I was just sitting in the garden thinking back over this summer. It has been a strange one. In many ways it made me feel like a novice gardener. Tried and true habits and methods fell by the wayside, and the Master Gardeners have come to recognize my voice when I call. The garden looks a bit scruffy right now, but all in all, its still holding it's own.
The tell tale signs of Autumn are setting in. Leaves in the fruit trees are starting to turn color. Only a few to begin, but more daily. Unlike my childhood on the east coast, we don't have breathtaking colors here. Just yellow to brown to gone.
The Japanese maple is putting on a beautiful burgundy mantle of new growth, while her existing leaves lose their color in preparation for the fall.
The mums, exuberant in spring and early summer, are making their comeback for an Autumn show. And at nearly four feet tall, one of my late season volunteer sunflowers is getting ready to bloom.
At the same time, the garden is still full of color and blooms that show no signs of stopping. The lavender transplanted this spring is doing wonderfully, full of flowers and new buds. I have one plant that is not real happy, but it's still alive so there is hope. And the new lavender plants I put in this year are all looking healthy and happy.
Then there is the lantana! I took a chance with a mass planting of lantana in four different colors and it is turning out incredibly, a magnet for bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. I saw my first swallowtail in the garden this year.
I thought I lost my Gardenia. I had to move it at what turned out to be the height of this summer's worst heat wave. It ended up dropping all its leaves and turning (mostly) black. Being an optimist, I trimmed it way back and kept watering it. I was just about to give up when I saw the first little bits of green reappear. Now there are lots of green bits, as you can see in the picture. Yay!
with Shrooms, Succulents, and Rosemary
The Mower, Against Gardens
- Andrew Marvell
Luxurious man, to bring his vice in use,
Did after him the world seduce,
And from the fields the flowers and plants allure,
Where nature was most plain and pure.
He first enclosed within the gardens square
A dead and standing pool of air,
And a more luscious earth for them did knead,
Which stupified them while it fed.
The pink grew then as double as his mind;
The nutriment did change the kind.
With strange perfumes he did the roses taint,
And flowers themselves were taught to paint.
The tulip, white, did for complexion seek,
And learned to interline its cheek:
Its onion root they then so high did hold,
That one was for a meadow sold.
Another world was searched, through oceans new,
To find the Marvel of Peru.
And yet these rarities might be allowed
To man, that sovereign thing and proud,
Had he not dealt between the bark and tree,
Forbidden mixtures there to see.
No plant now knew the stock from which it came;
He grafts upon the wild the tame:
That th’ uncertain and adulterate fruit
Might put the palate in dispute.
His green seraglio has its eunuchs too,
Lest any tyrant him outdo.
And in the cherry he does nature vex,
To procreate without a sex.
’Tis all enforced, the fountain and the grot,
While the sweet fields do lie forgot:
Where willing nature does to all dispense
A wild and fragrant innocence:
And fauns and fairies do the meadows till,
More by their presence than their skill.
Their statues, polished by some ancient hand,
May to adorn the gardens stand:
But howsoe’er the figures do excel,
The gods themselves with us do dwell.