Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tracking fall

Last year's freak snow storm in late October unexpectedly crushed the garden. I've decided to track the progress of autumn, not knowing what will happen over the next few weeks. As time passes, as many plants decline, the garden becomes a garden of light.*

The tall feathery light catchers at top center are Salix koriyanagi 'Rubikins' which I cut to the ground each spring.

The plants become less important, merely visual armatures for light to work on, transforming the dissolution and effects of entropy into a kind of beauty.

Panicum 'Shenandoah' front, Miscanthus gracillimus back.
I think this is a cultural and historical phenomenon; it wasn't always so. We learn to see this as beauty (though some don't).

Miscanthus giganteus, Rudbeckia maxima seed heads.

Rudbeckia maxima scaffolding, self-seeded Silphium laciniatum behind.

Looking down the bank toward the pond, with candles of Sanguisorba canadensis brightening the shade.

Miscanthus having a party.

White asters coming into bloom. The blue haze is Panicum 'Dallas Blues'.

Also Panicum 'Dallas Blues', a nice complement to the dried wine stain of Joe Pye Weed.

Filipendula, a splendid plant for structure, texture and color (except in bloom).
* Credit where credit is due. Anne Wareham called my attention to this with the remark, "We garden with light."

Monday, September 24, 2012

In another light

Fall arrived this past weekend. The sun was shining full at a low angle, bringing the first intimations of the season's glowing golds, yellows, oranges and reds, stippled by purple asters, black seed heads, fruits and berries that announce the end of the garden year. The fermenting fragrances of autumn soon will begin to rise from the earth.

This set of sun-lit photos contrasts with the twilight photos in the previous post. Click on this link to see that post.

Leaf-strewn terrace overlooking the garden. The worn blue stone paving dates to the mid-1960s giving the modest sitting area a patina of age.

Late blooming Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar'.

Geranium 'Rozanne'.

Steps down to the garden, of native argillite stone.

The small pond surrounded by mounds of debris just heaved out.

The bank up to the house, still a work in progress.

As the sun drops behind the trees, theatrical shafts of light create moments of transient radiance.

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'.

Filipendula rubra 'Venusta' in its copper phase, asters yet to bloom behind.

The native Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia).

Rods of Rudbeckia maxima, Goldenrod, some of which I must pull out to control its spread.

Looking across the garden toward the east.

Tall Silphiums and Rudbeckias dominate here earlier in the season. More interesting ground level plantings are in the works ... orange daylilies in grass, Pycnanthemum muticum, Rudbeckia 'Henry Eilers'.

Serpentine wall.

Wave Hill chair with Miscanthus purpurescens on right.

Looking up toward the house. Is refuge in the house or is it in the garden?

Back path with partially planted area on the left. I just seeded Sorgastrum nutans, which is endemic to this site.

Miscanthus 'Silberfeder' and Inula racemosa 'Sonnenspeer'.

View across bracken toward six red walnut logs, with new Miscanthus giganteus making a partial wall behind.

Hidden path into interior sitting area.

Pycnanthemum muticum and Panicum.

A place to sit, like a nest among tall perennials.

Late blooming vernonia with asters and blue lobelia.

Pycnanthemum tenuifolium, naturally occurring on this site.

Vernonia seed heads.

Inula and Miscanthus purpurescens.

Looking toward the hidden terrace.

Mystical 'omphalos' of the garden.

The elevated box hedge slowly merging with the garden as perennials seed into the planting. I do have to control this.

Great blue lobelia randomly seeded in.

White Eupatorium perfoliatum and Great blue lobelia, with a large self-seeded Patrinia scabiosifolia between, randomly timed to grow tall and bloom next year. Hydrangea quercifolia behind.

Looking across to the woods. Patterns of light shift moment to moment.


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