This fall has been mild verging on balmy, and so the garden has not gone fully dormant yet. The pot marigolds, stocks and Nicotiana mutabilis are still blooming, and annuals and biennials that relish cool, moist conditions, like garland chrysanthemums (Glebionis coronaria), wallflowers (Erysimum cheiri) and corn and Shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas) continue to actively grow, producing wonderfully stout and chubby shoots and foliage. One can only hope that the winter will be snowy and not too cold, so that much of this growth will actually survive and burst into glorious bloom come spring. Nonetheless, after a first real frost earlier this week, I tidied up the garden a bit, cutting down what had been blackened by frost, and covered with thick layers of dry leaves those things that need some protection to make it through the winter.
In the garden today - Nicotiana mutabilis is still going strong, and there is lots of lush foliage of Calendula and other cool-season annuals and biennials; cozy and sheltered under the piles of dry leaves are Jasminum x stephanense, Agapanthus 'Hardy Blue', Dahlia 'Mrs. I. de Ver Warner', and torch lily seedlings (Kniphofia cv.)
The only thing left to do will be to cut down the Nicotianas after the first bout of frost heavy enough to take them out, and then to let things sleep peacefully through the winter - hopefully under a thick insulating blanket of snow - until spring brings new growth and new work.