The garden, before first frost

Annual salvia Amistad is a great color for a moody autumn garden.

Autumn planter, with slightly soggy mums. (Lots of rain last night. We have a roof leak that we’ll try to deal with today. Sigh.)

Peacock gladiolus, with little free library.

Many of the dahlia got quite beaten down by the rain, but some managed to stay upright. We have more rain coming, so I’ll harvest a bunch off lower stems for the house later today.

Toad lilies, cheerful little woodland autumn beauties. Require no care, spread slowly over time (and can be split easily by division). Tasty to bunnies and deer, but mine seem to be surviving all right — there’s enough other stuff for the critters to nibble right now, I guess.
Toad lilies. I’d like to get a few more varieties to mix into this woodland spot.
Dinnerplate dahlia. It’s huge!
This sunny dahlia is almost too yellow for me — but in the autumn, I’ll allow it. 

Peacock gladiolus. Will be digging these up with the dahlias once frost hits, and storing them to replant next spring. Their graceful fall counterposed with the bending stems of Russian sage.
This is probably the last week for the old English roses, with a nighttime low dipping past freezing predicted for next weekend. They’ve given a long, gloriously scented show this year. Planted near the sidewalk, so the neighbors can enjoy the aroma as they walk by.
This artemisia is sort of randomly plonked in there — I think it’s the only one that survived from a previous year’s planting — and I keep meaning to move it, but never get around to it. Oh well. It seems happy, anyway.
A few last centaurea montana — I can’t resist that deep purple-blue, and their unique spidery petals.
Mums! Sometimes a little dull on their own, I think, but contrast with silvery-white-purple ground cover (alyssum, artemisia, ajuga, lamium), and they pop.
Hydrangea. I think I like them when their beauty is fading even more than when it’s fresh. Old-fashioned autumn quietude.
Alyssum. Sprinkle seed in spring to have it fill in bare spots all season long.
Mums. Hardy perennials (if you get the right varieties in the ground early enough), no care required. Although if you don’t have plants supporting each other, they do tend to flop a bit, esp. after rain. I had to lift this bunch up to get this shot. 
Hydrangea Pinky Winky. I like the framing of this shot, with the ivy trailing down.
One last, intense burst of lush color from rosa “The Fairy” in my parkway garden. This tiny rose has been blooming for months and months and months.
Malva sylvestris, I think, or possibly malva zebrina? Sylvestris is native; I’m not sure if zebrina is. It’s thriving, possibly a little too aggressively for my parkway patch — I’m going to dig some up today and try planting it in the back garden for next year. IF I finish getting my bulbs planted first!
Calamintha nepeta, long-blooming. Attracts bees.
Monkshood! Fabulous color for autumn, very dramatic, deadly poison. Garden with care.
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