Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't you feel tired yet?

It has turned cool the past few days. A cold system from Alaska and beyond has been slipping by and teasing us with winter promises. It is still a bit too early for the trees to really be in their flashy fall outfits but some of them are too eager to wait and have begun primping for the big show. The long dry summer we had brought some unusual rewards in my garden this year. Many plants that would be dormant many weeks by now are instead blooming. There are oriental poppies blooming with fiery red sumacs and forget-me-nots putting on a private show behind the waterfalls. The “blooms once a season” climbing roses are flowering like it was June. Candy tuft is making an encore as are the delicate lavender water hyacinth. I had planned on filling the compost bin with them. They had other plans apparently. I even have sword ferns that have decided to unfurl one last frond or two before the winter season hits. Honeysuckle is sweetly blooming right along as though it had no idea what time it was.

I have loved every single flower and speck of green this year; from the first colorful peek of tiny crocus to the full blown shameless display of six foot daisies. The colors and flowers of spring and summer have paraded in the grandest display of exuberance. The scents have carried me away to distant lands of memory and future fantasies. I have delighted at the determined and unexpected sprouts that grew to become spectacular plants. Just not exactly where I planted them.

I have especially rejoiced in the tenacious spirit of plants that refused to die. The little sumac tree in these pictures for instance. Last summer I dug him out of my neighbor’s trash. Her rambunctious dogs had chewed the poor thing down to a nub. It looked pretty darn dead. One day I noticed that dead stick in the trash was leafing. There was no dirt anywhere to be found in that trash can but this little stick was not impressed with that trivial detail. He wasn’t giving up so easy. I took him home and put his one foot length of dead stick and single leaf in a bucket of water. Later I planted him above the pond and he took off like the weed he knew he could be.

I have stories of near death experiences throughout my garden. There are plants that I culled from the dead racks parked by trash bins at nurseries and behind Home Depot. Orphans that no one wanted, sad little flowerless plants with sagging leaves kicked to the curb and left for dead. I offered them sanctuary from neglect and pretty plant syndrome and they found a home in my garden. They have rewarded me with an abundance of lush growth and riotous color for which I am truly grateful.

Now the weather begins to hint at an end to this long day we call summer and I am finally ready. I am ready to put my pastel summer dress away in favor of a warmer richer sweater. I am ready to turn my iced tea in for a hot cup of cocoa and cool salads in exchange for hearty stews. This has been one fantastic party and I have partied like a rock star. I took pictures like a tourist with a new camera and I oohed and ahhed like a fan at a Hollywood premier. I have had a ball but it’s getting late and I am getting tired. I am ready to curl up next to the fire with a blanket and a hot cup of Joe. So will somebody please tell my stupid garden to pack it in and go to sleep already? I don’t want to be out there deadheading in the middle of December! Oriental poppies in October? Come ON!


  1. You are lucky stuff is still blooming! It is so pretty!
    I think that is so fun that you dumpster dived for plants. You are awesome! I applaud you for saving those plants.

  2. These plants are full of surprises once in a while. I love that you rescue the plants and bring them back. Sumac is so beautiful in the fall with the bright orange and red leaves and berries hanging on them.

  3. I've been amazed at how much has still been blooming in my garden too. I have things blooming like it's spring. Lady's Mantle is blooming again which was a total surprise.
    Your garden sounds like it loved the summer too. That Sumac is beautiful, glad you rescued it!
    I was just commenting to my husband yesterday about how cold it's going to be cleaning up the garden in winter instead of fall.

  4. You are a plant rehabilitator! I never thought of looking behind Home Depot for discarded plants. Your photos are beautiful!

  5. What a fabulous display you still have growing and what a green thumb you have, too, withyhour Sumac. I had to rip our gardens a week ago--we've been having freezing weather and my garden finally succumbed.

  6. Some plants just need a little TLC and they spring back to life. You have given some a wonderful new home. Our Home Depot sends plants back to the supplier because they get credit. So, there are no deals from them. Lowe's has sale plants but they are quite a bit out west of where we are, and not someplace we frequent very often.

    Your autumn blooms are lovely and a joy to see.


  7. I love your "pretty plant syndrome"... lovely how you rescue plants ... but I am sure you know to be careful with the sweet sumac! Your first photo really caught my eye right away and when I blew it up ... what joy it gives... the light is so magical. Your garden just has a mind of its own and well ... exuberance is sure the right word for it. Beautiful post in word and image. Carol

  8. Near death experiences! So funny. Love the positive energy around here. I don't know anyone who loves their garden more.

