Led By Nature

I don’t know about you all but I am ready for something happy and light, something gay and carefree, something pretty and innocent.But (there always has to be a but, doesn’t there?) that is just not the vibe that is coming across from these photos or the garden itself right now.The tattered edge of the Great Spangled Fritillary’s hind wing suggests an ill wind is blowing. Fall by definition is a verb injurious.Every photo has a bit of the macabre.Ah, the egg case on the most magnificent deep orangey red zinnia in the garden’s entirety has produced a cacophony of tiny flailings legs attached to little seed bodies. Is it possible that they are raising little fists in unison to some type of Scandinavian metal music?More of the same in the Emerald arborvitae hedge it appears. Those witchey green striped leggings are very fashion forward, Madame Arachnid. Lots of patterns are being shown in tights and hosiery from the big houses this season.  My compliments to your designer.An innocuous view of the path that winds by the black garden with the arbor in sight and the woodsy planting of Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’ on the right seems slightly out of kilter. The overgrown rosemary, the tall pines, the reddish hue of the turning sourwood in the foreground, the landscape fabric covered path with weeds growing right through the fibers and even the blue adirondack chair with matching blue  garden tub are bewitched by the season.  There is nothing for us to do but follow along and see where nature will lead.


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18 Responses to Led By Nature

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    That path is so inviting Frances. Fall does make us look deep within the garden. The pink muhley grass is the most striking grass I think I have ever seen. I haven’t seen it available around here. I wonder if it is hardy in our zone 6?? I will have to check into this because I want some if it is.

    Hi Lisa, you were supposed to be scared by the path LOL. I have a friend in central PA who can grow the muhly grass in a protected sunny area. I saw that Wayside was offering it lately too. If you have a special spot, probably south facing with a wall behind, good drainage is a must, that is where I would recommend putting it. Who knows about the zones anymore? Good luck!

  2. Lola says:

    I love the red zinnia. so bold. The path looks inviting but with a hint that one must be aware. For who knows what lurks beyond.
    More beautiful flowers, perhaps.

    Hi Lola, thanks. That zinnia is the largest prettiest one of them all. I hope Ms. Spider lets me collect some seed from it, although there may not be any with that nest keeping pollinators away. The path was supposed to be scary, but maybe flowers aren’t that scary LOL

  3. Kim says:

    Frances, while today’s post may be about Fall, I think your first photo is one of the most beautiful garden photos I’ve ever seen. It has pretty flowers, grasses, a hedge, a stairway beconing me upward and a lovely garden ornament – I want to walk up those stairs! But you are correct, Fall is here. I just looked out at my little Sourwood, and there’s not a hint of color, but elsewhere in my garden, I see Fall’s fingerprints.

    Hi Kim, thanks. I wish you could come climb those steps, you are probably in good enough shape to do it, (volleyball reference there ;->) those steps are not for the faint of heart. Luckily there is a winding path that gets to the top as well. The sourwood is one of our great joys as it grows taller, over fifteen feet now. The dogwoods are starting to turn in earnest too, no turning back now!

  4. Phillip says:

    I love all the photos especially the first one. I like the new font size too! 🙂

    Hi Phillip, thanks so much. I am glad to finally have that font problem straightened out, fingers crossed.

  5. Rose says:

    Your first photo, Frances, certainly looks carefree and innocent–I love all that pink! You are right, that Nature will take its own course, and we can only follow. But somehow I don’t think death metal music fits in these surroundings, even with the spiders:)

    Hi Rose, I am thrilled by your comment, for it means that you read the story. This choice of music is a great source of Faire Garden clan jokes to that writer. The best line ever is “Just because a band is from Sweden doesn’t mean it’s good!”. So true. LOL This cracks us up to no end. This post was supposed to be scary, weren’t you even a little bit scared? I at first had a close up of the mass of baby spiders, now that was scary!, then backed off a little on the cropping. Maybe I should have left it in. Don’t you think that pink is tinged with scary purple? ;->

  6. Racquel says:

    That path is inviting Frances, I would love to take a stroll to see what is just around the corner. I love the variety of perennials and annuals you have in your garden. Those red Zinnias are stunning standing up tall like soldiers. But I really love the first shot with the Pink Grass that looks like fluffy clouds of cotton candy floating in the garden.

    Hi Racquel, thanks. I wish everyone could go along the paths and steps here, for that is the fun of the garden. You cannot see the whole from any spot. And you weren’t even scared a little of the purple tinge to the muhly? ;-< LOL

  7. Marnie says:

    Frances, I am in love with the first photo. That pink haze is beautiful. I have to look into that!

    The path beckons us to explore. Wonderful post.

    Hi Marnie, thanks. I guess I should give up on anyone being scared by the path, sigh. LOL

  8. tina says:

    Ah yes, what else can we do? We surely can’t lead nature though we gardeners try don’t we? The news says no rain in the foreseeable future. I think nature is leading me to xeriscape. First thing that has to go is the hydrangeas! Just kidding. I love the changing header picture. Meant to tell you earlier.

    Hi Tina, I agree that we need to go more xeriscape, High County Gardens is a good place to start learning about which plants are more drought tolerant and can still withstand our occasional wet periods. Although I can’t really remember what wet periods are anymore. I moved all my hydrangeas to one spot where they can get the water and shade the must have. Thanks about the header, it is fun to play with the photos to get that little sliver.

