Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Walk Through The Garden on A Fall Day

Hardy Cyclamen blooming in the woodlands


This weekend Fall finally made an appearance.   It's clear that change is afoot, whether I want to admit it or not.  For awhile, when the temperatures were in the 80s,  it was easy to convince myself that 'late summer' would last even longer!  Denial only lasts so long.  Gone is summer and we welcome Fall to Clay and Limestone! 

 The garden is still alive with blooming perennials, annuals  and flying creatures. But the changes are seen everywhere.  None more apparent then with my flying visitors. 

The Lantana is still vibrant  with color. It sits in containers at the base of the stone columns that dress up the carport.

It's one of those plants that is always in bloom and always draws butterflies. It requires very little to keep it flowering until the first frost. 


Since I began blogging I am even more aware of my  hardest working garden helpers~~ the bees and butterflies.  They pollinate the plants and provide endless hours of entertainment.    

The butterflies are still here, in fewer numbers and kind, but  working as hard as ever.  Soon they will be gone and we won't see them until next spring. 
 
It is always a joy  to find them fluttering from plant to plant.  They are excitable guys...flitting away with the slightest noise. They hang from the bright flowers in a dramatic pose before they are off to the next plant.

 They are going about their short life visiting all the nectar plants. They seem to be happiest visiting the garden in the late afternoon when the day is at its warmest. Of course that is when the sun is at that awkward angle for catching the best photo!


Did I say dramatic pose? Could this butterfly have chosen a more dramatic flower then Salvia greggii to stop and visit? Thank you for posing so prettily for me!

There are a few  butterfly flitting about, like our friend seen above, but the  skippers have been everywhere these days...

You have to look closely or you would miss this sleeping guy.
He was resting on  Celosia 'Dark Caracas' early this morning. He's chosen the perfect place to hide out the night...his coloring nearly matches the fading flower.

I was terribly excited to find a few Echinacea purpurea blooming in the garden last week...They are  perfect and more beautiful then I remember from the summer! What do you think?

Beautiful! The grateful skipper decided to spend some time with this Coneflower.  A delightful rest on a  late Sunday afternoon. If you enlarge this photo you can see another visitor.

Those skippers!   They dash about and seem to be playing and chasing one another about the garden.  Nearly impossible to photograph.  They are drawn to the native plants like Salvia azurea.

They lounge all day on this plant, only flitting off when I stop to take their photo!  This one was too slow!

Now,  that it is finally crisp at Clay and Limestone, the garden sports new colors.  
Amsonia hubrichtii                                            



We notice all the changes~~  fewer flowers, less visitors, changing colors on the trees.

                                     Rusty Blackhaw/Viburnum rufidulum

Even in the excitement of finding fall blooms.
 
                                                 Hearts- a-busting with love/Euonymous americanus


 it's hard to not feel a longing for the garden of last week or even last month.

Change is every where.

Gail

..... change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass. John Steinbeck

58 comments:

  1. That Celosia looks soft enough to make a lovely bed for any critter. :) I believe one of the flowers that I've been most impressed by this growing season is lantana, especially that citrus blend. I adore that color combination and it's such a reliable bloomer. Definitely one for the top of my Wish List!

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  2. Your pictures are all so pretty. I love the cyclamen. It is my Dad's favorite house plant. The celosia is unusual, never seen that one. Very nice.
    Marnie

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  3. Nancy, It really has been a beauty this summer...it will be a perennial for me...MEANING that I will grow it each year! It is beautiful and don't you love the color combinations in that flower head! Deliciously named Citrus! Thanks for picking me today!

    Gail

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  4. Marnie, It is a great plant that I saw and impulsively bought. I will try to save seeds and it may or may not come true...Would you like some anyway?

    Gail

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  5. Good morning Gail, busy trying to make things nice around here for your visit soon. It is cooler in the mornings but 70 for a high, can't complain about that weather. Your butterflies are so sweet and the photo of the greggii makes me green with envy. My camera refuses to capture the detail, but yours did a commendable job. ;->
    Frances

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  6. Frances,

    Thank you...it was a decent shot...The greggiis must have decided to plump up their faces so the detail is showing up...plants on collagen! Don't tidy up too much...I will feel guilty that you saw my house
    'as is'! Gail

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  7. Lovely photos! We have similar plants. I think I'm almost ready to collect seeds from the dark caracas celosia...it's almost dry. We had our first frost this morning after upper 80s last week. A very fast change. Cameron

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  8. Cameron, Frost after temps in the 80's is shocking! Sometimes we have a mild frost then the forecast is for increasingly warmer temps...I am always tempted to cover the Lantana and other container annuals. Did you save anything? Gail

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  9. Thanks, I enjoyed the walk through your garden. Yes mam change is here our weather has been delightful.

