Now that October has rolled steadfastly into our consciousness, it is time for the Fairegarden to bid adieu to the flowers of 2017. It’s been a good year overall, as the floral display has evolved through the months. We are at the end now, soon it will be less colorful and more somber. But not just yet, for the finale holds brilliant displays with a long goodbye. The most spectacular is the pink cloud of muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris.
Short bloom time does not diminish the late blooming nakedness, sans leaves, of Lycoris radiata, spider lilies. This is the first year for these, three bulbs out of five emerging. One other that was brought from the old garden bloomed several weeks earlier and about a foot taller. It has the same red flowers. We shall see if the newer ones change habit as they mature. Gardening is always full of surprises. Take notes, there will be a test.
Very surprising is this reblooming daylily, Hemerocallis ‘Buddy’s Black Jack’. It first opened on May 27th and for some reason decided to give it another go now. Okay, you do you, Buddy.
A combination that was admired along shady roadsides when we lived in Texas was beautyberry and wild ageratum entwined to showcase cool hues of blue and purple. Ours is Callicarpa ‘Early Amethyst’ and a truly wild, naturally occurring ageratum that was brought from the old garden. I can’t keep up with the name changes on this, (and many others plants), so will leave it at the common name here.
Speaking of the old garden, sigh, it was a very different landscape from this new one. First and foremost, the siting of it offered views with no other houses due to a steep upward slope out the back and empty lots all around. The new place is in a typical suburban subdivision. It lacks mature trees and the houses are quite squeezed in together. But that’s fine, life is about compromises. Anyway, sorry for the lost train of thought, here is a view from the next door neighbor’s driveway of the mailbox bed, showing how the pink muhly is a shining star in fall.
Most of the morning glories were pulled in the lawn/meadow to prevent complete carpeting of surrounding shrubs, grasses and wildflowers. But some will always be left to grow and reseed, I love them so much.
They are sublime in their hints of magical realms and hidden secrets and will always be part of my garden.
Even as splashes of late color enliven the gardens, the quiet beauty of death and dying is gradually taking over. Great thought and effort has gone into creating pleasing textures that will last into winter from the browns and tans of spent seed heads and still standing stems. The black seeds contrast well in the fading Allium cernuum. Seeds were saved and scattered here and have reached blooming maturity. There will be more spreading. The short stature makes for a fine front of the border focal point.
Creatures are in abundance now, finding sustenance and cover in a wildish garden. A seed packet of Zinnia ‘Benary Giant Dark Red’ has produced above and beyond expectation. They are quite tall, several over five feet and had to be staked. They are a favorite of the butterflies and the relaxing on the patio with a cold beverage gardener.
Garden art stands out as the light shifts its angle against the drying foliage. I have a lot, too much garden art and am still moving things around to best effect. This grouping seems to work.
This is the unadulterated non-cropped image from the front porch, including other houses, cars, heavily used basketball goal, utility boxes and stop signs. But those things are not what I see when gazing out into the yard. At the moment, the pink muhly grass is attention grabbing in the setting sun and will continue to be so for a couple of months more as the pink turns to pale purple and finally to light toast. Evergreens help keep the monotony of browns interesting. Fall will finish with a final flash of mums and deciduous leaf changing. Winter is coming, true, but spring will be right behind showing the payoff of the hundreds of bulbs that were ordered and will be planted soon. I can’t wait.