Two Flowers Standing

One by one, the sunflowers faded. There are now two flowers standing.

salvia and two sunflowers

Salvia flanked by two sunflowers

They look spent, but as long as the birds and squirrels keep coming, I don’t have the heart to pull them out. It’s been nice seeing the Salvia in all its glory after a summer spent in the sunflower’s shadow. The Salvia continues to bloom into late October. The bees and hummingbirds love the velvety purple flowers. Salvia thrives in dry conditions, making it the perfect drought tolerant plant.

salvia closeup

Salvia leucantha (Mexican bush sage)

I wasn’t sure if the tiny finches were still coming to eat sunflower leaves, but then I spotted one from the kitchen window.

finch eating leaf upside down

Goldfinch takes a bite

goldfinch eating sunflower leaf

I’ve got my eye on you

Squirrels are still climbing the trellis, looking for what remains of the seeds. They aren’t staying as long, so I’m guessing what’s left are empty seed shells. I’ll give it one more week.

squirrel stretching to reach sunflower

Checking out the seed supply

squirrel with aligned tail

I love his perfectly aligned tail

There is a lot to do this time of year, but it’s work I enjoy.

 

Our  Japanese Maple (Acer) is dropping a few leaves out back, but the Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) is still green. When it does turn, its glorious and one of the reasons we planted it nearly twenty years ago.

Over the weekend I pulled out the last of the tomatoes. I left several tomatoes behind to go to seed in place. I hope to repeat my luck next year: an all-volunteer crop of delicious heirloom Roma tomatoes.

tomato plant collage

The last of the tomatoes for the season, emptied box with basil in the corner, the drooping plant as it ends the season, a wheelbarrow full of plants, some kind of infestation just started at the base of the tomato plants

The basil is hanging in there and still making into a few meals each week. It looks lonely in the otherwise bare planting bed.

basil plant

Basil hanging in there, all alone in the box

Meanwhile, on the other side of the vegetable garden, the ‘pumpkin plant that ate New York’ is taking over. The leaves are as long as my arm now, with several small fruits at the soil line. Though the leaves, stems and flowers all looked like pumpkins, the fruit is a dark green. I’ve never seen anything like it.

late season pumpkin plant growth

Late-season, over-the-top, self-supporting pumpkin plant

Japanese anemones (hupehensis var. japonica) dominate the rock wall and frankly, grow like weeds. I’ve tried to thin them but they come back stronger than ever. They’re a lovely sea of white flowers and the last to bloom before winter.

Last week I picked up some flowering bulbs, a little wiser than I was in previous years. I’ll share more about that later in the week.

I hope your week is going well.

Japanese anemones (hupehensis var. japonica)

Japanese anemones (hupehensis var. japonica)

Japanese anemones up close

Japanese anemones up close

32 thoughts on “Two Flowers Standing

  1. I wonder if you are growing a kabocha pumpkin – or just an ordinary old fashioned green skinned pumpkin. They are a bit drier – and probably harder to carve than their lighter skinned cousins – but just as tasty 🙂 If it’s a kabocha they are a sweeter and lighter type of pumpkin…. [who knew I was so knowledgeable about pumpkins?] Pumpkins, roasted, souped or made into little biscuits/cookies have been a part of my diet this winter 🙂

    Those little white Japanese anemones are very pretty. And I’m hoping I can get as good a crop of tomatoes as you for the summer 🙂 Your squirrels are soooo cute!

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  2. Oop! hit post too soon: My basil is still going strong and I’m hoping to spend Saturday doing some serious harvesting. It’s supposed to be 42 degrees tonight!

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    • So happy to hear your basil is still going strong. You’re wise to harvest soon. I arranged the flowers in a vase last week along with the anemone. I’ll bet you could do the same with your pretty pink ones.

      42 already, eh? It’s getting chilly.

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  3. You get some of the best pictures of squirrels and birds I’ve ever seen. Love them. Interesting about the pumpkins. Hmmm. It’s sad to see the plants go for the winter but we so need a break from the heat. We had rain today and tomorrow! Yay! Wish I could send you some. Love the salvia.

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    • Thank you, MH! I enjoy watching nature just outside my door and do a fair amount of tip-toeing through my house to get my camera so I can try to capture some shots. I don’t always succeed, like today when I saw two mourning doves, a squirrel and a robin foraging out back. The squirrel jumped and the birds scattered. But, I will try, try again, with great appreciation to you for your comments and interest.

      Yay for rain! I’ll be one of those crazy tourists that starts seeking vacation spots because it *is* raining. Ha!