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  10. Darla, It sure has...I do like the cooler days. It's always a wonderful time to visit our parks and walk around!
    Gail

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  11. Wonderful surprises still popping up in your garden Gail. I love that Celosia 'Dark Caracas' and obviously so does the visitor taking a nap there. :) Thanks for the visit to your fall garden today.

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  12. Thanks Racquel for stopping by. We are lucky to have had these warm, albeit confusing warm days! It must be what the gardeners in Austin call their second spring! Except ours will be followed by freezing temps.

    Gail

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  13. Gail,

    We had our first freeze last night, but it doesn't look like it will warm up this next week. If it's in the 50's in October, it will likely be in the 70's in December, though!

    I enjoyed your flowers and visitors, I always do. You have so much still blooming. That Lantana is spectacular. They were perennial where I grew up, but I've not had a lot of luck with them here in MD as annuals - they take off just about the time things start to get cold. But that one, I think would be worth trying again.

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  14. Those cold night time temperatures sure have put a damper on our warm fall weather. I was really enjoying it! Great pictures! I still like that Celosia 'Dark Caracas' even in fall.

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  15. Kim, No frost yet! But that could change. We are now it appears a solid zone 7, so our frost could come at anytime! LIke your mysterious weather...it might be in the 70s in December. One year we didn't have a serious frost until December! A very rare year. This year the Lantana has been spectacular. I wish you could grow it, maybe you could keep it inside during early spring. Unless you have a plant eating cat!

    I am always glad when you stop by! I love your thoughtful comments (and your very delightful posts)..Gail

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  16. Dave, It surely is chilly at night! My hands are never going to be warm again...or so it feels like...just some acclimating to do! I probably do need to turn on the furnace! But I see warmer weather heading our way! Do you think we will have fall color?

    Gail

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  17. Well, your fall garden doesn't take a back seat to your summer garden, Gail. You have much beauty still---color, fruit, migrating visitors. And now that it's cooler we southern gardeners can enjoy being out in it, right? Thanks for sharing this transitional moment in the garden.

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  18. Gail--Salix tells me we dropped to 38 last night (Im still in AZ)--no frost yet, but I can't believe how quickly fall becomes wintry. Beautiful photos--I loved your post yesterday on the witch hazel, too. Mine has never bloomed--I'm going to move it and see what happens.

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  19. I love that celosia, Gail! You've probably shown it before in full bloom, but I don't remember it. I've noticed, too, the sharp decline in visitors, but there are still enough butterflies to fool me into pretending it's still late summer. Is that an Asian lady beetle on the echinacea? She's one visitor I can do without:)

    It has cooled off here, too, but I am enjoying the beautiful fall weather, especially all the bright colors of trees and shrubs.

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  20. Pam,

    We are lucky to have an extended season...we can't garden like you folks in zone 8 and warmer but we have many more days of cool nights and warm days before we have to give up the season to winter (I hope). Your welcome and thank you for visiting me!

    Gail

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  21. Cosmo,

    We were in the low 40s and it was really cold! But the days are rebounding with warm low 7os so I am loving that! Are you ready for freezing weather? Not me...I am ready for more of this cool nights and warm days. Have fun! When will you be home?

    Gail

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  22. Rose,

    I have shown the celosia before; it has beautiful dark leaves..very amaranth like, they are cousins twice removed on their father's side;->. But this flower is a really deep rose that is fantastic. I am going to let it seed itself and see what it reverts to! I shall attempt to save seed.

    I am not ready to let go of the butterflies and bees so frost go away! Do you suppose it will listen!! It never worked with the rain!

    I don't know which bug it is but will take a closer look. Are the Asian Lady beetles rather green?

    Gail

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  23. I am feeling a PANG big time for summer. and it just passed. I can only imagine what a few more months will make me feel. That lantana photo is INCREDIBLE. I am going outside right now to try and take more of mine before the frost hits again this week. Fall is beautiful at Clay and Limestone Gail. Enjoy the cooler temps and your fab garden for as long as you can.