  9. Like Terry, I never would have thought that my plants have had "near death experiences". What a wonderful thought. Your rescues make me smile. Just reading your descriptions with the plant names was akin to poetry.

    My poor garden has been very independent of me this year. My daughter said she loves our garden, though, BECAUSE I let it run wild, which truly befits the term "wildflowers".

  10. Rosey you completely cracked me up by referring to it as dumpster diving for plants! I had never thought of it that way though you are absolutely correct. Hehe
    Your recent post with the fresh snow was quite beautiful!

    Hocking Hills, I just figure if I were a plant like that I would want someone to rescue me. They always seem to appreciate it. ;-) Our little sumacs are only in their first full year so I have not seen any berries. I didn’t know there were any to look for!

    Catherine you and I are in the same general local so I know we have both been thinking the same thing. It’s great to see all these spring/summer flowers but come October 31st that cold snap is here to stay so they had better be snug in bed by then. Until then though I have been enjoying it tremendously!

    AZ Plantlady LOL a plant rehabilitator! Too funny. Plants gone bad come to me and I get them on a 12 step program and they turn their little lives around. Hehe.

    Miss Daisy I am sorry that you had to take down your garden already but knowing you it is just going to look amazing after a nice little winter nap. Our frosts are right around the corner. We have had some light ones so far but nothing to worry about yet.

    FlowerLady our Home Depot does a similar annoying thing. They let the supplier come in and mark the dying plants way, way down first. They keep those rejects right next to the dumpsters for easy tossing I suppose. I can’t stand seeing something that wants to live being abandoned. There is just something about the site of a stubborn green leaf sticking up out of a dumpster. That’s the kind of life spirit I want to support.

    Carol thank you for the sweet compliment. I do love a good rescue. I definitely appreciate a pretty plant in flower but looks can be deceiving. I want a plant that is willing to fight to live. Plants in my garden need that kind of attitude. Oh, and yes I do know about the sumacs. That was actually one of the reasons I chose them. There is not enough soil there for other trees or shrubs so there is sort of a natural break for their spreading habits. In the meantime I have a ready made nursery for the ones I do want.

    Terry Lynn your comment made me laugh because I thought of how hilarious my post must have sounded to you. You are always out there in the wild wilderness where there are decidedly life and death situations to face. Thank you for making me smile and laugh!

    Pink Ink I think that I would love to play in your garden just as your daughter does. There is nothing more magical than a wild garden when you are young. To spend your summer days getting lost in far away places so close to home is something she will cherish deep in her heart for the rest of her life. Thank you so very much for the compliment on the post. That really means a lot to me!

  11. And where is Survivor Extreme Home Edition episode 4? Surely you are not going to leave us out there hanging? NOT!

    I was giggling so hard, my husband had to come to see if I was all right. Everything sounded so familiar- and it should. You an I could have been separated at birth, for I have determined spirit, too. He calls it a mean streak. My poor husband avoids it at all cost! Sometimes, he just isn't fast enough, or is too thoughtful for his own good.
    I enjoyed!~janie

  12. You use your artist's eye quite well...with your garden design and the photos you take.
    That sumac has definitely paid back your kindness with it's beauty.

  13. I just copied the award photo from Lynnette's blog. You should be able to save the photo from my post.

  14. You certainly have a green thumb and lots of patience. I like how you are able to rescue unwanted plants and bring them back to life. You are certainly thinking green and practicing the 3Rs, Reducing waste and Reviving plants included. I still can't get over looking at your beautiful header.

  15. Janie, LOL! Episode 4 is next. Thank you for asking.
    I love what you said about your husband just not being fast enough to avoid your schemes. Hehe too funny.

    Patchwork, thank you very much for saying that, I really appreciate the compliment.

    Tara, thank you for telling me about the cut and paste. I tried it earlier but must have done something wrong. I just tried it again and it worked just fine.

    Autumn Belle, I never thought of it as being green. Huh. I just can’t help but reach out to help something that wants to live. This is exactly why I have more than one cat instead of just one. Good thing we live in the country. Thank you for stopping by to visit.

  16. Hi LeSan, I am tired, too, but not ready for winter. In fact, I am looking for your other Survivor Extreme posts, but am having trouble keeping my eyes open. I'm on my 7th gum ball, and will have to get myself to bed soon, so if I don't find them tonight, I'll have to come back tomorrow. I just hope you are doing better, and know what happened to your blood.

    I enjoyed reading about your plant experiences. I have to laugh about you nursing a sumac back to health.