The air feels fresh. Fresh, not stale, moldy, not hot or stifling. It is a gift sent by tropical storm Lee, still a few hundred miles away but headed our direction. Gentle soaking rains, so badly needed after a dry August, have fallen all day, and we should get heavier rain and even cooler temperatures over the next several days.
September has arrived, and some of the plants have golden tints which glow in the afternoon light. A few days ago I took the following photos of the front garden. The second one is a good overview, showing how the front garden wraps around the lawn. I probably feature this view too often on this blog, but I never tire of the changing moods as foliage and and flowers transform through the seasons.
More moderate temperatures means it is time to get back into the garden. Every year I take a critical look to decide what plants need to be moved. Some of my plants have been moved multiple times before finding the right spot. I once dug up a seven foot tall crepe myrtle and transplanted it, for the third time.
Fall is the best season to plant new perennials, shrubs and trees and to transplant existing ones in my garden. Our ground doesn't freeze in the winter, so plants have months to establish their root systems before the growth spurt of spring and the heat of next summer puts stress on them. This year the list of transplants is long, and I am looking forward to starting. In fact, I started this weekend by dividing and moving some purple salvia plants in the front garden. It's a little early, but I figured the rain would help it settle in nicely.
I was inspired to move the salvia because I had to make room for a new bench in front of the parking court. It's a small bench made of twisted iron and a slab of flagstone, just large enough to hold a heavy, frost proof pot. After a difficult summer, this area was looking stressed, so I wanted to do something to enliven the spot. I planted a 'Blue Boulevard' Chamaecyperis in the pot and surrounded it with creeping jenny, stonecrop, and some sheet moss. The Blue Boulevard is a small tree, and I am planning to root prune it every spring to make it into a sort of bonsai. A stone rabbit completes the composition. The rabbit is also a new purchase. The Kingdom of the Three Rabbits now has four!
A small assortment of flowers are blooming in my garden at the beginning of September, but as temperatures cool, roses and other flowers should find new life and put on a show until frost arrives. Meanwhile, a few decorative elements add some color to the garden.
A metal hummingbird flies amidst annual purple fountain grass:
Another metal stake, this one with a ladybug, is surrounded by garlic chives. Below the top picture are a few shots of some other spots of color in the garden:
A birdhouse stands out against a background of cosmos, zinnias, and other naturalized flowers in an area I am calling the wild garden:
I know that we are not finished with hot, humid weather, but these few days are a nice respite and a promise that fall is coming. Time to get moving!