susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Thanksgiving Flower

In the past, we have always had our first frost by now.
Killing all flowers until spring.
(Save the violets, which bloom even in snow.)
But the weather is changing.

Not only the hollyhock flowers,
but the deer have left them alone.
I speculate there is so much other greenery
for the deer to browse,
they don’t need to eat my plants.
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This pink-flowered plant is on
a different side of the house.

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Last Gasps & Late Bloomers

The sun is much lower in the sky, the hours of daylight are significantly less and the nights have cooled off.  It is still early autumn.

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Iceland Poppies keep putting out buds.  This is the third or fourth flush of flowers, I can hardly wait until this plant gets bigger. As I document my flowers in this blog, I am aware of the bloom times of so many flowers.  I feel that I am not taking them for granted so much anymore.

On the right, is a particularly late foxglove stalk of blooms.  These plants start blooming in early summer, and some have kept on blooming, while others are totally spent.  It is still a mystery to me why some of these plants are so different from others that are the same.

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The Hollyhocks are coming on strong, in spite of all efforts by the deer to nibble as much as they can.  I find long branches of hollyhocks broken and bare, as there is so much less fresh green growth for the deer to eat.

The right side photo shows California poppies and dandelions still blooming.  The poppies will continue until they are frozen out.  There are many baby poppy plants just starting to bloom, from early season plants putting out seeds.  As much as dandelions are disparaged as weeds, I think it is good if we can pretend we are children again, and savor their beauty as flowers sometimes.


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Hollyhocks

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Hollyhocks were unknown to me until a woman friend gave me a handful of seeds.  I dutifully planted them and they grew and grew and grew some more.  These are by far the tallest flowers I have.  They have bloomed and reseeded for a number of years now.  This year the blossoms are far more meager than in previous years, and I wonder if the plants are just getting old and need to be started again.  I used to see stems-full of dark red flowers that I learned were an old-fashioned favorite.

In the second photo you can see where the deer have eaten everything off the hollyhock stems.  They have been pruning these plants for years now.  I just measured the deer fence at 4 feet (120 cm) high, and it is also 4 feet (120 cm, again) from the house wall.  While the deer could jump this height easily, the bed is full of plants with no landing space.  The fence is high enough to deter the deer from nibbling low stature plants.