A temporary reprieve

Summer-like temperatures forecast for the middle of October offer a temporary reprieve for flowers threatened by the first frost. A week ago, this killing cold seemed imminent, with overnight lows dipping into the thirties. But, with great relief, the critical degree or two colder was not reached, and now there will be toad lilies and asters for another week or two, and possibly into early November.

Toad lilies continue to flower into mid October, with many unopened buds still to flower if warm temperatures continue.

Toad lilies continue to flower into mid October, with many unopened buds still to flower if warm temperatures continue.

Certainly, frost is not such a dreadful conclusion to the gardening season. Though autumn foliage colors have been late in coming, Japanese maples and blackgums will soon show their brilliant displays. Some flowers will survive the early cold, and even following a freeze there will be blooms on late autumn flowering camellias and mahonias.

The tall, coarse Jindai aster is a transplant from the far side of the koi pond where the initial planting was overwhelmed by wide spreading hydrangeas.

The tall, coarse Jindai aster is a transplant from the far side of the koi pond where the initial planting was overwhelmed by wide spreading hydrangeas.

Heavy rains from a recent tropical storm and hurricane split east and west, mostly bypassing the garden, but at least ending the worst of the late summer drought. While the garden has suffered little, the lawn will require some attention so that it does not continue as the laughing stock of the neighborhood.

A year ago flowering of Encore azaleas was halted by an early freeze, but several continue at peak bloom.

A year ago flowering of Encore azaleas was halted by an early freeze, but several continue at peak bloom.

Flowers of Canyon Creek abelia show signs of fading after flowering for months.

Flowers of Canyon Creek abelia show signs of fading after flowering for months.

The peak flowering of Gordlinia was in early September, but a few strays continue to bloom.

The peak flowering of Gordlinia was in early September, but a few strays continue to bloom.

Mophead hydrangeas in part sun continue to bud. There will be flowers until the first killing frost.

Mophead hydrangeas in part sun continue to bud. There will be flowers until the first killing frost.

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