  9. Let’s see the first photo looks sweet and innocent. O.K. I’ll only look at it. 🙂 ~~Dee

    Hi Dee, now that’s the attitude we were looking for….fear! Thanks! ;->

  10. skeeter says:

    A great lead-in picture carrying us into your ever magical garden!

    I hope you are feeling better today…

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. Magical can be scary too, right? I am better, operating at about 80 %, good enough to get around and even drive to the store. Lucky we live in such a small town with so little traffic. ;->

  11. Brenda Kula says:

    There is really very little I can say that looks good about my gardens right now. But yours is still spectacular. I hope one day I can look at mine this time of year and still find beauty!

    Hi Brenda, what a nice compliment, thanks so much. I have worked hard to extend the seasonal interest in the garden, even into winter with evergreens, berries and appealing bark and stem formations. It has been ten years in the making with lots more improvements to be done. Of course it is never finished or satisfactory to the gardener.

  12. linda says:

    Good morning Frances, nature is leading my day as I waffle about whether to try to work outside today. The radar is saying otherwise, as are the mosquitos!

    Your garden is so darned beautiful! Your hard work and loving care is evident in every photo.

    Hi Linda, thanks. Cover your body and go outside! Working in the garden is what gives me strength, if I can stand up, I have to be out there. ;->

  13. nancybond says:

    I agree, that first photo is beautiful! As is your path. As for the critters, well, I’d tend to agree they’re a bit macabre. 🙂 Nature leads us on and begs us to follow…and sometimes, she just grabs us by the collar and YANKS!

    Hi Nancy, thanks, I love your comment! Nature is in charge, not us, no matter how hard we work. ;->

  14. Benjamin says:

    Oh, I don’t think gardeners just sit around by choice and let nature lead. Maybe gardners get tired by Septemeber–oh my, it’s almost OCtober, too–and that’s why we choose to let nature have it’s way fully, finally…? Or, we give in to autumn and some point, but I’m not yet. I’m still fending off the rabbit from the asters and sanguisorba. And my goldenrod just started blooming, and the ‘Nekan’ sage might start soon…. 🙂

    Hi Benjamin, glad to see you. No, you are right, we gardeners think we have some control over what it happening in the garden, but we can only follow Nature’s lead. By following I don’t mean doing nothing either, but rather seeing into the crystal ball and planning for what will be coming next. You are young and still are fighting the waves, rather than riding them. That will come, grasshopper. ;->

  15. Benjamin says:

    Frances–I should really splel chcke my comments. I’m looking at your blog during office hours on campus, so think at any moment a student will come in and grab my attention.

    Oh, I thought you were writing in a cryptic code.

  16. brokenbeat says:

    the spiders in the picture are evidently a portion of venom fang which had decided to take a road trip. i thought they were headed to the beach, but i guess they stopped off at yours on the way and, upon seeing the beauty of the sanguine zinnia, decided to set up shop. if you hear them rocking out late at night, playing their webs, drumming on their fat abdomens, chanting seemingly nonsensically about the coming of halloween, as venom fang does, this theory may be confirmed. i hope for your sake it is, otherwise those spiders cannot be trusted. boisterous congratulations on the honors. all hail faire garden’s chief executive officer.

    Hello my dear Brokenbeat. Welcome. Those spiders have to be part of the venom fang group. They had hatched several days ago and yet remain on the home base zinnia, failing to disperse. Mother Spider is right there too, not a runaway like the yellow and black garden spider previously written about. The little bodies look like strawberry seeds with legs, the photo enlarged was deemed too much for the reading public to bear, but I have sent it to you to identify your minions. There is rocking goin’ on in zinnialand, for sure. Thanks for your continued allegiance. Much love,

  17. Lately, the only place nature is leading me is to the rake. I’m seeing evidence of someone chomping at the bit to decorate for Halloween. You have my permission to start decorating on Wednesday. ;^) I wish I could wear those striped hosery being shown, but I think it looks better on the spider. I truly love your first photo, it looks almost like a painting – absolutely magical.

    Ah MMD, you still got it! Drum and cymbal, tah dah! My over the top decorating days are over, but the Department 56 haunted houses are out year around. One of the offspring now has one of my flying witches on his shelves, I noticed. I do get a charge out of Halloween and everything about it, it’s true. I went to the Knoxville airport one year to pick up my sister in law on Halloween in costume with fairy wings. In Southern California, everyone dressed up for the day, grocery clerks to bank tellers. Folks here are a little bit too conservative to have fun with it, so I quit going out in costume, sigh. But the posts have and might continue to show a certain flavor until the big day. ;->

  18. chuck b. says:

    Love the wide shots! Your garden looks so different all of the sudden. How is it nearly October already?

    Hello my friend, Chuck, thanks and welcome over here at the alternative universe. Your garden looks different too, it must be that softer light. Our leaves are starting to turn and that gives a different vibe to the garden, not all green anymore. I love the changing seasons we experience here, something that was lacking in both southern CA and Texas. I need to see the metamorphisis of the garden to be a part of it.

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