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September Plans and an Alien in My Garden

I am loving September! Already there is a touch of autumn in the air. The peeling bark of a river birch adds a distinctive touch to the September garden.Days are pleasantly warm, while nights have a touch of coolness.The deep green of summer has acquired a few golden edges. Plants, wildlife, and humans heave a collective sigh of relief over the departure of intense heat and humidity. We all have renewed vigor and interest in the garden.

I have planted some fall vegetables: three varieties of lettuce, swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli. Peppers and butter beans continue to produce. I have never planted fall or winter veggies before; usually I haven't the energy after nursing tomatoes and other plants through the summer. But I think I may like gardening while the weather is more temperate. It is a small vegetable plot; but I have high hopes and may still add more goodies. 

I have a list of shrubs, perennials, and ground covers to transplant. That list will have to wait a few weeks. I am soon headed to the other side of the planet, all the way to Taiwan, to vacation with some friends. I will be back mid October, with lots of catch-up gardening and blogging waiting for me! 

Meanwhile, I enjoy taking photos around the garden.

I like to sit on the patio and watch the wildlife. I always keep my camera handy and sometimes I get lucky. Actually, it's not luck at all; it's perseverance! After about a hundred tries I managed to get the following photos of a cardinal and a couple of hummingbirds:

Near the patio I found this spider making a messy web over some cosmos. Unlike the birds, it posed for me and let me take all the shots I wanted. I think its hairy legs are creepy!

My tiny 'White Marseilles' fig tree is growing well in its pot on the patio and has even produced a few figs this year. I am impressed with the leaves! During the hottest part of summer the tree dropped a lot of its leaves, and I was worried. But it has quickly recovered and is sprouting new growth.

Here are some more interesting leaves. See the alien hiding behind the first one. I wonder what it is planning to do in my garden!Above left is foliage of a knockout rose. It is putting out lots of new buds. Above right is a Tropicana canna leaf. My son informed me I put these leaves on my blog too many times! But I love them.

Some random shots about the garden:
Top row: Caryopteris, or blue mist spirea, is a pretty shrub that attracts lots of bees. 2nd row: Purple oxalis; An indoor plant, Kalanchoa is spending the summer outside. I hope I can get it to bloom again by Christmas! 3rd row: I featured Hearts-a-bustin in my last post, but every day I am more impressed with the pretty seed pods.

And finally, no matter what I do, the garden is always preparing itself for the future!Top: White oak acorn. Bottom left: trident maple seed pods; Bottom right: Hickory nut pod.

I hope to get out one more post before I leave on my trip next week. If not, I promise to take lots of exotic photos. See you soon!

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Reader Comments (27)

Beautiful shots Deb. I love the one of the acorn and the spider. Although it is a little creepy. LOL! The bark on the birch is spectacular. I have noticed a tinge of color on the leaves in the woods now. I love the Fall colors but hate what comes next. LOL!

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLona

You really have some beautiful images Deb, some really unique shots. I like the webby cosmo quite a bit, but all the images of the leaves I just adore. I like the views and the framing. Perfect lighting shining through.

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I always wonder if spiders are scared of us, or ready for us to jump in their webs! Great shots!

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

September is such a lovely time in this garden, but I'm not ready to give up on summer just yet! Winter is hard to take here in the north, especially without flowers to keep me smiling.

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Oh! Have a fun trip Deb!! That alien is SCARY!! what is it?? Everything is so beautiful! My fig dropped leaves and is trying to come back as well. I look forward to your return. Have a safe trip. I really should plan a trip to see you in Oct. This summer went by too fast!

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

The photos of the leaves are sculptural and the light is so luminescent in the fig leaves collage. Great light and dark values.

