That Was Then – This Is Now

It is late November and with earlier (often spectacular) sunsets, moderating temperatures and gardens now showing signs of dormancy, there’s a distinctly different feeling in the air. It seems like it only took a few days for the seasons to change and the landscape is quickly following suit. When acorns pelleting our roof become a constant and replace the sounds of chirping birds, I know the backyard’s path will soon be cold and covered with sharp objects. Gone are the days when I could open the backdoor and, barefooted, impulsively run out to investigate something new in the garden. The paths are now covered with fallen limbs, unripened vegetables, debris and those sharp, spiny acorn caps demanding shoes .

12107790_10153644633273718_8205631048543515382_n

10513299_10153695118718718_3451297620651145441_n

 

 

 

 

That’s not to say there aren’t incredible sights right now: like many other people, Fall’s landscape is one of my favorite sights. This is a season when, if desired, there’s a lot to explore in addition to enjoying the changing foliage and some of the changes take a little more patience to discover and appreciate. As my warm weather morning ritual of exploring becomes occasional rather than daily, I’m constantly amazed at the discoveries found right outside my door. Some are planned and anticipated, while others can be a delightful, unexpected surprise. The other day, desperate for some color to bring inside the house, I scoured the garden in hopes of gathering a few greens, perhaps some color, to put in a new vase. I was amazed to see the return of the beautiful dahlia that wooed me out of bed after August’s surgery and could not have been more delighted with the asters and toad-lilies dotting the garden’s beds:

img_3366

img_3336

img_3365

 

 

 

 

This is a time of the year to appreciate change and remember how things looked during the traditional blooming season. My low growing, late blooming tube clematis c. heracleifolia that was covered with sweet purple blooms only a few weeks ago has been transformed. Gone is the purple and in its place are these spectacular seed pods adding an intriguing shape and almost metallic color to the bed:

img_3162img_3349img_3355

 

 

 

The amsonia’s blooms are one of my early summer favorites and now, as the flowers are a distant memory, I’ve come to appreciate this beauty all the more as the leaves turn into their own wispy, apricot, spectacular sight providing a lovely backdrop for the late season willow leaf sunflowers.

That was then . . . This is now.

img_721414449935_10154540859918718_5903356897694612950_n

 

 

As I made my way around the yard, I passed beautiful bushes, specifically noticing their unique growth patterns, the colors of their bark and the distinct shapes of leaves now changing color that before, I probably didn’t appreciate because I was so busy looking for blooms. This is the time of year to appreciate the “bones” of the landscape and I fall in love with the garden all over again. As I wound my way to check in on the woodland section of the yard, something very bright – VERY pink – caught my eye. It was tiny and took some effort to get down on the ground to meet it at eye level. How delightful to find some cyclamen blooming in a part of the yard where I know they weren’t intentionally planted . . . not by someone with two hands and a trowel, that is. What’s more, I have a lovely pink cyclamen growing out of a rock! Obviously someone with four legs has been helping me garden this year:

 

img_3267

img_3266

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the woodland area, the most nostalgic part of the garden because I’ve tried to plant things to remind me of treasures I discovered while growing up in Cleveland, the only evidence of my efforts was with the bright red seeds (which I hope will scatter and take hold) of the Jack in the Pulpit.

That was then . . . This is now:

11873365_10153519636983718_1855152733004708463_n

11888112_10153538328748718_278295395984365580_n

 

 

 

 

 

There’s beauty in plants that once bore brilliant flowers: their shape, seeds, pods and changing leaves are intriguing and have a unique aesthetic only found this time of year. The fothergilla that was so delightful in the spring when covered with fluffy white blooms is just as beautiful now as the shrub is ablaze with colorful leaves and the honeysuckle that bloomed wildly over a trellis all summer is now adorned with bright red berries. In the Green Bed, the remaining shape of the once brilliant blue plumbago strikes a particularly lovely sight even without the color as the remaining shape and richly colored leaves resting against a boulder is a gorgeous seasonal sight.

10257993_10152385902193718_1784026600113363038_n

img_5814

 

img_2015

img_3369

 

img_3070

img_3370

That Was Then . . . This Is Now

2 thoughts on “That Was Then – This Is Now

  1. WHAT KIND OF ACORNS DO YOU HAVE THERE?? 😉 Ours in MA come from Oak trees and do not have spikey covering shells like these. They have brown, smooth caps. The spikey things we do have are called sweet gum. They aren’t on every street or neighborhood either. I only know what they are from my parents’ yard in NC. Since then, I’ve seen them in a public green in CT, so I’m sure they’d grow around here in New England, but they are not common.

  2. Wonderful article. Loved the then and now photos and descriptions. You make me feel like I am walking though your garden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *