Bloomin’ Update 34: Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Miss Thing


There is a certain sadness when I look about the waning October garden.  So many blooms have faded and turned to seed; so many leaves have dulled.

And then there are the red hot flowers, looking a bit out of place and overly made-up amid the first flush of autumn’s golds and yellows and rusts.

Celosia — a few plants from last summer reseeded themselves for this year’s garden. Surprise!

And that’s when my imagination takes hold.

Picture this:  It’s nearly 3 a.m., a starry, starry night – courtesy of the Mum blossoms.

The Garden Bar is a small jazz joint on the the north side of town.  A band is on stage — I’m thinking of Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers.  If you’re not familiar with her, I hope you hit the link.  She’s one of my favorite blues/jazz/swing/boogie singers.

But this number, “Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good To You,” is slow, seductive, smooth, and sultry.  A few late night couples sway as one, blurred by the smoky haze — not unlike the spider webs which now drape many of the shrubs.

And along the walls, tarted-up ladies do their best primping and puckering to lose their wallflower label before it’s time to call it a night.

As much as I enjoyed the red blooms of Gomphrena “Strawberry Fields,” the plants were a bit messy,
often flopped over and entangled.

The last of the Canna blooms gets ready to open, looking more like a lipstick display than a flower.

This red Begonia finally flowered — just in time. It’s a reseed from last summer,
and it has taken the whole season to make it to this point. Good work, little Begonia!

The Geraniums seem to be working over time this month.

That’s when she walks in, a new face, a new body making a late night entrance in a pale butter yellow gown.  Faces turn, eyes roll, and whispers blend with the cool sax of the music.

“Who’s she?”

“It’s that elephant ear that should have had red leaves.  Now, Miss Thing has the nerve to send up blooms!”

“She ain’t nothin’ but a two-bit, dime store floozy,” — I have no idea why I’m starting to sound like Joan Crawford in a 1930’s film, but it just sounds right — “waltzin’ in here, with all of her bits on display.  It’s indecent, that’s what she is.”

And as she walks about the place, the last of the red hot mamas can’t help themselves.  They all stand taller, adding some more rouge to their painted faces — anything to get the attention of the last of the crowd.

Like the Geraniums, the Dahlias are filled with flowers and buds. I’m not sure if they’re on time —
or just colorfully celebrating the cooler weather.

But the ladies in red didn’t have to work so hard.  It’s 3 a.m. — and at 3 a.m., anyone looks good.

30 thoughts on “Bloomin’ Update 34: Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Miss Thing

    • Hi Sharon. They’re everywhere. For the past few weeks, we’ve had the usual webs, the ones that look like dream catchers. Now, we have these tent like webs that look like cotton stretched across branches and shrubs. I’m afraid if I stand outside for too long, I might be encased in one. 🙂

  1. Wow! My Celosia never looked that good all summer! I’m trying to figure out what exactly is waning in your October garden, since all your pics look fabulous. Entertaining post!

  2. I just love red flowers, any time of the year! I don’t think they are out of place anywhere, they put a smile on my face. Great photos! I thought I had some impressive spider webs in my garden but yours just takes the biscuit! Are you sure they are from spiders, and not from worms/moths? Not sure what kind of creepy-crawlies you have in your part of the world 🙂

    • Hi Helene — I’m with you when it comes to red flowers, and thankfully there are red flowers to brighten up the garden at this time of year. This sort of web seems to have appeared overnight, draped over shrubs and ground cover. I believe they are from spiders. If you look in the photo on the post, I think I captured the culprit on the right side of the screen.

    • Hi Marguerite. I sort of remember seeing short-lived flowers on one of the other type of ears that I’ve grown. I’m not sure if the short season they have here prevents them from flowering. Just when it’s time for them to send up a shoot, they get dug up for winter storage. But this bloom is, by far, the loveliest of the lot. A truly nice surprise.

  3. Music and gardens, who could ask for more. I am on the other side of the world from you and we are just entering Spring – lots of pinks – both seasons are amazing. love your blog.

    • I have to admit that I’m a little jealous that your spring is starting, and that I am entering the cold and gray of winter. I’ll be thinking of your pinks while it snows here. 🙂 Thanks for commenting and for your kind words.

  4. Can they possibly be Tunnel Spiders. They make a flat web but have a little cone shaped opening in which they hide. Very skttish.

    • It could be. On some of the webs, I have seen a tunnel that looks like a whirlpool sinking deeper into the web. Cool stuff — if you’re lucky enough to not be a victim of the web. 🙂

  5. What beautiful blooms! The celosia is gorgeous. I need to find out if it would do well in our zone. It’s a standout! I enjoyed the jazz references and based on your recommendation I’m sure I’ll be downloading a little Lavay Smith. I enjoy new-to-me artists. Debra

    • Hi Debra. This particular Celosia has a hot red stems. (I think it’s called China Red???) As for Lavay, by all means explore her music. The title of the post, by the way, is also the title of one of her songs. Enjoy!

  6. Love this post! I’m convinced all kinds of naughtiness goes on in my garden in the wee hours. Your dialogue would fit in perfectly! Love all the late season red. Now where all the high heels?

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