Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Not Over Yet

Bigger than ever
Around here, it seems that most don’t see fall as a garden season.  Many homeowners have already covered their pools, cut down the flowering ornamental grasses and emptied their containers of annuals.  And we haven’t even had a frost yet.

To me, it’s just too soon to shut things completely down.  It’s a time in my garden when the lawn returns to vivid spring green.  No longer just a backdrop, shrubs in the screening hedge step forward with blazing colors.  The autumn sky becomes a magical periwinkle blue.  And after the fall equinox, the lower sun begins to highlight instead of washing out all of these marvelous colors.

Nursery-grown Chrysanthemum fill an end-of-season void
My back patio containers have seen better days, but they aren’t done yet either.  In fact, the summer chartreuse and purple Coleus is fuller than ever and the perfect colors for fall.  Some of the annual Verbena and Salvia are still shooting off cheerful violet blooms.  To add a bit more seasonal color, I’ve replaced a few of the dead or fading annuals with fall-blooming Chrysanthemum from the local nursery.  This should keep things going until the first hard frost decimates the less hardy container plants.

I know that freezing weather is just around the corner.  And that in a week or so the fall foliage will drop like rain just as it hits its peak. But I also remember how bleak and colorless winter can be.  I know that when I stare out those frosted windows during winter,  I will yearn for my garden in leaf.  So for now,  I will try to stretch out the garden season for as long as possible.  For me, it isn’t over until the last deciduous leaf drops to the ground.

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