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


Late to the Party October 19, 2008

Down in the parking strip garden, ripping out the awful-looking late-season asters (they have a horrible rust-looking problem, visible in the photo below, so I may just yank out all that come up next spring), I came upon a nice little surprise. I had spent the summer bemoaning my lack of cosmos re-seeding volunteers, even as some other garden bloggers were commenting that they had almost more than they wanted.

So, it was with great delight that I found, where the asters had been hiding them, a few late season cosmos. This one, a bright bubble-gum pink, even has another bud or two on it. It’s getting pretty cold here at night, into the high 30s, so it may not bloom further. But I’m grateful to have seen it at least briefly.

Late Volunteer Cosmos</a