October is lingering into November. The temperature today was above 70, and the trees that still have leaves are gorgeous colors. Most of our garden is done for the year, but there are some signs of life.
Hollyhocks: one blooming, one budding
Native black-eyed susan
A couple yellow coneflower blooms
My best guess for this one is false aster. It’s been a cloud of white for weeks and shows no sign of stopping.
Ornamental kale – the only thing left in the pots of annuals
Reblooming rudbeckia – not as pretty as it was earlier this season, but spunky
One lonely dandelion
Lots and lots of calendula
The calendula is getting a head start on next year, too.
It’s the first of October, the prettiest month of the year. Our garden is much thinner than it was in the summer, but there is still plenty of activity.
Finally, one dahlia is blooming:
Along with lots of calendula:
The appropriately named “autumn joy” sedum:
Zinnias and cosmos are still flowering…
…while other flowers are at the end of their blooming, like this pearly everlasting:
and the black-eyed susan:
I haven’t figured out what’s been snipping off the black-eyed susan flower heads:
Coral bells are pretty all year but fit in best in autumn:
The milkweed pods burst open this week without my noticing…
…and milkweed fluff is ending up everywhere, like in this wood’s pink aster:
Grasses are in seed:
And even the raspberries are reacting to the season:
Some confused flowers, like pearly everlasting, are sprouting new plants after the recent rain and warm temperatures:
…or reblooming, like the tiny monster geranium does every fall:
I love bee balm – which just might be prettier after it’s done blooming:
October is the prettiest month of the year, and I’ve got pictures to prove it. Every day the leaves seemed more beautiful than the day before.
Okay, okay, the first photo is from late September, but what’s a few days in an autumn like this?
Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth:
I couldn’t stop taking photos at West River Parkway in Minneapolis, with its wide variety of colors that are gorgeous even on a cloudy day:
Still a few stray asters blooming:
A neighborhood one street off the parkway:
Moving on to northwest Minnesota, past peak but still plenty of color:
From the last weekend of October, the overlook at the top of Mount Charity at Latsch State Park with a few yellows and lots of dark oak leaves:
And finally, a couple favorites from Octobers past:
Sunny yellows at Lake Maria State Park:
See more of my autumn photos at 87counties.com.
I remember learning that calendula is the October birth flower when I was a little girl, though I didn’t know then what it looks like.
Now that I have my own garden, I’ve been growing them for two years. The first year we had one peach-colored plant. This year I received a packet with a different variety, and many new yellow and orange ones grew in addition to several peach ones that reseeded.
Bees and other insects love them.
The internet tells me that calendula was named after the calendar because it blooms the first of each month or with every new moon, though I haven’t noticed a pattern. They seem to bloom every day – and even appear to be picking up speed at the end of October, after several frosts. (Now that I think of it, a new moon just passed, and there were dozens of blooms today… hmm. Will pay better attention next year.)
I hope birds like calendula seeds because last year I collected more than we could ever use, and it still spread like crazy. Maybe we should try an alternative way to appreciate the flowers: by eating them in salads.
As I feared, the squirrels found a way to the fenced-in pumpkin and made short work of eating it. Now they’ve managed to climb into our more secure covered box garden. This half-eaten tomato was left on top of the enclosure – to make sure we noticed, I bet.