Things have entered ‘don’t care’ mode around here. The gnats are swarming, the days are warm, the soil is dry, and the nights are cool enough that everyone (plants and gardener included) is thinking about wrapping things up for the year and calling it autumn.
I make no secret of the fact I dislike autumn. Letting go of the growing season is tough and I try to put it off for as long as possible, but for some reason this year it’s a little different. This year I’m almost looking forward to a few autumnal things, and I barely mind seeing summer 2019 fade into the the history books.
The potager has made its annual transition into an over the hill, flower filled and vegetable-free weedy mess. I love it, and I love all the late season bugs, bees and butterflies.Fall has suddenly become an easier transition, and I think it’s got a lot to do with my super formal program of planting more things that reach their peak after summer takes a step back. In case you don’t know, my ‘super formal program’ translates into going to the nursery each week in autumn and planting whatever looks nice.
One fall-bloomer which I don’t ever give enough credit to is the variegated obedient plant which has been bravely plodding along for a few years now in the dry, rooty shade of the north end of the yard. I was given a warning when my friend dropped it off, but apparently the spot where it’s been planted is so terrible it hasn’t even considered trying to spread.
Other plants giving fall color now are the colchicums. The earliest ones are in full stride, but the mid-season ones are starting up now as well. The heat rushes them along, but they’re still a welcome flush of fresh color amongst all the other fading and yellowing summer things.
A newer colchicum is ‘World Champion’s Cup’ which is officially the largest flowering colchicum in the garden. Although the photo doesn’t do the size justice, the blooms probably span six inches when open in the sun, and of course I love it.
Fall blooming bulbs aside, the tropical garden is earning its keep as the season winds down. It looks lush enough but it also looks like my complaining last year about digging so many roots and tubers fell on deaf ears. In another month when non-hardy things get cut back and stuffed into winter storage I’m not sure who or what I’ll be complaining about, but I’m sure it will be quite vocal. Only the gnats will be listening though, and their fake concern will only be a cover used to get close enough for an ear canal dive or yet another stealth attack to the legs.
I can’t take in all the cannas. I already thought I had too many and then planted seeds for even more, and of course they grew even better than they should have. As seed grown plants they’re all a little bit different, so now the struggle is deciding which of my babies is so wonderfully different that I need to dig it as well. Obviously one of the things I’ll be complaining about this fall is my own lack of common sense.
Common sense also will not apply to the elephant ears. I suspect the tubers will weigh in at close to a ton, and someone said they might want to try one next spring so obviously I should dig another hundred just in case they want more. It should be fun, but I’m not sure if this is really what people who claim to enjoy autumn do to enjoy the season.