OVER THE LAST WEEK I HAD TO TAKE A BREAK FROM LIFE IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN and the related canning chores, so I took a look around for the bright spots in the fading fall garden. I have several patches of fall blooming cyclamen, pink and white, around the yard. They make themselves right at home and spread ever so slowly, their dainty petticoats upturned.

Little Stell d’Oro is reliably long blooming late into fall along with dahlias and chrysanthemums.

There are beautiful deep blues this time of year with ceratostigma, also known as plumbago.

Assorted chrysanthemums are at nearing prime bloom time now with the shorter days. I can’t find the name tag for this one, but I love the simple form and color.

Ditto for this reddish one. The reds and oranges of fall mums echo the turning of leaves and brighten the shortening days.

This white chrysanthemum was given to a friend as a potted plant when her father passed away about fifteen years ago and she asked if I wanted it. I planted it out at the edge of the vegetable garden and I think of her when it begins to bloom. I is vigorous and blooms for a long time.

Trycirtis is like a miniature orchid and brightens a shady corner under conifers and tall, old rhodies. It is a slow spreader.

This is Karma Choc, a dahlia that I bought this year at Chocolate Flower Farm this past summer and it finally is blooming. I put them in a pot until I can decide where to put them in the garden.

‘Prince of Orange’.

Other reliable bloomers into the fall are hardy fushcias. They don’t need babying, aren’t to fussy and do well in filtered sun or shade. This year they were slow to take off and start blooming due to a couple of hard cold snaps.

‘Santa Claus’

Unknown. Grown from a slip that my cousin gave to me about twelve years ago. One of my favorites.

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’.

I take some comfort in the slowing down that fall brings.  There is a certain beauty in the decay that comes with this time of the year, and knowing that most outdoor chores are over for about four months or so. But there is still some preserving left to do this weekend and that should be the end of it.

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