Hard to believe that I took these photos more than a week ago already... and yet the garden looks so different now, just 7 days later. Cold weather and chilly evenings have started to take their toll, but all of what you see in these next few photos is still in bloom:
Blue caryopteris and 'Black & Blue' salvia provide a nice habitat for George the Giraffe
When backlit, the flower spikes of 'Hameln' pennisetum positively glow
Acapulco agastache is a reliable late-season bloomer for me... if only it still looked this vibrant!
A larger (re)bloom on my African daisy (Gazania)
Cool-toned Russian sage flowers separate the self-sown 'Lady in Red' salvia, front, and 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth
VERY late this year: First blooms on the pineapple sage
Cool+Wet=Reblooming 'Sweet Kate' spiderwort
A surprise rebloom on my (unnamed, but probably Jackmanii) clematis
Last but not least, the big news: Steve and I are engaged! We had gone ring shopping together more than a month ago, but I was still very surprised. I wasn't sure which ring he had ultimately chosen out of the 2 or 3 antique rings I liked best... and I definitely had no clue that he had already spoken to my parents to ask for their blessing. I didn't quite comprehend when he dropped down on one knee on the beach and reached into his pocket during an afternoon walk at a beachfront park... but, luckily, I recovered in sufficient time to stammer out a "Yes!" and a huge smile. Needless to say, we are both very excited!!!
Not nearly as excited is this old girl... can't you tell? Sister knows that once we get married and Steve moves in, she's going to have to endure his torture... but secretly, I think that they both enjoy running each other around the backyard, chasing the little yellow tennis ball and tugging at sticks. And, although he doth protest with a, "Really, dog?" here and there, Steve scratches Coco's belly readily enough when she rolls over at his feet and presents it.
So I'm thinking that they will be just fine. :)