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Our garden in October

October 29, 2014

Nasturtium in the late afternoon light

 

Walking around our garden, no matter what time of year or the weather,there is always something blooming or pushing their way up through the soil. Nasturtiums are always present. Just when you pulled out or cut the last dried remnant of them, and think you won't see them until after the winter rains, the seedpods that fell off start to sprout new vines with tender green leaves. And we already have some lovely blossoms such as the one in the photo above.

 

This is great because it means a year-round source of nectar for both bees and hummingbirds!

 

And here in a large plastic flower pot/container, is what is probably our last "Giant Zinnia" blossom for the year until next Spring. As you can see I let other wildflowers grow in there as well, a great habitat for our native pollinators.

 

I planted this zinnia a few years ago, to help attract and feed monarch butterflies. The plant didn't look that great after a while and just kind of withered away. I  left it alone, planning to pull it out eventually. I just kept tossing in other wildflower seeds. And  surprise, the zinnia revived and the whole plant is getting larger, establishing itself well in the pot, although I thought zinnias are just annuals. At this time of year it's a bright cheerful accent in this corner of the back garden.

 

This is our last sunflower for the year. For the past 16 years I've planted different kinds of sunflowers every summer for bees. And I count the bee visits to these flowers (sometimes average of 60 bees per hour) for the Great Sunflower Project. So far, I think this particular plant, the California Sunflower, is my favorite because it blooms for a longer period, and there are more blossoms per plant.

 

I'm still leaving the dried up flowers standing on their stalks because the birds are eating the seeds. Yes, they don't look terribly attractive, but they are a food source for now.

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