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  24. Kathleen, Will you take cuttings of the Lantana? I will miss it when it is gone. Although there have been years when it survived...they were aberrant weather phenoms! Thank you...I will enjoy the time I have and stave off the pangs of sadness that will arrive when I say goodbye to autumn and hello to winter! Maybe we will get snow in January!

    Gail

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  25. Hi Gail, I have tried to get that hardy cyclamen growing in my garden before. I don't know what the problem is but it didn't ever take.

    I too am feeling a little wistful thinking about the growing season coming to an end. However it is nice not to have to mow.

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  26. Hi Gail, Yes change is all about. My amsonia has NOT changed yet though and I am excited to see it but now I see it already. What a treat. I did see the sleeping bug. That cyclamen picture came out super great. Mine has bloomed out already but the pictures I took were bad because of the white. It is so neat to see these flowers in your garden.

    Hope you are taking a truck to Frances' as she is VERY generous and has a great philosophy on plant sharing. Ask her about it. In fact, Frances, it would be a good subject for a post for all of us gardeners. I have never forgotten it but will not spoil it here. Such a nice thing. Gotta go garden. ttyl P.S. Tomorrow is PPS. I will be posting about it in the morning-a special treat and link too!

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  27. Today, I could actually let go of summer and embrace fall. Maybe it is the cool weather and the fireplace's warm glow.
    Donna

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  28. Lisa,

    I've had the Cyclamen hederifolium for years and it has spread about nicely....I planted it under a tree...where it is able to keep dry! It doesn't like moist soil at all. The other thing is that it cannot be planted too deeply. This plant grows in the Mediterranean and over to Iran in dirt with rocks and very sharp drainage.

    No wonder that fall is felt as a time of melancholy! There is a sense of sadness when we put the garden to bed for the winter. But, no mowing is a plus! We will mow all the leaves that 5 dozen trees will gift to us!

    Gail

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  29. Tina,

    Glad you saw the bug. My cyclamen will bloom on and off for the next little while...it is a sweet pink that almost always photographs as white! Very hard to capture it's true color or form.

    Well, I have a very nice Subaru wagon so I think I am set! I can't imagine Frances needs anything from my garden...plus she has been here already! I am soo excited to see her garden, pictures can't possibly do it justice!

    Soon your Amsonia will brighten up the garden.

    Se you later!

    Gail

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  30. Donna,

    Oh yes the fireplace is welcome on cool evenings like these! A lovely thought!

    Gail

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  31. Yes, change is afoot. I see it here too. The skippers are everywhere, and a few Monarchs are still sipping nectar. Thanks for the tour.~~Dee

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  32. Dee, Your site is looking good! Change is afoot everywhere! Gail

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  33. Wow. That Euonymus Americanus has a beautiful flower/berry!! We have planted bittersweet on our prairie/woodland. This relative is very distinctive, isn't it? Very pretty! Gail, does your lantana winter over? Does it grow into a bush? When we were in Mississippi this summer, there were Lantana Bushes blooming and bearing fruit!! I was amazed, because they're only little annual plants, here. :-)

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  34. Shady,

    I wish the Lantana would over winter! It will be mush after a freeze takes it out! If it were planted in the ground and given all the sun it wants it might grow to be nice 3 foot tall plant but not the bush size it gets in the deep south! There were 6 foot tall and wide shrubs at the beach when we were there this summer. I actually like it a a small plant not a big shrub!

    The Eunymous americanus is a very interesting little shrub for the woodlands. I don't know much about Bittersweet, Is the one you planted Celastrus scandens? The American bittersweet?

    Gail

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  35. Gail, I loved the tour of your garden. It's still lovely. I did see the little visitor on the flower. While in the garden today a little yellow skipper landed on my arm. I just stood still & watched it. It seemed to be rubbing it's wings together. They had black spots towards the back bottom of it's wings which were a little tattered. I guess it just needed a little rest. It's cooled off a bit here---nice weather to garden.

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  36. Dear Gail,
    Ya'll up north must be pushing some of that drier air down here... we just had the two prettiest days so far this autumn. Still 80's but we broke the 64 degree mark at night and the air is dry!!! What could be better? Worked in the garden long hours and still more tomorrow.

    Of course we don't see the changes you're experiencing. No trees turning colors and our visitors are here year round. But the cooler temps do make the grass growth slow down.

    I'm sure glad you are catching those little creatures while their still around. Loved all the butterflies. I did see the spotted fellow on the echinacea, too.

