This 'fall' has been a very unusual one for Montana! Usually, we have a killing frost near the 1st of September, even though the remainder of the month may be warm and settled. So, we usually figure September 1st as the end of the growing season for our garden veggies and yard flowers. If we cover selected plants well, we may often have a few more days of warm days, but the nights are usually cool enough, actual productive growth stops.
THIS YEAR, our first frost came on Spetember 24th.... and it was only hard enough to get the tenderest veggies... it didn't even blacken the marigolds! The first really hard frost came on October 10th! I picked several bouquets of flowers, roses, etc. the evening before! WOW!
Our growing season is usally short enough that various long season flowers such as dahlias, glads, etc. are just hitting their peak when the frost cuts them down. This year, I had the opportunity to really enjoy my 'first-year' flower beds! :)
When I received a Fall Sale catalog from Orion Farm, I was brave enough to order several new roses! :) They are planted and have had several weeks to settle in .... and still more nice weather is predicted... although we are now seeing night time lows in the low 20's.
One of the wonderful advantages of this fall has been that I am getting a head start on next year's 'prep work'... such as hauling in more manure, reshaping contours of the slopes and working on a terrace area.
One of the disadvantages is that while I gained a month or six weeks of summer and still have nice fall days ahead, I have LOST that time from my usual winter 'work' of painting and decorating inside, playing with my African violets, and decorating cakes!
Here are several of the final photos of my patio in 2008:
The patio on October 2nd:
and again on October 11th: