In the meantime, a tropical storm/minor hurricane (Nate) has sneaked up on us! October is still well within hurricane season (which begins on June 1st and continues until the end of November), but once we've made it through September unscathed, I kind of don't expect much in the way of tropical weather. Mother Nature's putting me in my place.
Fortunately, it's not expected to strengthen very much before landfall, but it looks like it will be close enough that we should take a few precautions-- so we will.
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How about some late-season flowers (and non-flowers)?
Mexican bush sage.
Fuzzy. Purple. Pretty.
Not-fuzzy. Purple. Prolific.
It's beginning to droop over in spots. The elephant ears have long since begun their seasonal droop, too. Plants have noticed the change of season, even if it still seems weak to me.
Miscanthus 'Adagio' seedhead.
Or is it called a seedhead when it's just blooming like this? Flowerhead? (g)
Still putting out new buds after a long summer of flowering. If the storm doesn't topple it, I think it will keep blooming until frost bites it back.
Also known as "brain celosia"-- valid visual comparison, but creepy!
These flowers have an odd shape, but they're vivid and seem to last forever.
Green lynx spider on celosia.
Macro photo of celosia.
One more of the celosia for good measure! ;o)
Black and yellow garden spider.
It's spider season! Lots of them around the yard and between the trees in certain parts of the trails.
Jewel spider / smiley face spider.
This one nearly had its web destroyed because I almost didn't see it in front of me. Fortunately this spider is fairly small. If I ever get one of those giant ones on me, I'll probably have a conniption fit that will be heard for miles around. I know they're harmless, but the shock of it--!
Pincushion ginger bud and elephant ears.
Some of the gingers are still budding and/or blooming.
That reminds me that we recently got a new type of ginger-- pine cone ginger (Zingiber zerumbet). I've yet to plant it, much less see it bloom. They're interesting plants-- also known as "shampoo ginger", because the flower exudes a substance (liquid?) that can be used to wash hair. Photos when they bloom next year, of course!
Speaking of ginger blooms, here's a white butterfly ginger lily bud with flowers just emerging. Plenty of these still blooming, this time of year. They really are wonderful plants. So easy to grow (in the right climate, at least), with flowers that are beautiful and fragrant. Some might say they're too easy to grow and can wander beyond their designated spot in the garden. Personally, my only complaint would be that they have a tendency to grow every-which-way instead of nice and straight. They can look a little sloppy, if not downright tipsy.
This is the first year that my 'Elizabeth' butterfly ginger really bloomed, and I think I didn't notice until the flowers were past-prime. Still, a nice salmony-pink, if you want something different from the "common" white-flowered ones. (The white ones have bigger blooms, though, in my limited experience-- and may smell more strongly, too.)
When I planted a bunch of things from Granny and Grandpa L's garden, earlier this year, there were some odd-looking tubers that I don't think I recognized at the time. It wasn't until later that I realized they were gloriosa lily tubers, and by then I couldn't remember exactly where/how deeply I'd planted them, so I just hoped for the best and resolved to keep an eye open for any emerging new growth. I found a promising vine, a couple months back, and today, I spotted a flower!
What an unusual and graceful form!
This dish of an unknown succulent is thriving on neglect. Such of the other succulents as have survived have also done just as well without my tender ministrations as they would have if I hadn't basically forgotten about their very existence. Actually, they may be doing better without my care. Succulents seem to be like that. If they're happy, they're happy to be left to their own devices. If they're not happy, no amount of attention and effort can bring them back. (At least that's been my experience with them! Fickle things!)
'White Cloud' muhly grass.
I love this plant, this year! It was pretty last year, but it hadn't had time to get very big. This summer, it's turned into a billowy white cloud, just as the name implies-- hovering a foot or so above the ground. During certain times of the day, it just glows!
I'd still like to get some pink muhly grass. I'm not convinced that the (other) one I have actually is pink muhly grass. It might be a different variety or something... It's blooming, too, but is rather pathetic, by comparison. I think it never recovered from when I cut it back (which I thought would help it!), so I'll just leave it completely alone this winter/spring and see what happens next...
To close, here are a bunch of photos of the beautiful blue mistflower-- wild ageratum. I'm not positive of the species. I gathered seeds from a plant growing down at the pond, a couple of years back.
It seems to be a perennial, and if it is wild ageratum, it will have a tendency to weave its way through the flowerbeds. I may end up having to pull some of it, if it's too pushy, but I think I'll always want to keep some growing...
I like it partly for its misty, dreamy-looking blueish-purple flowers (which are supposed to attract butterflies, as a bonus). But I've been enjoying it, this summer, long before the late-season blooms made their appearance.
Wondering about its mysterious attraction?
It must be the foliage that exudes the fragrance, because I've smelled it long before the flowers came. It's somewhat elusive... I haven't tried recently, but in years past, when I tried to sniff or rub the foliage directly, I didn't notice much in particular. However, just walking by the plant or standing near it, I'd get a strong whiff of its unusual perfume.
Mom's noticed it a couple of times when she's been over. She describes it as smelling like the (Appalachian) mountains. I haven't been the mountains in several years, so I don't know that it makes me, personally, think of the mountains-- but it does have a fresh, earthy, foresty smell, and I can see why it might smell... mountainous. ;o) It reminds me of what I think of as "sweet tobacco pipe smoke", too-- which is much nicer than it might sound. It's hard to describe, but it's just a really nice fragrance that I wouldn't want to lose from the garden, now that I've found it!
The funny thing is that I haven't found much online about this aspect of the plant. Maybe some sites describe the plant as fragrant, but I haven't seen any detailed analysis/comparison of the smell, and it's mentioned almost in passing. To me, the scent is by far the biggest reason to grow it!
Well, that's all my photos for the moment... Here's hoping that Nate brings us nothing but a little extra rain and a blustery night!