mahonia 'Soft Caress' is another woodland garden plant that has done well though our drought. It took a couple of years to become established and needed babying at first, but now it has begun to thrive.

Here are a few additional shots I took as I walked around this afternoon:My Fuyu Persimmon tree is still growing in a pot, though I plan to transplant it someday. The fruit is almost ready to pick.

Our sweet bell peppers did poorly through the summer, and I was getting ready to pull them up when I noticed new growth in September. I began a fresh regimen of watering and fertilizing with fish emulsion, and look at them now! One of them is turning red. For maximum flavor I like to leave them on the vine until they have fully ripened.

Assorted ornamental kale adds a pretty accent to the fall vegetable garden. It's edible but not particularly tasty.

Look close. Do you see the ants? I did not see them until I enlarged the photo on my computer. Now I need to see if this Asclepias has aphids!

These common asters are blooming despite almost total neglect. A pure golden green sweat bee ( Augochlora pura) appreciates the nectar.


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Reader Comments (11)

I like the look of a garden that has been tidied for the winter. We keep getting told to leave seedheads as they look wonderful in the frost, but we have so much rain and hardly any frost, everthing ends up in a soggy mess!

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

I'm sorry that you're still struggling with the results of drought, Deb. We have no rain in the forecast until November either. Your garden still looks good but I know from personal experience that it isn't always easy to look beyond the death and destruction. Your asters are glorious!

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

We are OK now, but a dry summer ahead with water restrictions looming.

I love anything that smells of anise.

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

It's a little funny, because I just posted an opposite post about October, about how lovely it is and how I want it to last forever!

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

So sorry about the drought! 2012 was the most difficult for me as a gardener because we went nearly three months without rain during the high heat of summer. Drought is awful. With that said, I wonder if the insects, birds, and other wildlife will find value in the dried seed heads and stems this winter? Jason at Garden in a City did a good post about an article in Prairie Nursery's newsletter: https://gardeninacity.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/gardener-spare-that-stem/. I had ants on my Butterfly Weed this year, and I found out that coffee grounds and cinnamon repels them. So, I'm planning to try those two things next summer. Ants eat Monarch eggs, so I want to try to get rid of ants around my Milkweed plants. I hope you get some nice, gentle rainfall soon.

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

I do know just how you feel, watching plants suffer from lack of water. I, too find evergreens seem to cope much better than deciduous trees and shrubs. I hope your plants will come back in spring. We're having a very wet autumn much wetter than usual which is encouraging all the evergreens to put on lots of new growth so now I have to hope it doesn't become suddenly cold and shock this tender new growth.

October 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Love your Deodar Cedar. We got lots of rain from Hurricane Matthew but the clean-up is ongoing. Have worked at it for 3 days and barely made a dent.

October 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

It is a transition time of year. Aren't those asters great for attracting bees? I changed my header yesterday for an image like you have shown. I love seeing Kale in gardens st this time of year, the colors are so pretty. I don't have any myself but they add so much to the cool weather Fall garden.

October 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Lovely, your woodland garden, I sometimes wish to have more land than my tiny back yard, but one cannot have everything. Beautiful pictures! (greetings from Germany, I am visiting my family :-) )

October 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commentergone tropical

I find green sweat bees on my asters, also! The asters are usually tough customers that are perfectly happy with neglect.

October 14, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjason

That green bee is beautiful! Like you I often notice little creatures only on the computer. The aphids won't do any harm if you can't see them.
Ignorance is bliss :-)

October 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

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