Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Still Shining November 10, 2009

This is one for the flower-lovers (you know who you are, and aren’t).

A year or so ago, a simple raised bed appeared in the parking strip a few blocks from my house. Good soil went in, things were planted, I didn’t go past for a while, but when I was out for a walk the other day, we’re talking almost-mid-November here, I almost fell over when I saw this.

Parking Strip Flower Explosion

What are they feeding those things? The good stuff, obviously.

My cosmos are long gone, at least I think they are – maybe I should look again! These ones are not only still blooming, they are forming new buds even as the evening temps dip toward freezing.

Cosmos and Zinnias

Massive orange dahlias abound:

Lion-ish Orange Dahlia

Guess I’m not the only one who plants stuff and forgets what it’s called (this was attached to one of the massive dahlia stalks):

Dahlia Tag

I loved this tattered but still-glowing zinnia, its charms a bit faded but still cheerful on a cold fall day:

Aging Zinnia

My sunflowers are long gone too, and yet here are these, still standing proud and topping out at probably 11 ft. How they survived the previous night’s wind storm, I have no idea.

Towering Sunflowers in Mid-November

Well, mostly survived:

Broken-necked Sunflower

This gardener chose not to rip up the entire parking strip, just a small patch of sod for the raised bed. But man, you can fit a lot of loveliness in a small space if you get it right. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next year!

Just one house over, strange things are growing in the lawn…

Skeleton in the grass


7 Responses to “Still Shining”

  1. Bonnie Story Says:

    What a celebration those flowers are!!! Great pics. I think those neighbors in the last shot might want to sift their compost a bit… :~} Bonnie

  2. Grace Says:

    Hi Karen~~ I’ve been noticing a lot of, well not a lot, but a surprising number of plants still performing. I love this kind of autumn with mild temps to help prolong the beauty. I agree about the special “yard art” “growing” next to the Japanese Maple. Somebody has a sense of humor.

  3. easygardener Says:

    They must have some fail safe method of keeping everything upright. I can’t imagine how they do it. Worth it for all the colour though.

  4. Racquel Says:

    They must have some yummy soil in that bed, those plants are huge. 🙂

  5. Megan Says:

    While I don’t love flowers, I do love a late season garden defying the calendar. I wonder how it’s doing now with last night’s wind. I saw it was crazy windy in Seattle last night, it’s supposed to hit here tonight.

  6. Kate Says:

    If you do figure out the name of that big orange dahlia with the open center and purple stems, please send it my way! I had the exact same one in my garden for years and adored it, but this year it succumbed to my poor winter storage and the roots just rotted away. I’m heartbroken about it and just can’t seem to find the name! Tell you one thing, though, it’s not firebird. I looked that one up and it’s nowhere near as regal.

    Thanks for sharing your pictures! My friend was telling me about how they plant gardens between the sidewalk and the street in the Pacific NW, and it’s so nice to see some examples! Unfortunately, not any dirt between sidewalk and curb in my neck of the woods.

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