For gardeners in more northerly climes, November can be, I am told, a rather bleak and cheerless month. For many of them, winter has already come calling and the snow has begun to fall. It's a good time to curl up in a comfy chair, review the seed catalogs and dream about next year's garden.
Here in the humid South, though, gardening is still possible, indeed necessary. Even in November the weeds grow here. We are still tending our vegetable gardens and digging and dividing perennials. We are laying out new planting beds for digging, and, of course, raking leaves. And here in my part of the humid South, we are still watering our plants because those fall rains just haven't paid us a visit this year and we are in a months-long drought.
Still, November is actually one of my favorite months of the year. For one thing, it hosts my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. For another, it is the first month when we can more or less depend upon the weather being cool enough to actually do hard labor in the garden. November and December are our big months for making changes and improvements to the landscape.
As I look around my garden this Bloom Day, it is very clear what my theme should be: Orange! The color of my garden in November is orange. Let me show you.
We'll start at the front entry beds where orange bulbine has made a comeback since last winter's freeze laid it low.
The orange gerberas shut down for a while during the hottest weeks, but now they are loving the cool fall temperatures.
The tiny cigar-shaped blossoms of the cuphea, on the other hand, never shut down and never missed a beat regardless of the temperature.
Surely these are the 'Lucifer' canna's last blooms of the year.
Milkweed continues to entice butterflies with its orange blossoms, even as it simultaneously forms seed pods.
This milkweed used to have an orange blossom, also, before these future Monarchs stripped it.
Hamelia patens' major customers, the hummingbirds, have moved on for the most part now, but sometimes even smaller customers show up.
The orange species canna is near the end of its bloom cycle.
But the Cape honeysuckle, which waits for autumn to unfurl its blossoms, is just beginning its cycle.
Mexican sunflowers are still drawing in scores of butterflies of many kinds, like this Gulf Fritillary. Yes, even the butterflies are orange!
This well-named Fiery Skipper butterfly looks like a tongue of flame on top of the sunflower.
Even more tongues of flame leap skyward from this hedge of Anisacanthus wrightii, flame acanthus.
Some might see these Turk's cap blossoms as red, but to me they are red-orange and still eligible for my theme.
Even this Sumatrana banana leaf burns orange in the autumn sun, although in reality it is a burgundy and green bicolor.
Leaves of the loropetalum, too, are getting into the orange act.
And the chili pequin continues to sport its orange fruits.
Falling leaves carpet the backyard in many shades of gold, brown, and, yes, orange.
Finally, 'Dortmund's' rose hips ripen into orange.
As the days of this momentous year wind down, it seems only appropriate that it should go out in a blaze of glory. A blaze of orange.
Don't forget to visit our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see a list of all the wonderful gardens and gardeners who are participating in this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.