Last garden ghosts

There’s a definite hint of fall in the air these days, though last night we were the warmest place in the entire nation, apparently. I went out and picked a few more dried hydrangea stems for arrangements before the frost, inevitably, hits. My gorgeous Nicotiana alata are still perfuming the sultry evenings, and the peacock orchids continue to bloom. I have a lot of sort of scraggly-looking Impatiens balsamina, mostly the fat, ready-to-pop buds along the stems, and the chrysanthemums are just starting to come into their own. Oh, I must remember to mention the toad lilies, which are blooming their pretty little heads off. But the summer flowers are just about over and done. These zinnias provide one last dash of sunshine, a memory of lazy summer days.

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