    I do hope you aren't visiting Frances when I'm in Franklin... I would surely hate to miss seeing you. But can I say I'm jealous you are getting to see her garden? What fun it will be for you both.
    Meems

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  37. What a lovely fall day in your garden. I have not seen the 'hearts a bursting' before -Lovely! As is the celosia. I found a small coneflower the other day, too. So pretty. Have fun at Frances' garden.

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  38. Your cyclamen is blooming in two such pretty lavender shades. They blend so well into the woodland floor. The Celosia 'Dark Caracas' is a wonderful blend of purple shades too.
    Your viburnum seems to be the most noticeable fall change.

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  39. Hi Gail and everyone,
    Fall change is definitely in the air around here too, but we've escaped frost so far (pushing our luck as it were), but it's inevitable, alas. Our garden visitors are mostly gone, except for the bees visiting the toad lilies and the numerous woolly bear caterpillars we're seeing all over. The mantises have moved to their winter havens (wherever those are).

    I'm envious you have that cyclamen! We've tried those in several places and they never come up, so we've given up on them. That lantana is spectacular! I didn't get any this year because we were so late getting things in with all the flooding back in June, but I love having it in the garden. I wish it were hardy here, but that's a pipe dream.

    That euonymous is really cool! I've never seen that before, and will have to check that out more over the winter to see if we have a place for it.

    Ah, how have we popularized 'Caracas,' eh? LOL... I just posted more of ours tonight, along with what else is going on around Casa IVG.

    Sorry I've not been by lately, but I've been sick again recently and just getting sort of back to normal again. Now we have tons of crocus bulbs to plant before it gets really cold!

    Great stuff as always, Gail!

    IVG

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  40. Hey! I am here in your garden today and my goodness, so many nice folks have stopped by too. You must be exhausted. Isn't it nice though? Nothing is more gratifying that sharing with others who feel the same joy.

    It looks mighty colorful around your place. I have enjoyed it. Don't worry--Spring comes quickly to us. I just love your two chairs on the sidebar with the blue flowers. What a nice blend. It made me smile.

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  41. Gail ~ That was a lovely fall walk, thank you so much for taking me along. I had never seen Hearts a busting with love before. That is a very interesting flower. I think the hardy cyclamen is my favorite though.

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  42. lola,

    Good morning~ isn't it a delight to have a little butterfly alight on you? You want to pet them but that's not a good idea! I think you're right, he needed a rest and you were safe. I am glad you had a bit of cool weather, it makes gardening so much better! I am glad you popped over here...take care! Gail

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  43. Cindy, The Hearts a bustin is a very unusual flower! We find it growing in the woods on walks we take. It is pretty unremarkable until the seed heads pop open. The cyclamen is a very special little guy. He produces leaves earlier in the season that are mottled and heart shaped...then they disappear. In the fall the little flowers on thier curling stems are a wonderful surprise! If you can find them, I can recommend you get them!

    Gail

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  44. Anna, Hello! Are you fully recovered? I am hoping so.
    The chairs are a highlight this time of year. I am thinking about adding River Oats to the area; it might make a nice contrast to the blues.

    Comments are the chocolate icing on a very delicious and rich cake! I know you feel that way, too!

    Gail

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  45. IVG,

    I have missed your wonderful comments! So sorry you have been ill...

    Oh that Dark Caracas! It is spectacular and still blooming in the garden. Crossing my fingers that it will be available at the garden center next year. Maybe one or two of the seedlings will be true! When the frost takes it and the rest of the bloom out...I will have nice photos to look at to remind me that indeed it did exist! LAM (Laughing At Myself)

    Your soil might actually be too rich for the Mediterranean cyclamen. They like it lean and rocky. I plant it just a bit below the surface under a tree, guaranteed to be dryer there. It is a little beauty when it blooms. The ants carry the seeds o their nest and create new plantings across the garden.

    Did you know that Sunday is World Zombie Day here in Nashville? We are going to the parade and Mr I Don't Garden may go in costume! I will take photos of the event!

    Have a good day, IVG.

    Gail

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  46. Northern Shade,

    You know our understory is lovely! We wait for the canopy to catch up. Rusty is a wonderful native tree! One of my favorites.

    Those cyclamen, they are too cute! They would look lovely on your woodland floor! You have fantastic soil but I bet you could make a small spot lean and mean! The heart shaped mottled leaves would go very nicely with the Jack Frost.

