Tuesday View: The Front Border 10.9.17

My gardener has been extremely unmotivated these last few weeks as he comes to terms with the long stretch of hot dry weather which has settled down upon this corner of Pennsylvania.  Months and months of not needing to water and not having to concern himself with pampering transplants has spoiled him, and the last month of humid, buggy, unseasonable heat has him refusing to work.  As a result this week’s Tuesday view is not much changed from the last view, and other than the general air of decay setting in, there hasn’t been much of a fight put up against this end of season degeneration.

front border

Today’s Tuesday View.  Autumn is here.

The garden did get a good soaking this weekend when the latest hurricane leftovers blew through, but the humid dampness also brought the local gnat population to an electrified frenzy.  Lets hope it also electrifies the gardener since all we’ve gotten out of him in the last few weeks has been a 20 minute manic attack on a relatively innocent Rose of Sharon bush (Hibiscus syriacus ‘bluebird’).  It happened one overly warm afternoon, shortly after he was heard ranting something to the effect of  “look at all those friggin’ seed pods, no way I’m pulling up thousands of seedlings next spring”.  So out it came.

front border

Sometimes pretty blue flowers and inoffensive green leaves just aren’t enough.  The Rose of Sharon is out now, but unfortunately the branches, rootball, and garden cart still sit where the gardener left them over a week ago.  Not even the threat of a Tuesday View was enough to get him moving!

Fortunately there have been a few other autumn goings on which can distract us from the local labour’s laziness and sloth.  The fall bloomers are coming on in full force and the Monarch migration has reached its highpoint.

aster raydon's favorite

We are on the downside of the migration but Monarchs still keep fluttering on through.  Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ might not be the Monarch’s favorite but as far as asters go it’s mine.  It tolerates drought, needs nothing from me, and flowers for weeks.  

There are always a few dozen butterflies floating through the air, and as you stroll they take off and circle in a round, lazy pattern which makes you wonder how they ever manage to make it all the way to Mexico.  But they do, and although it’s still on the warm side they better get a move on it.  Frost is coming and the last nectar-filled flowers won’t be around forever.

pepper sedona sun

Some color at the midpoint of the bed.  An unknown purple mum from a years-past porch decoration and the cute little orange and yellow fruits of ‘Sedona Sun’ pepper.  Each year I like ornamental peppers more and more and who knows, maybe next next spring will turn into pepperpalooza!  

The last big hurrah of the front border will be the pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) at the far end.  Most years the peak of pinkness hits only to be followed by a bleaching frost but this year my fingers are crossed for at least a few days of enjoyment.  I’ll try for a better photo next week with a little late afternoon sunshine but for now you’re stuck with a little of the grass with yet another Monarch perched in front.

monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly surrounded by the colors of autumn.

So that wraps up this Tuesday’s view, and it also signifies the beginning of the end of the 2017 season.  You may have noticed that in spite of the heat I’m no longer quite as convinced that summer will never end, and I’m actually accepting that autumn is here.  I guess it was inevitable, and if you’d like to see what it looks like in other parts of the world give Cathy a visit at Words and Herbs to check up on a few other Tuesday Views.  I hear she is also admitting the season is winding down.

As always have a great week!

16 comments on “Tuesday View: The Front Border 10.9.17

  1. johnvic8 says:

    Your garden is certainly holding up well now. Lovely.

  2. Your gardener sounds a lot like my gardener.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Even in its last stages, your garden is still beautiful with lots of color. Frank.
    Love seeing your visiting Monarchs. You’re right, it is a wonder they ever get to Mexico, they must fly 10,000 miles, going round and round, to get there!

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Eliza. The Monarchs do drift around a lot but then manage to fight a strong wind and come down right on the flower they were aiming for. I think it’s all part of the plan!

  4. Pauline says:

    Your garden is still looking lovely, so much colour in October! I hope your neighbours appreciate all your efforts! It’s good to know that your garden is a stopping off point for the Monarch butterflies, they must appreciate all your late flowering plants, just what they need to get them to Mexico!

  5. hb says:

    Your first photo looks particularly autumnal. We got some but not a lot of Monarchs here this year but got many of the tiny blue native Checkers and native Sulfur butterflies who are at risk due to habitat loss. I was happy they found something in the garden to their taste (Eriogonums).

    Your gardener may be unmotivated the past few weeks, but he did an excellent job, so give him a pass this week! ;^)

  6. Cathy says:

    Your garden looks more like early September than October! You still have so much lovely stuff to look at – the aster is wonderful and the Muhly grass looks good already. Just looking at these photos should be motivation enough to go out and do some pottering and enjoy the last of the autumn flowers. 🙂 But I have found there is actually little to do in my garden at this time of year, except for disposing of the occasional annual in a pot that has given up flowering for the year! Hope the butterflies move on soon and don’t get swept up in a storm. Ours seem to have all disappeared already. Happy gardening Frank!

  7. Christina says:

    End of summer maybe (well not really maybe) – there’s no deigning it is autumn now. But the border has proved its worth this year. It has been gorgeous for months. I’m amazed you get seedlings from your Hybiscus; I have several in the garden and I’ve never seen a seed pod or a seedling – ever.

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Oh mercy, a droughty spell does squash the gardener in us all. Those gnats just makes it impossible to get out in comfort.

  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    It’s still looking great despite the season and inattention of your gardener. My gardener has also been extremely slothful recently. It’s so hard to get good help these days.

  10. Looks very good to me. We have had hardly any rain for two months. Beginning to catch up a bit but coming in little spurts. I have pretty much given up and am waiting for dry weather again to do some cleanup. I don’t seem to have much in the way of fall flowers. Usually I have such terrific color from all my trees that I don’t notice the lack. But the trees are not doing much of anything this fall. Or at least not yet. I’ve given both of my Hibiscus to a gardening friend.

  11. Annette says:

    You made me giggle which is good and badly needed. Hope your gardener soon gets his mojo back. Well, it’s autumn and I think we’re all entitled to a bit of laissez-faire. Having said that I just attacked the climbers on our house walls today…2 hours of hard work but then the pool compensated me big time…have a lovely autumn, Frank xx

  12. Annette says:

    PS: Just made a note of your stunning aster, drought-resistant and pretty is a combination hard to resist!

  13. So wonderful that you have all those butterflies. ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ is a beauty – I like the straight species as well. Also ‘October Skies’, another variety of the same species, I think.

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