Mary Reid Barrow, who writes about gardens and nature
for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper,
once wrote about leaving a portion of the landscape to its own ways.
She promised that native plants left to own their devices would yield many surprises.
I thought about that when I explored the autumn garden around my house this week.
And Barrow was right, I did find a few surprises.
For example, we had a lot of rainwater
and condensation from our air conditioner late this summer.
Apparently all that moisture created the perfect environment for moss
because it overtook the bottom row of the stone edging.
The stone is barely visible under the beard of encroaching moss:
Moss is one of those plants that seems to thrive under different conditions
although it clearly has its favorites.
Although begonias are not my favorite summer flower,
I've developed an appreciation for them these last few years.
They too handle different conditions effortlessly.
I'm amazed at how their flowers and leaves remain unfazed
by fluctuations in water and temperature. They still look like summer:
The creeping jenny and the black sweet potato vine
also embody summer days well into autumn:
But even if some flowers and plants refuse to heed the call of autumn,
many others gladly change into their fall apparel.
The legacy redbud leaves are turning a deep yellow gold:
The Virginia Creeper vine continues creeping toward soft red:
Such vivid colors in leaves prompted Camus to write:
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
I myself always mourn the passing of summer,
but every season has its gifts and bestows its own grace.
And there is a time to every purpose.
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