October is generally the last month for blooms. This year I think the unusually warm September prematurely wore out some of our fall flowers. Even so, let’s amble around the garden and see what we’ve got.

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Let’s not talk about the driveway, and especially not about the ways in which the sewer work is complicating the driveway installation. Let’s just say that the new driveway should be done on Tuesday, and that until then there can be no planting in the Driveway Border.

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Current state of driveway and path to front door.

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The garden is a soggy mess and tomorrow another crew is coming to tear out and replace the old driveway, and I don’t want to talk about that. What I want to do is revisit memories of our 2010 trip to Turkey. I’ve already done a few posts about this, but not about the day we visited the site of an abandoned ancient city.

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Healthy Soil, Healthy People?

So an article in last Sunday’s Washington Post talked about how there is a growing body of scientific evidence that healthy soil makes for healthier people. Healthy soil is understood to mean soil that is teaming with a diversity of bacteria and fungi.

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That’s how it felt last Wednesday morning, as the sewer repair crew arrived with their much-larger-than-expected excavator. (Though the excavator’s color did nicely echo the orange of the Mexican Sunflowers.)

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Aster means “star”, and so the days of autumn hereabouts are full of stars.

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The ‘Honorine Jobert’ Japanese Anemone (Anemone x hybridus) is doing in the shady Back Garden. I’m a sucker for those gleaming ivory flowers with golden centers.

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Phantom of the Mexican Sunflower

Butterflies are gradually becoming more scarce as we slide into the last week of September. However, this weekend I got a lucky capture of a Black Swallowtail on a Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia).

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This guy’s stance and coloring made me think of Phantom of the Opera, plus it kind of looks like he is wearing a mask. Oh, and look – this photo is a pollinator twofer. There’s a hoverfly at the base of the central disk.

Currently we don’t have any of the tall goldenrods in the garden, except for a few volunteer wildlings scattered in corners here and there. We do have a lot of Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia), however.

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The number of Monarch butterflies out in the Front Garden seems to have peaked. For a while there were 6 or 7 at any typical moment, just recently it’s dropped to 3 or 4. I take this to mean that the core of the southern Monarch migration has passed through our area. Within a week or two they will be gone altogether.

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Monarch spreading its wings on Joe Pye Weed

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