This year I sewed some sort of package of "cutting mix" flowers in the skinny little bed at the edge of our back patio. I knew going into it that those mixed seed packs are a gamble, and predictably we had a lot of weedy looking things, a monster zinnia, lots of four o'clocks, and this one GIANT, mutant cosmo of some variety. This plant was six feet tall (actually you can see the edge of it at the far right of the picture of the turkeys in my last post) and had only just started to show some buds.
Then a couple of weekends ago we had a ton of wind and timber! down went the flower and its inch-thick stalk. Amy and I hauled it and some other garden debris off to the "woods" after cutting a few of the unopened blooms to take inside.
A day or two later some pumpkin-orange dots catch my eye and lo and behold, the whole plant has opened up in the most beautiful spray of fall-colored flowers at the edge of the woods. Our leaves haven't started to change yet, and with mostly pines and live oaks around here we don't get much autumn color, so this little bunch of orange among the fading grass is a very welcome sight.