    Gail

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  47. beckie,

    Hi! Didn't you love finding the coneflower! Just for a moment it was summer! The Euonymous is quite something! Last year was it's first year and I had a few seedheads but it settled in and wow! It will go completely bare soon! Are you ready for a big frost?

    Gail

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  48. Hi my dear meems,

    The cool evening must be wonderful treat for you. I can see you by the pool, watching the sky, sharing a conversation with your husband and just being in the moment.

    I remember Tampa during the falls and winter! Lovely weather and beautiful plants. We played all the time and had a blast; eating fruit off trees and the fragrances were out of this world. More than anything I remember the sound of birds.

    I am off to see Frances this week, so we shall be able to get together when you are here! I promise to take many photos of her garden...she does a great job of showing it to us on her blog, but sometimes we get a different perspective.

    Take care and enjoy the beauty of the day.

    Gail

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  49. My lantana did not perform well this year. But I suspect the dogs are nipping at the flowers a bit!
    Brenda

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  50. Hi Gail, your fall garden is looking beautiful! I love those stragglers like your coneflower!

    Hearts-a-busting with love! LOL! It's a remarkable name for a remarkable bloom.

    The viburnum is gorgeous. We have blackhaws in a hedge, but I'm not sure which ones. The foliage is very similar to yours. My husband doesn't like them tall though - he thinks they look messy. Our neighbor doesn't like them tall either - she thinks they're ugly and block her view. So he keeps them pruned to about 6', and they never bloom as a result. I dug up some suckers and planted them way in the back where George poops and where they can bloom and set fruit with wild abandon, since I know he won't venture back there among the land mines to prune them. Our neighbors behind us won't care either. Ha!

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  51. brenda,

    I didn't know that dogs were such gourmets! The naughty puppies. Maybe next year, it is a delightful plant and lasts forever in the garden. Gail

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  52. gardengirl,

    We do what we have to get our bloom! I think that is a sensible solution...way better then arguing with folks who have firm opinions! You have created a wonderfully funny picture in my mind of flaming burgundy colored leaves amid the George poop!

    Mine are pruned like small trees. I wonder if you have Blackhaws and not Rusty Blackhaw. Still lovely.

    Hearts a bustin is a great name...the prickly seed head bursts open and out drop the red seeds! It is pretty neat.

    Gail

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  53. I like the hearts-a-bursting, but the echinacea purpurea is absolutely exquisite! I don't remember mine having such prettily recurved petals at all... I love those.

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  54. By the way, do I remember correctly that you're a fan of Piet Oudolf's work? If so, head over to Shirl's Garden Watch (I should have her in my blogroll) and check out the Oudolf garden she posted about yesterday. It's stunning... I think you would like it. :)

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  55. Love the cyclamen and the celosia close-ups, especially! It's interesting to see what groups in different parts of the country at the same time!
    ~ Monica

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  56. Hey Gail,

    Lantana blooms like a weed in Hong Kong. We see it when we go for hikes, all year long. The first time I saw it blooming wildly I thought "wow, there's a house plant!" of course I didn't know the name of the plant at the time - thank you!

    We saw both Chinese and American bittersweet in the farmer's market in Minneapolis. I love bittersweet - it reminds me of Missouri.

    Love, Lynn

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  57. Kim, I thought the same thing, but decided I was being nostalgic for summer and mis-remembering how lovely they are! The Euonymous is a special treasure to come upon when walking in our parks! I did and I recommended FRances (Fairegarden) also head over there. Thank you!

    garden faerie, It is always interesting to me when I see what is happening in other gardens. We all love so many of the same beautiful plants. I do like the little pink cyclamen! Btw, welcome to Clay and Limestone!

    Lynnie, Hi dear...I am so glad you commented, you must be exhausted from traveling! Do you miss Missouri sometime? I do, especially a nice snow..granted I want it for a day and then for it to quickly go away!

    Gail

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  58. Dear Gail,

    We've done very well with jet-lag this time...we bought upgrades to business class; not something we can afford all the time, but it really helps! I think the trick with jetlag is to learn how to manage it and not get upset if you wake up early (3 am!) for a couple of nights...it will pass...just don't schedule a major event for a few days, take your meletonin, and things will be back to normal soon.

    Yes, I do miss Missouri sometimes; I miss cold weather, and REAL changing seasons. It has cooled off a little here - highs in the 70's are a blessing! I need to go water the plants on my balcony; that's all the garden I get nowadays...:)

    Love you, Lynn

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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