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I haven't looked at September's survey post recently, but I have the feeling that things haven't changed that visibly since last month.
October started out cooler than average for this area, then bumped back up to the (too-warm, too-humid) upper 80s. We're expecting low-to-mid 80s again this weekend (thank goodness). It's dry, but that's normal for October. I'll just have to keep things watered for the next however-long-- especially the handful of just-divided perennials and the trying-to-root purple heart.
Some of the plants are showing signs of the changing seasons.
As I've mentioned before, the elephant ears have been shrinking. The gingers are starting to yellow, too. It's funny, but even though I knew to expect that, it did still give me a moment's feeling of alarm when the plants started looking so faded and unhappy.
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We start in the usual area, up in the northeastern corner.
Weeds are taking over here, again. I pull a bucketful every so often, but not often enough, apparently. See how the gingers are yellowing?
The bag is full of a soil amendment. I thought I'd work it into the ground around some of the plants in this particularly sandy area. This is also where I've been trying trench composting. It's too early to see much any change in the soil, but if we keep putting organic material in there, eventually it has to improve in quality.
Looking down the straight-as-an-arrow portion of the pathway.
Droopy elephant ears and toppling stalks of butterfly ginger.
From outside the fence.
This moonflower vine still blooms sporadically-- one or two flowers a night. It's looking pretty rough, but I leave it, because I want to harvest seed, so I'm giving it every chance to "ripen" on the vine. The same goes for most of the mina lobata.
The mina lobata that engulfed that hanging basket is a natural Halloween decoration! ;o) (Of course, we're so far off the road, we don't get trick-or-treaters, anyway.)
And here's the arbor with its rose and morning glory.
I'm planning to plant another climbing rose (of a different variety) on the "morning glory side". I would consider putting another 'Joseph's Coat' there to match, but it sounds like they don't get especially tall (8' to 12'), and we'd like something that could eventually cover the top of the arbor.
We might be leaning toward 'Peggy Martin' (aka "the Katrina rose"), which can grow 12' to 15' tall. The main downsides to that particular rose (in my opinion) are that it's scentless (true for most of our roses) and that the flowers look like a cool-toned pink (based on photos). I just wonder if the cooler pink wouldn't harmonize well with the warm colors of 'Joseph's Coat'. However, we've blended warm and cool pinks elsewhere in the flower garden, so why not here, too? I'm just giving in to my overly-analytical side again...
Looking further down the fence row...
That white rose of Sharon has started blooming again-- smaller flowers, this time around. It's fairly well over-run by the moonflower vine, but again, I'm leaving the vine in place until the seeds can be harvested. Then I'll happily pull it out.
I'm undecided on whether or not I'll plant annual vines in small trees again next year. On the one hand, the trees provide a handy frame for the vines to climb, and I've enjoyed the extra eye-level blooms-- and the vines do no serious, lasting harm, since they're annuals and are killed by our winters. But on the other hand, they can look a bit jungly and overgrown, and I'm not sure the trees enjoy having some of their light blocked, even if it's mostly an issue only in the later part of the growing season...
A handful of promising-looking buds on the Confederate rose have just fallen off the plant before opening up! I'm disappointed and worried that there's an infestation of some kind. It'll be frustrating if all this year's buds are destroyed, but this is only its first year here, and I wasn't sure we'd get flowers at all. What will be really annoying is if this is a continual problem, year after year. I was under the impression that this wasn't a tricky plant, and though I think the foliage is interesting in its way, I'm growing the darn thing primarily for its flowers.
Well, we'll hope for the best; there are plenty of buds still attached and maybe (knock on wood) at least some of them will manage to bloom for us.
Still no flowers on any of the Mexican purple sage. (Waiting... Waiting...)
The color of the flowers on the petite butterfly bush is a noticeably richer color when they're new and fresh. I think the cloudy weather we had kept them that way longer, too. Too bad it wants sun! The bloom-stalks on that one look smaller than in photos I see elsewhere... I may move it to a sunnier place with amended soil, during the dormant season.
Looking down the curvy path.
(And noticing how curvy the fence is here, too. This is a section that we plan to eventually replace.)
Here's the part of the path yet to be graveled. I'm afraid there's no feeling of great urgency, so it may wait a while longer.
Donald discovered that one of the boards across the top of the covered patio is rotting. He put up a temporary "kind of" fix to make it a little safer until we can get around to repairing it (and checking the rest of it for any other bad spots). In the meantime, there's no loitering on the patio.
Looking toward the garage.
You can glimpse our elegant overflowing marigold garden (formerly vegetable beds) on the far left.
The gangling thing to the left of the window is one of the rooted pieces of Mexican purple sage. They do grow quickly-- and oh, how they sprawl!
Ugh, more weeds to pull.
This trellis looks pathetic, now that the morning glory is shriveled and bare. The passionflower vine hasn't bloomed at all this year, and it's pretty puny, but on the other hand, it's also still putting on new leaves and attracting Gulf fritillary butterflies on a daily basis. It's also still hosting caterpillars. (I'm seeing them frequently, again; not sure how I missed them last time!) So, until the caterpillars are done, I won't mess with the trellis. The way the passionflower vine is growing over the old morning glory, I can't even remove the withered vines.
I'm very tempted to plant a climbing rose here, as well, but I may give the passionflower one more chance. If it can't come back in place this time, though, I'm done with it (in this spot, at least). This is prime real estate that we look at every day, and I won't squander it on under-performing plants. (...Do you think that scared them into better behavior?)
Closer to the garage.
...Yeah, definitely going to be moving some things soon... Those crinum lilies are too, too crowded.
One of these days, we'll be putting in the mini-patio/porch extension behind that trellis-- then I'll start figuring out how to plant around it. Some things will definitely be moving.
And that does it for October's survey!