October is a month of dichotomy in the Fairegarden, two mutually exclusive parts of the whole existing side by side and progressing in the same moments of time. There is the birth of still blooming flowers, like the volunteer morning glories in radiant shades of blue. But at the same time there is the disintegration of leaves. There is imperfection that exists, like seeing the watering spray head in the beautiful shot of stone and flowers. It is truth.
It is wonderful and it is awful. The dwindling daylight causes the green chlorophyll to leave town for warmer climes, allowing the true shades of dogwood leaves to become apparent, one of the first trees to model the fall foliage here in southeast Tennessee. The colors are temporary, for the change signals the gateway to winter, a time of brown and grey. The violet leaves are a reminder of the ongoing battle in this garden between what the human gardener is trying to grow and what the earth itself insists on nurturing. The human will always lose in the long term.
We are both tired and energized. The world seems fuzzy around the edges and yet cuttingly sharp at the same time. Seeing the think sign while sitting in the ever constant lazyboy in the addition, gazing outward but delving inward as the garden changes with each passing tictoc of the timepiece on the wall, represents the mood of the season.
The wildlife clambers for the feeders to be filled, hidden by the still lush growth of the Bulbine frutescens. We oblige, a concession to the harsh reality that soon there will be no greenery to obscure the brilliant plumage of the male cardinal.
At the same time, clarity reigns supreme. Unfocused thoughts zero in on profound ideas, represented by this young
mockingbird one of the Empidonax Flycatchers, thanks Lisa!, perched on the piece of driftwood dragged home from a beach trip and mounted like a sentinel in the Gravel Garden.
Long blooming stalwart Verbena bonariensis is consistent from spring through fall with its purple bobbles. It awaits the opening of the interplanted Muhly grass with patient wisdom. The trash bin in the background seems appropriately surreal. It took me a while to figure out how the bin figured into this shot. It belongs to the neighbor across the street. That is the magic of the Canon SX1 on high zoom, it changes the perspective relationship of objects to its own desire.
Colorful leaves are transient. Brilliantly hued berries and stems will remain to nourish the bellies of the birds and the psyche of humans as the cold creeps ever closer. Cornus sanguinea ‘Arctic Sun’ brightens the blue needles of the weeping Blue Atlas Cedar in the front garden down by the mailbox.
So much is happening at once, it becomes difficult to focus. Achingly beautiful, heart-wrenching decay, it all plays out everyday in the garden. We can only watch and be amazed and bewildered by the miasma.
We follow the thread, looking for the grand design to it all. The neatly placed row of fading Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ triangular mopheads causes one to pause and ponder the meaning of it all. There is but one word to describe what must be done.