Sunday, October 3, 2010

Off with the Air Conditioner, On with the Comforter

It's a time of transitions:  air conditioners taken from the windows, shorts taken from the closet, and both carried up the stairs to the attic, down comforter taken from the linen closet and spread on the bed.

I hate to watch the summer dwindle, but I'm not in mourning yet:  my fall garden is in its glory.  Along the weathered fence on the north side of our tiny yard, for example, is a narrow strip of rocky dirt too small for intentional cultivation.  Yet some of the hardiest fall-blooming perennials thrive there, taking all summer to soak in the sun against the warm south-facing fence.  They're weeds, really, but the truth is, every cultivated perennial began its existence in the wild.  I call this my volunteer garden:  in gardening, a volunteer is a plant not intentionally planted by human hands.  These volunteers--solidago fireworks, which is a form of goldenrod, and eupatorium coelestinum, which is called hardy ageratum for its ageratum-like blooms--originated in a different, intentionally-planted garden elsewhere in the yard. Once these volunteers appeared in this narrow baking spot, bound by an asphalt driveway and a fence, and once I realized that almost nothing else would grow there, I decided to allow these volunteers to stick around once they appeared. 
Volunteers:  eupatorium coelestinum (blue) and solidago fireworks (yellow).

Elsewhere in the garden, aster tartaricus Jin Dai, often the last color in the fall, is just starting to hit its stride, and maintains a stately posture compared to the acrobatics of solidago fireworks:

The fall garden:  Aster tartaricus Jin Dai and solidago fireworks

I may have carried my shorts up to the attic today, but I cut a bouquet, too.  Here it is, and may it be one of many fall bouquets to come from this postage stamp of a back yard:

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