Saturday, October 20, 2012

To Everything there is a Season

The Shire has been favored by some mild weather these last  few days, 
so I have been outside more than I usually would be this time of year.
Yesterday I walked around the house to see how flowers and shrubs, 
so eagerly anticipated in the spring, have fared.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, 
the rainy days of late summer finally tapered off
some time in September,
leaving my hundreds of volunteer impatiens looking emaciated and pale. 
Lush blooms that normally would still look like this in October:

Ended up looking like this dismal representation of impatiens:
gangly stalks cloistered by pine needles:

Since they didn't flower, they didn't produce seeds to scatter into the soil,
so next spring I may not have any volunteers for the first time in a decade.
I'm a little sad about that, but I can't complain, 
considering how much abundance I enjoyed from them these past years.

On the other hand, the curly parsley 
consumed by a ravenous gang of green caterpillars 
 re-emerged from the soil within days of their departure:

even though few butterflies came back to say thanks or to dine again.
Before the frost comes,
I'll cut  the new parsley and freeze it to add to winter soups.
It's a good way to preserve a little bit of summer.

At the other side of the garden,
my delicate bluer-than-blue hydrangeas have faded to a soft violet color:

I know people use these to make autumn wreaths, 
but I always wait too long to gather them and they end up toast-brown and fragile.
There are too few on this plant to create a wreath,
 and the flower heads on the shrub at the front of the house have well passed their prime.
Maybe next year.

The leaves of my grandmother's Joseph's Coat are a bright spot,
offering a potpourri of color now that the days are shorter, the nights cooler:

A walk around the autumn garden reminds me of this verse from Ecclesiastes:
"to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose..."
Tomorrow, a few more things in autumn dress.

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