But here on the east coast of North America it is not the end at all. There is such a sense of anticipation, almost greater than when the garden wakes up after a cold wet winter.
It's coming. . . Autumn. And it will be spectacular.
Allen Lacy in The Garden in Autumn writes about the difference between an English garden going into fall and a North American one. Our heritage is to think of gardens as beautiful in spring and summer, and faded in autumn. In England, with its cheery spring and summer climate, but damp and dark autumn, that is true.
London is not, as popularly thought, directly across from New York. It is on a latitude similar to Labrador, and days get short very noticeably in September. It's rainy. There can be nice garden sights, and beautiful fall color, but autumn quickly brings chill and dark, more so than it does here.
In much of North America the days are not so short, the weather gets really nice, and the sense of a season beginning anew in September is wondrous. In the midwest and on the east coast the hot, humid, horrid, rainless misery of summer is over, and we get welcome rain to refresh the garden, and cooler weather to enjoy it in.
Just as we get excited about the first daffodils in spring, there is excitement about the asters and those first tantalizing fall colors just emerging.
Look --- it begins.
|Asters abound. They are everywhere in the meadow.|
Let the season begin!
|Fronds of staghorn sumacs on the hill and an oak sapling in the meadow|
start to color, and will be completely ablaze soon.
|This pair of red maples on the hill can't wait --- they're always ahead of the others.|
They turn wine red in September, before all the others change.
|The days are shorter now, but the light is clearer. The sun's rays look for willing subjects.|
|Purple and gold, clashing and crashing.|
|A potted blueberry turns mahogany red. |
It didn't produce many blueberries this summer, but look at it now.
Iris 'Immortality' reblooms in September, so blindingly bright that the camera can't capture any detail in her crystalline white falls (I tried, I can't figure out any setting that will "see" anything but flat white).
|Garnet red Itea stands behind Iris 'Immortality'. |
This iris smells like high class grape soda.
The hardy mums are filled with buds, and ready to open. The forested hillsides change colors, shifting the whole view. Berries on the hollies and chokeberries are turning red.
Each day brings new sights, new colors, emerging blooms, an interesting development in the garden, a changing landscape so much more dramatic than the slow changes our long, tentative spring brings us.
It's beginning and I can't wait.
|Which way do we go?|
Over here, over here.
No, this way, to the right. Follow us.