I'm a day late for Carol's blog, but today's roster of blooms will, perhaps, be more interesting, because we had the first frost of the season last night.
I harvested 3/4 of a five gallon bucket of tomatoes yesterday, and half a bucket of lima beans. There were many green beans too small to harvest, so I covered the row of plants with burlap, after giving them a good soak with the hose.
I will wrap the tomatoes individually in newspaper, to keep them from drying out while they ripen. We'll have fresh tomatoes for many weeks to come.
The temperature stayed below freezing for only an hour or so. There was frost damage to the sweet potato vines I have not yet gotten around to harvesting, to the tomato plants, the Cuban oregano, and to one of the datura plants. Far as I can see, nothing was actually killed. I have scores of little volunteer basil plants that came up under a rose bush. When I need basil for cooking, I pull up a whole plant. Maybe I'll transplant a few of these into containers, so I'll have fresh basil over the winter. Since winter here in central Texas last only a couple of months, and we can grow cool season crops through most of it, there is no great need to can or otherwise preserve food. The greater need for this comes in high summer, when everything either dies or goes dormant, save the heat-lovers such as sweet potato vines and okra. But potting up a few basil plants is probably worth the effort.
OK, here's what's still blooming:
Mutabilis (only a few blooms)
miniature (five bushes still going strong, covered with blooms)
Knockout (this one bloomed profusely all thru the summer but is finally slowing down, has only a few blooms now)
Zinnias (still going strong)
Orange flowers from Great Outdoors in Austin (the flower look a bit like those of the golden shrimp plant, Pachystachys lutea, but the flowers and plants are different enough that I doubt they're closely related. I've pasted in a pic above.)
Datura (in protected area, no frost damage - flowers delicate shade of yellowish pink - I really need to learn more names!)
Echinacea (flowering very nicely now that the weather has cooled a bit)
Mums (just a few still blooming)
Snapdragons (seedlings purchased from Fanick's nursery in San Antonio)
Petunia (old fashioned purple, very fragrant)
Canna lily (the ones in exposed locations suffered some frost damage, but the ones in protected areas are still fine)
Plumbago (planted along south side of wood fence -- survived the frost with no damage)
Bouganvillia (south side of fence)
Oleander (south side of fence)
Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida)
Orange cigar plant (Cuphea micropetala)
Green beans (I include these even tho I grow them for food rather than flowers -- the kind I'm growing at the moment [a French variety] make the loveliest lavender blooms.