October Sun

This past spring I planted some Mexican sunflowers in the back corner of the garden.

“A little bit of color, feed for the birds–great!,” I thought.

They took a little while to start growing, but by June they were getting bigger and bigger.

By the middle of July they were a few feet taller than my blackberry trellis and they kept growing, but they didn’t flower.

By the middle of August, they were approaching 10 feet tall, but no flowers.

By the middle of September they were at least 15 feet tall, their stalks were two inches thick, they were engulfed in lima beans, and they were starting to lean onto the blackberry trellis for support. But  still no flowers.

Now we’re just past the first week of October. The sunflowers must be 20 feet tall and are firmly leaning against the trellis to stay standing. The first frost is inching closer. The birds are flying south. And there is one bloom on the top of the massive plant.

Soon there will be more.

See it there by the streetlight?

See if you can spot it from above:

I’m surprised at how much actually is blooming right now in my garden. In addition to the sunflower there are the marigolds and zinnias (the marigolds are just so much fun to photograph).

The toad lilies are still beautiful and blooming like crazy. I’ve also got a planter of pansies and a planter of mums that survived last winter.

I used to really dislike mums. They’re not very elegant and they kind of smell funny. It didn’t help that my birthday is in November and they were always the only option when I went outside to pick a birthday bouquet to put on the center of the table for my party. Blech. But, I’ve slowly come around. Now I like them and autumn.

Also blooming is my tomatillo plant. I hope I get some tomatillos before the first frost. It’s making a valiant effort to succeed and is sprawled across one corner of the garden. The little green paper lanterns that the tomatillos ripen within are very pretty as well.

I could also take endless photos of tomatoes. They’re just so pretty.

And for those keeping track, the raccoons are evening the score. We’ve removed three from our property. And a possum. We thought we had them all but last night something reached through the side of the live trap in the basement, pulled the bait to it, and ate everything without setting the trap off. We’re trapping again tonight!

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