I have been so busy lately it is hard to believe how much time has gone by already.
Only when our first rains arrived about a week ago did it finally dawn on me that fall is here already and I'd better get out into the garden to enjoy the last of the season's offerings.
A couple of unwelcome surprises greeted me among the roses.
It seems that a whole army of grasshoppers has arrived to chew on the buds (sorry, no pictures, I go after them with secateurs, not the camera).
I killed about 30 this week already!
Cucumber beetles are everywhere too, whole hordes of them...
|Étoile de Lyon|
I remember the last couple of years October blooms on my roses were perfectly clean, but this year a lot of them are still damaged, so I decided to deadhead my plants a little longer in the hope of seeing better blooms.
On the good side, lower temperatures have brought out brighter colors and intense fragrance, so when I do find an undamaged bloom it is a joy.
My fall perennials and shrubs, such as Mexican sage, cape honeysuckle and Japanese anemones, are in full bloom...
|Anemone "Honorine Jobert"|
|Anemone "Pretty Lady Susan"|
...and my apples, unlike my roses :), show very little pest damage this year.
|A Fuji apple|
On the whole, I have learned to enjoy my garden however imperfect it is.
Even a rose bloom that looks like Swiss cheese because of the holes a grasshopper chewed in the petals, can still smell sweet (provided that grasshopper is not still inside it).
|Dame Edith Helen|
I have started my winter pruning already, not the roses which are almost all still growing, but some vines and shrubs.
Each year the plants grow bigger and it is more work to keep them contained. I don't mind, as it keeps me busy during the gray winter months.
My garden is very messy right now after a long growing season. As I look out on this wild tangle it is hard to imagine the orderly nakedness of winter. But I am beginning to look forward to it.