Fall!

The nip in the air recently prompted me to get out the camera and record the moment when the garden shifts into transition. I’m no botany expert, but I can almost feel the life processes of the plants contract and turn towards dormancy.

Grasses are wonderful in the fall. Here’s the new one that replaced the giant Pampas grass. It’s very delicate, and I think it shows up well against the purple basil.

That’s a little olive tree in the pot. I’m bringing it in tonight, as we had temps in the low forties the other night.

Continuing the garden tour, here’s the butterfly weed. What a great plant it is. Glowing orange flowers over a long period in summer, healthy, drought resistant foliage, and then these seed pods.

Next up is another great plant, Morning Calm trumpet vine. It has not been invasive, but it grows across the fence like gangbusters and produces masses of showy flowers right through the hottest part of the summer. Here’s one of the last blossoms, followed by a shot of the truly impressive seed pod.

That trumpet vine pod is not much bigger than the praying mantis who startled me by walking across my hand as I carried a bundle of prunings to the back of the yard for composting. She was perfectly calm, and when I shook her onto the grass she just sat there quietly. She was about 4 inches long, with brownish wings, and she was not afraid of anything. She might have been a little bit chilled,too, as the day was brisk. I find these predators of the garden both creepy and kind of magnificent. No pic, though.

The mantis incident happened right beside the Buddha garden, which looks like this.

 I’ve been growing these pink sage plants from seed for a few years now, and I’m always glad to have them. I go in for a kind of messy, crowded style of gardening, as you can see, because I can’t discipline myself to have only a couple of plants in a bed. It’s fun to watch the changes – I especially like the way the primrose plants (on the right) turn red this time of year, long after their flowers are gone.

The nasturtiums are going wild, the way I had hoped my impatiens would do but didn’t. Soon I’ll gather their seeds, which are wicked cute!

Out front, the heuchera and ferns are still looking good.

Dan’s garden is still chugging along.

I’ll close with something I’ll be looking forward to next spring: the third year for the asparagus bed. I haven’t harvested any yet, but maybe next year. The plants have made new spears off and on all summer. Here’s one from a couple of weeks ago.

OK, time to get some sweaters out of their boxes. See you next time!

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