I'm always in awe of the energy that propels fall bloomers to spring forth flowers, often weeks or days before the first frost. There are so few of them, and understandably so.
I'm not talking about the frost tender plants from warmer zones that act as annuals in cold climates, those whose winters were supposed to be mild but had to surrender their natural growing cycles to the whim of the hardhearted northern gardener.
I'm talking about the plants that have adapted to bone chilling winters, thick blankets of snow and long months of hibernal light. The plants that have, deeply ingrained in their genes, the expectation of deep freezes and whipping blizzards, and still bloom in spite of them or, more likely, because of them, as an ultimate affirmation of life.
Some are burly and tenacious, equipped to withstand a frost or two, and even keep their foliage through milder winters, but others are so cold tender that a single night's chill would kill them, and yet they abandon themselves to bloom, with the expectation of this harsh reality, in a battle with nature itself to ensure their offspring.
And then others, like toad lilies, just appear delicate; they look like orchids but are as resilient as hellebores. When the other flowers have already retired for the season, that's when they get their time to shine. The later they bloom, the more they stand out, towering over the fall garden's barren leaves and dried up stems like daring and defiant fighters. I can never get enough of them!

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight" ; "A Year and A Day"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.