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGirlSprout

I'm pleased its cooled down now too. And we had rain, and an avalanche of mud, but not in the garden, thank goodness. The love your birds they seem so exotic to me. You sould filled with renewed zeal. Have agreat holiday and I hope you manage a post about foliage to link to mine tomorrow. Christina

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Can't belive that autumn is upon us.... The photos of Mr. Cardinal and the hummers are awesome. We have many cardinals at our feeders, but only recently have had two hummingbirds appear.... Happy Fall, Ya'll!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

All that activity going on in your busy end of summer garden. I love that shot of the acorn. Your spider need some help in her housekeeping, though!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

The first photo looks like a gorgeous painting. Great pictures of the hummers! I've never even attempted to get a picture of a hummingbird. lol They're so fast! This is a lovely time of year, isn't it. You've reminded me that I need to get some broccoli into the ground. Enjoy your trip to Tiawan! Sounds like an adventure in the making!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

I hope you have a fabulous trip! I love the hummingbird shots, I know first hand how almost impossible they can be to photograph. We're up to our elbows in acorns at the moment too. We've never seen so many! Our oak trees have gone crazy this year, perhaps our bees helped with pollination. Regardless our Acorn Woodpeckers that depend on them for winter food are very busy collecting them, and storing them in the trees. I agree, the legs on that spider are quite creepy!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

I love that river birch! Your photos really capture this time of year in your garden, Deb. Have a great trip!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Great photos! The acorn photo really surprised me... very nice!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNHGarden

It must be wonderful to be able to plant a fall crop of vegetables. Here we are counting the days until the first frost and then the snow will fly not long after that.
The shot of the cardinal was worth the effort to get him to sit still and pose. He looks handsome sitting there on the fence. The shot of the simple green leaf is my next favourite.
I hope you have a great vacation. I look forward to seeing pictures of Taiwan.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

You took beautiful pictures. The one of the acorn is so simple but so pretty and a great symbol of Fall! That spider's legs are freaky!!

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBumble Lush

I don't think there are many sons, who take an interest in their mum's blog.

Love the photo of the acorn.

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

Really loving your golden Autumn photographs. In fact this visit to your blog has been very inspiring. I love how close to nature and how sensitive you are to life. Wonderful words too!

September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFoxglove Lane

Have fun! I LOVE Thai food! I hope your trip is wonderful! :o)

September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Love your post and all your photos... have a wonderful trip! I will look forward to pictures and all the details when you get back!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

Hi Deborah,

Came across your blog through another link from a friend. I've been blogging since 2002 or so...you have one of the most interesting and beautiful blogs I've encountered. I too am a photography buff...and your pictures are nothing less than amazing.

BTW, I'm an Alabama girl by birth and rearing...now living in Tennessee

I spent many summers in Alabaster and the surrounding area.

My son and daughter-in-law are attorneys and live in and have their main office in Pelham.

I'll keep you in my Favorites and visit often...would like to tour your archives.

We own an Herb Farm and most of my blogging is centered around 'herbs'
drop in and say hi...leave a note to let me know you were there.

Lovely to meet you~

Bea Rigsby-Kunz

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBea Rigsby-Kunz

Hi Deb. It's always a treat to stop in to visit your garden. I'm a big fan of the river birch. The texture and color of the bark are beautiful! And the green in the acorn close-up positively glows. Nicely done!

October 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNitty Gritty Dirt Man

Deb - isn't it great to take a deep breath of fresh Autumn air? That spider 'friend' in your garden gave me a shiver, but the hummingbirds were wondrous!

October 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShyrlene

Whoa! Those are hairy legs... but kinda cool looking too! Beautiful images, Deb.

October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Very colorful, your photos made even the dry brown leaf as if having life! so beautiful

October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

You have a nice collection of your garden photos with exotic animal hanging around it. I still can’t figure it out what that’s alien doing behind. I like gardening especially when fall and summer comes. Have a nice trip Deb! Happy gardening!

October 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTabby Zebra

you're really talented! love the pictures and the garden!

October 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDoll House

The photos of the two leaves are spectacular. I'm trying to decide if the "alien" is the shadow of a spider or of the stem and other twigs, leaves, detritus. Regardless, it is an incredible image, as is the image of the brown leaf that is curled underneath it.

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
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