In a sea of green foliage there are some stand outs as summer winds down into fall. Ironically, some of them are even considered weedlike and are ripped out by the dozens. A few of these must be left however, for the garden would sorely miss what they bring to the table. Like these purple Perilla frutescens and garlic chives, Allium tuberosum. Both sow seeds in quantities as thickly as the yarns of a finely made Aubusson rug. The Japanese blood grass, Imperator cylindrica looks lovely enough with the black berries of the Aronia melanocarpa ‘Viking’ as the foliage begins to don the hues for which it was purchased, but the yin and yang of darkest purple and white add depth and perspective to the scene.
Flying visitors, feathered and non are a welcome addition to the rooted residents.
The heather bed, newly renovated last winter has been a pleasant success so far. The plantings are still young and annuals, like these marigolds from saved seeds started in the greenhouse, are place holders while the perennials grow and fill in.
A cross between Tagetes. patula ‘Queen Sophia’ and T. ‘Tiger Eyes’ displays a fascinating reverse in the petals of mahogany and gold. Like a vivid petticoat of the French Can Can dancers.
One section in particular has been full of color since the cold temps receded. The spot opposite the ramp that leads to the garage deck, home to the blue chair, allows one to sit and while away the hours, conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain* in the shady afternoon after a morning of heavy weeding, plant moving and general task completion. Another annual here, Pentas lanceolata in a luscious shade of vermilion draws the attention of butterflies and hummingbirds. Sedum ‘Matrona’ is a stalwart perennial that is beginning to bloom as well and is well loved by many insect visitors.
Hemerocallis ‘Palo Duro Canyon’, so adored it was purchased twice, has given several late season blooms. The extra water he receives due to strategic positioning opposite the blue chair where the gardener can sit with the hose and comfortably spray away is the enabler of the rebloom.
From early spring until frost removes the color from these plantings, and even after, sitting in the blue chair and gazing at this patch of the Fairegarden never gets boring, tiring or old.
Gail has her susans, and we have a few, but they are all Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, not her R. hirtas that will self sow with wanton abandon. Pretty, but masses are needed, not the plunking of one here and one there practice that has been followed. Help has been promised.
Regular readers know that there is usually a surprise at the end of posts like this. A little twist of some sort, and they are right about that today. Such smart readers. The little melon that was grown from a free packet of seeds from Baker Creek, Petit Gris De Rennes is emitting a rather strong and sweet aroma. That is the cue for harvest, we learned from helpful readers. Those readers, we just love ’em! Some critter tried to bite the hard and thick skin but gave up after the first try it seems. The protective cloth cover was ready if more attacks were in evidence, but was not needed.
The cobalt glazed pie plate was brought out to the veggie garden along with a sharp knife and the camera. Just the stem cutting released a fragrance so sweet the music of angels was heard as consciousness was briefly lost. Recovering, the blade easily cut the perfectly ripe fruit, squirting more perfume into the garden. The color is sublime. This, dear readers, is the prettiest thing in the garden, bar none. And yes, it was as delicious as it was beautiful. And there are two more globes on the vines.
* So sings the Scarecrow to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Click here to see it if you wish.