I barely made it home today before the sun set, just in time to take a quick stroll through the back garden.
The koi in the large swimming pond were in deep water, a sign that a predator has visited recently. They will usually swarm to the rocky edge expecting their evening meal, but today they shied away. From the craters dug throughout the rear lawn, I suspect a racoon has been foraging for grubs, and has likely tried his hand at fishing.
Beyond the water’s edge I can seen the bold yellow blooms of the tall perennial sunflowers (Helianthus augustifolius ‘Gold Lace’ above, and ‘Lemon Queen’ below) planted on the hot, dry slope of soil from the pond’s excavation. They are quite content with the meager lot they have been assigned.
The dwarf variety ‘Low Down’ (below) looks equally happy with a damp site lower on the slope. Its flowers are beginning to fade, but are still bright in the diminishing light. Just above the sunflowers the Tatarian Daisy (Aster tatarius ‘Jindai’), with coarse dark green foliage, is beginning to show some color, the blooms will last several weeks in cool October temperatures.
Several of the Toad lilies (Tricyrtis) are fading after four weeks of bloom, but the remaining holdout (below), that had been pinched perhaps a time too often, or too late, is just beginning. There will be more than eight weeks of bloom from these delightful, sturdy perennials.
Nearby, I noticed the emerging pink flower buds of Mahonia ‘Winter Sun” (below). Each stage of this wonderful plant seems more remarkable than the last. The yellow flowers will bloom for several weeks in November, at the close of Autumn’s colorful display.