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  4. Japanese anemones are one of my favourite flowers, it is too dry for them ever to grow well for me sadly. Your pumpkin might be Golden Nugget, the fruits start off dark green, or maybe they’re round zucchini.

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    • What a shame that you can’t grow them, Christina, since they are among your favorites. I’m amazed at the way they spread, but only in the shade of the trees. They know what they like.

      Another interesting possibility for my unnamed ‘squash’, eh? Golden Nugget or round zucchini. It’s fun to have a bit of mystery in the garden. Stay tuned.

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  5. Your anemones are lovely Alys! And great shots of the birds and squirrel eating your seeds. Look forward to seeing your pistache when it turns. My acer is looking pretty too, but not at its peak yet. And I just chopped down my last basil and put the flowers in a vase. There may be a few leaves still this week, but the saddest thing for me at the end of the summer is no more fresh basil pesto!
    Have a good week!

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    • I think we will all morn the loss of basil for another year. That and the tomatoes are my favorite edible crop. I also put some flowering basil in a vase last week. It’s such a wonderful smell, and pretty, delicate flowers.

      I’m glad you liked the shots of the bird and squirrel. They make me smile.

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  6. Good Morning from the sofa at Boomdeeville. Just having the morning coffee with yours truly and back to re-read your fab post. For some reason, I found it necessary to hard-core clean the entire kitchen after dinner last night. I made a dish that splattered sweet and sour sauce onto a hot stove and took to cleaning that, then *everything*. By the time I sat to have *me* time, I was pooped.
    Anywho, enough of that snore-fest, look at all the work you’ve managed in the garden. The Salvia seems to go for a long time, do you fertilize at all? I used to see yellow finches at the lake all the time, but haven’t seen any in town yet. Probably because I didn’t have any food out this summer. I’m missing all the visitors. I was using a feeder that allowed the birds to spill quite a bit. I’d actually vacuum the lawn around the feeder in the spring. It drove my neighbour crazy because he preferred things un-kept…hehe, I loved bugging him by being super anal (yes I’m just that mean). So a new feeder is imperative.
    I’ve never seen birds eat greenery though, that’s really interesting. Aren’t they ever so tiny? Amazing they make it through life being that small. Speaking of small. Is it possible your green pumpkin is actually a small round zucchini? Check out this post:
    http://www.everydayruralty.com/2012/08/it-only-looks-like-green-pumpkin.html
    Cute hey?
    I’m really in lust with the waves of white anemones. I really should plant some now. It’d be nice to find all white but they seem to be sold mostly in multi-coloured packages. How do you know which way to plant those tiny dried corms? Well, off to work today again…hope your day is a gem, tata 4 now xoxoxoxK

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    • Good afternoon, sofa-surfing, coffee-drinking, crafting goddess. How goes the day. It’s 4:10 here and I still haven’t showered from this morning’s walk. Off I go.

      How was your day at work? Are you still enjoying balmy fall weather? The Island had a flooring delay, so it may be awhile longer till they open. I’m sooooo curious.

      YOU do not have a mean streak in your body. I am cracking up at the idea of vacuuming your lawn, I can’t quite picture that.

      I always assumed the birds were eating bugs off of the leaves, but I looked it up, and discovered that the goldfinches eat the actual leaves. Pretty interesting. I saw a pair of mourning doves in the garden this morning. First time in a long time.

      Love you, xoxoxo

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      • Were the heck does the day go girl? I was on noon to 6 at Urban. Was a pretty fun day. A girl from Estonia came in and was so happy to shop. She’s on her way home tomorrow and got a bunch of deals on sale stuff I was organizing. It’s great to arrive when it first gets marked down. You can sometimes get a whole collection of the paper, stickers and adornments at 1/2 off. Too bad The Island opening is delayed but I’m sure it with be worth the wait. I’m excited to see what they’ve done too.

        We got up to 25 C today, it was sunny and warm. Tomorrow is forecast for rain. And so it will go between now and late fall. It’ll be a real mix until we have to settle into w.i.n.t.e.r. I hope it’s cooling off for you too. I love fall weather. 25C with a light breeze is perfection. You can enjoy yard work in summer wear but not sweat. It’s so important to look fresh while you’re gardening, don’t you think? LOL…I’m like Mrs Howell out there…no not really, LOL I only *picture* myself as Martha Stewart but I’m usually one-hot-mess. I bought some mums on my way home for the front porch. I hope they’ll last at least two or three weeks.

        You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Morning Doves. I’m thinking they look a little like pigeons, which there are a number of them downtown. I do enjoy their coo’ing. I’m glad you had them visit, do you think they were a couple wishing you and Mike a Happy Anniversary? Did you go out for dinner? xoxox

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