Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Defying the Dead Zone

Pincushion Flowers!

Take a bow, Scabiosa. This is no small feat. You began blooming in late June. Here it is, November 12th, and you're still at it. (Defying more than a month of freezing nights.) Lord knows we can't credit the gardener for this one. She was so dang lazy she never even fertilized you.

Wish I could muster this fighter attitude that my flowers seem to have. I'm sad about the coming winter.

Normally, I'm in good spirits during this time of year.

It's exciting to schlep the skis over to the ski tune-up place, hand off the snowboard to those snowboarder tune-up people, and drop the snowshoes off at the snowshoe place where God only knows what they do to those things...

This year is different.

Snows came in the pesky way they do sometimes: too early!
Chopping an entire month off gardening and horseback riding and I'm mad about that.

During this 'early winter' Curlicue Sage (right) has grown an entire foot, though it is wilting as I've never seen before.

Years like this we never know what's up. It snows, next morning it melts, that night it snows again, so on, so forth.

We're like little piglets wallowing in the mud until Mother Nature makes up her mind that winter has officially begun.

After bloom: Seed balls of Purple Coneflowers turn red in the winter.

Autumn Pruning: Some experts are big into this and so I always obeyed. This year I didn't. Not so much because I'm a rebel. Mostly because the height of the dead flower stalks encourages more snow to drift around them. So, I did not lop the heads off any of my perennials and it's providing a really pretty late autumn garden.

Granted it's a fairly spooky garden, but it's still kind of cool...

Yellow Heliopsis (perennial sunflowers) turn bright white after fading.

* That very long, skinny photo is of the winning heirloom Hollyhock. She topped out at 15.5 feet (If I sent you Holly seeds, expect some very tall things to happen next summer!)

Scabiosa (Lavender) Pincushion flower is often sold in gallon pots at Walmart, Home Depot, etc. A fantastic staple for the perennial garden.

* Pincushions: I have at least 20 of the Lavender variety. Mixed in with that: blue, black, deep purple and hot pink. The hot pink is my absolute favorite. She puts on a spectacular 2-month show of flowers. Most Scabiosas are USDA zone 5 or 6.


Iron Needles said...

I have pincushions still blooming, too! It's a nice thing to see in an otherwise pretty bleak yard.

Kate said...

I hear ya. :)