Thursday
Oct292009

fall colors in my garden

I am basking in the glorious colors of fall in my garden. The main colors come from trees and shrubs, with flowers as accessories. The dogwoods are beautiful; and after the leaves have fallen, their red berries will cling to the branches to provide nourishment for the birds.

These corinthian bell wind chimes are hanging from a dogwood tree near the arbor in the lady garden. I have several wind chimes in this area. I still remember the first time I saw a wind chime as a small girl. A friend had one hanging on her front porch. It was made of frosted glass with pastel flowers painted on it, and the tinkling sound it made was fairy music to me. I have loved wind chimes ever since.

Other trees which are radiant this time of year are the Japanese maples. One of my favorites is growing in front of the house. It was about a foot tall when I planted it following the tornado in 1990. A construction worker walked over it when it was still very small.

"Don't do that," I hollered at him. "You are stepping on my tree!"

The man looked down at the twig beneath his feet. "This is a tree?"

It was a tree, and I am glad it survived its infancy. Look at it now.

Japanese maples offer interest year-round. They have undulating form, patterned bark, and seeds that remind me of helicopters. I have a number of them throughout my yard, and this one's fiery fall color is unbeatable. It was an unnamed seedling when I purchased it for less than ten dollars. I think I got a bargain.

Another bargain was the pot of fall mums I bought at a local grocery store a few years ago. I like the pretty straw colored blooms. They have returned each year and have spread to form a ground cover at the base of a crepe myrtle tree. The buds just began to open this week.

 

 

I also have to mention euonymus alata, commonly called burning bush. I have planted several along one side of the driveway. I chose them for their stunning fall foliage, and, like dogwoods, their winter berries give sustenance to wildlife. 

 

And finally, here are a couple of today's views through the woodland garden:

Entrance to the woodland garden 

Another view of the woodland garden


 

Sunday
Oct252009

my garden friend, the cat

This day is as fresh and crisp as one of those gala apples I bought the other day. Take a bite, and sweet-tart juice squirts out. I went down to the lady garden after lunch with plans to lounge in the swing and savor it all, but I couldn't sit for long. The clean air, the shimmering fall colors, and the song of birds enticed me from my comfortable spot, and I soon was strolling around the garden paths.

I checked out the shrubs I transplanted a couple weeks ago. They are doing well. I was admiring the purple foliage of a loropetalum bush when I heard a familiar mee-ow. A gray kitty, who has determined that I am her best friend, if not her owner, trotted toward me. This cat, always well-fed and taken care of - not a stray, first introduced herself to me last year, a few months after my mother passed away.

I do no believe in re-incarnation, not at all, but if I did, I would be wondering. My mother was an animal lover, and she jokingly had said she was going to come back as a cat. This particular gray cat, the moment she saw me, came running to me like she had known me forever. I was sitting on the swing, and the cat hopped into my lap and began to purr and rub my neck.

"Cat, " I said, "I am a stranger to you. You do not belong to me. Don't you know that?" 

She purred all the louder.

Today the gray kitty accompanied me on my rounds, examining plants and helping me pull a few weeds. When we got to the woodland garden, she ran to the bench there and jumped up, expecting me to sit with her a while, which I did; and so the two of us enjoyed the fine day.

When it was time to head for the house, my friend stayed by my side until we reached the walkway leading to the front door. Whereupon she did a strange thing. She leaped in front of me, then turned and batted at my legs. Every time I took a step toward the house, she did this. She was clearly telling me she was not ready for our walk to end.

So I spent a few more minutes with her. I showed her the pumpkins and gourds I have placed in a bed of lemon thyme near the front door, and we discussed what a great time of year it is. Finally, she turned and headed down the road toward her own house. She was holding her tail high, the sign of a happy cat.This little pumpkin is resting in a bed of thyme near my front door.