[Note: the following was written October 23. Same excuse as last time!]
Sometimes work just completely interferes with life. For the past three weeks I have hardly lifted my eyes from my desk, and yesterday when I finally had a few minutes I discovered fall is arriving.
When last I looked around me the Bradford pears looked like some flamboyant Marilyn wannabee had roamed through the neighborhood smooching them randomly and leaving her lipstick on their tips. Suddenly I saw trees in all shades of red, and started looking around to see what was happening. The maples run from their normal green through yellows and oranges and into reds, while the evergreens provide their steady background of green needles. Everywhere I look are the beginnings of the gorgeous season of trees. As much as one loves Spring's rebirth and the first glimpses of willow green, Fall brings her own exuberant color and that last gasp of excitement before the calm sleep of Winter.
A walk through the garden and I find that the chrysanthemums are starting to bloom, with the promise of many more to come. The pale coral ones - whose names I have lost - are in full bloom and the pink ones that came from Mitchell's mother's garden are full of buds. They are the old fashioned naturalizing type of flower, so will make a blanket of subtle color in another couple of weeks. And the "pacific daisies" - which are really chrysanthemums, too - are on track to bloom about the same time and will make a lovely ground cover for us.
And, there is always a treasure or two if one looks for it. Right now it's the Monk's Hood. Although totally poisonous (and therefore a terrible choice for a garden where there are children or pets around), it is a lovely purple spire standing high above the rest of the plants. Monk's Hood is a challenge for me. I have tried it in three different locations and still have not found the right spot. I suspect it may be an issue of water, not sunlight.
Of course, though, all this beauty reminds me of the work that lies ahead. It's time to start the serious deadheading for the end of the year. That's the kind of thing that can be done broadstroke, but there is plenty of it to do. The silver lining of this particular cloud is that it will all go in the compost pile and by spring we will have new humus to top dress the garden.
It's especially nice to live in a place where we have bloom about 10 months out of the year, and where we will continue to enjoy a flowering yard until Thanksgiving.