Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In Full Bloom

It's funny how, being from North Dakota, I always look forward to the change of seasons. In the spring it's like torture waiting for that first 60 degree day to hurry up and arrive. At last, hibernation is over! Shedding the sweaters and opening up the windows, running to the greenhouses weeks before the ground is ready for planting, soooo excited for the sun and warmth and, of course, the flowers.
Now, as fall is well upon us, I'm totally over summer. I'm ready to welcome the crisp dry air of September again, the pumpkin carving, the smell of soup on the stove, my favorite blanket on a cool night. I'm restless for that change in the weather that always brings a new set of things to look forward to.
Having said that, I'm posting some pics of my favorite flowers from this year. While some of these blooms have faded now, when they were at their peak they were gorgeous and really brought a lot of beauty to our yard. As I prepare to prune back and dig out, it's fun to look at all the color that summer brought. I'm sure by next April I'll be just as eager to watch it unfold all over again.

As anyone who knows me will attest, these verbena are my pride and joy. They're so reliably stunning and reseed themselves like nothing I've ever seen. There's not a flower in the garden that the monarchs and bees go to more often. I shared some seedlings with my neighbor across the street, who is now equally as much of a fan.

This Raspberry Wine Monarda was sooooo amazing! A gift from my friend and fellow gardener, Beth, it is by far my favorite of the Monardas that I have. Unlike my other 2 varieties (lavender and darker lavender) this one seems much more resistant to mold. Also, the bees were nuts about it. Lots of questions about this guy from passersby.
Johnnny took this picture of our vegetable garden zinnias in early August. They were so fantastic and are still blooming like crazy even now. The butterflies and bees really liked them, but now they have stiff competition from 2 very territorial hummingbirds. I've loved having the bouquets of cut flowers all summer. That I will miss for sure.
These 2 perennials are so fun together...on the left, the Globe Thistle is such a different bloom. It's fun to watch it flower with those lovely blue frond-like petals. On the right, the Rudbeckia was a big punch of color that was much needed in this bed. These flowers have stayed on and on and are still quite dramatic.

Finally, a favorite new find - also from Beth! (Note to self: find cool flowers to share with Beth next year). In the front of this pic are California Poppies grown from seed. They're great because they love to grow in the worst possible soil. Don't we all have some of those spots? These were super prolific until I got a little lazy and fell behind on my dead-heading. I'll definitely be using them again, though. Their neon orange-yellow color is an awesome pop anywhere you put them!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and that you're looking forward to fall too. I think part of the reason I welcome the cool and then the cold and then the frigid is because at the end of that frozen tunnel there is the inevitable light of spring and gardening season once more. I think I appreciate it more because it never lasts, and that's part of what's so great about living in North Dakota. Yeah, call me in February.