Saturday, October 2, 2010

On the Edge of Stillness

We may have our first frost tonight, only 3 days past the average. As I took pictures the last few days, I knew I was preparing, in my own overly nostalgiac / American way, for the end of the best gardening summer I've ever had--and seemingly the quickest. The garden, in its 3rd full year, was thick and lush, harboring insects and birds and mammals of massive diversity. Spiders were more numerous than ever. Butterflies I'd never seen before came in to nectar on plants I forgot were there. Right now, the many native asters are flooded, deluged, bombarded with 6-legged creatures that, backlit by the sun, look like stirred up pollen themselves.

But these images, the stills, are not so still. As the leaves take in tonight's inevitable chill and as the sugars begin to siphon down to the roots, the soil will come alive with the winter rush of expanding roots. And next year will be even better, for the wildlife I have yet to know, and for the person I have yet to fully know through this place. I look forward to sitting on the bench in January, in the cold silence and absence, and fully hear the garden (surely it's impossible to correctly hear the garden in summer, to pick through the mass and confusion of unfettered growth and visible life).

Burnt red sedum, liatris seed spikes, asters, coreopsis

White boltonia, purple and blue asters, sedum, miscanthus

Indian grass spilling out toward asters

Garden entrance

Turtlehead & sweet autumn clematis

Surprise fall crocus

Wild senna seed pods backlit by sunset

Aster bloom closing on sleeping bumblebee at night

Male monarch on 12' tall 'Jonesboro Giant' ironweed


Les said...

Too early to think about freezing weather. Your garden looks particularly lush and full right now, and I enjoyed expanding the photos. Today was the first time the sun shone in over a week, a week with over 10" of rain. Today it was clear and 69 and my wife has deemed it safe to turn off the AC.

scottweberpdx said...

That first pic is particularly wonderful, the depth is amazing and really seems dream-like with the light coming though the seedheads. It does seem that the 3rd years is the year things go crazy. Our first frost is still about a month away (I think) so I haven't quite come to terms with the end of the garden haven't QUITE ventured into my own maudlin musings yet ;-) I do notice that only in the last weeks of fall I can finally just appreciate the garden. I'm tempted to keep moving, planting, re-arranging...but I'm content to let the garden be what it is for this year. I'll have all winter to ponder my next steps. I do think I speak for everyone when I say, "more pictures of the garden, please". :-)

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Benjamin

It's nice to read you've had your best year in the garden - so far.

I hope next year goes that bit further.

Diana Studer said...

Oh yes - more pics - you have a most inviting garden!!

Unknown said...

Things look really lush. We had a light frost here in NH last night. Luckily, no damage. Precious little time remains.

debsgarden said...

Your garden is so beautiful! I can imagine watching all the wildlife, the pleasure of feeling the earth's pulse beat under the stewardship of your hands. It is the reward of a gardener's hard work.

Gail said...

Benjamen, Your garden looks wonderful~I especially love the backlit plants in your marvelous October sunshine. It's been the worst summer Nashville has seen in quite some time~Not sure what the weather events will mean for our gardens~But change for sure! gail