Autumn in the Garden is quiet.
The plants and the animals seem to move silently
about the task of preparing for the long sleep.
As he has done for nearly thirty years,
Mr. Gargoyle watches without much interest as
one final arm of the Trumpet falls aimlessly over his shoulder.
When the vine on the pergola shows her last bits of new green,
I no longer expect a coral trumpet.
But, as Camus said, Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
There is something about the Autumn light
that is somehow softer, older, more forgiving.
That’s what I sense in the plump, ripe fruit of the Pygmy Date Palms.
Wisdom perhaps in the letting go.
Not weariness exactly
A kind of deliberate offering up of treasure.
Autumn adjusts the lights
with the skill of an artist’s airbrush
on the faces of the aging palm fronds
in the garden.
On some days, the light is warm and strong through the palm fronds.
It encourages a final tier of new leaves on the umbrella bushes.
When it rains, the leaves turn downward like little umbrellas.
If you’ve been her long, you know.
My love affair with the trumpet vine is legend around here.
In the spring, her blossoms are deep orange-coral.
By autumn, they are much smaller and a deeper hue of almost rose.
Late one afternoon, I fetched the camera to record what I knew was the last of her blossoms.
It was a lone blossom among ragged foliage and dead branches.
The next day, the blossom was gone.
The wind in the night had taken her.
Staghorn Ferns are among my favorite Pergola plants.
The base leaves are very different in shape and function.
Their responsibility is simply to hold the fern in place on a tree trunk
Or in this case, to the moss base in the hanging planter.
They constantly grow new base leaves as the old ones turn brown and crumble.
The afternoon sun falling on them always delights me.
This is a new variety that appeared this fall.
They have interesting, star-like splits on the tops.
As if they’ve outgown their hats!
Lantana is the weed-flower that never gives up!
Lucy grew the old-fashioned ones that grew as tall as she let them
and spread their lanky limbs everywhere.
The new varieties are compact often with multicolored blossoms.
I think I don’t appreciate them very much because they are too easy…
When I first saw these seed pods, I thought a weed had grown among the “yellow-flower” bushes.
(You remember the yellow blossoms that sneak up on me in the spring.)
When I finally investigated, I discovered that the yellow-flower bush had produced them.
I was more than a little surprised.
She is still producing her yellow flowers alongside the seed pod branch.
Every year, I snap a photo of a colorful, yellow Pygmy Date Palm frond
underneath a green one.
Soon, Romero will remove all of the yellowed ones.
I don’t think he understand that’s the only fall color in the garden.
I will have to remember to tease him about that.
This spring I threatened to strangle him if he removed the lower fronds on the fan palms.
I’m certain that he’s got his eye on these too!
What would a garden post be without Mr. Anole?
The amusing thing about this shot of him is that I had no idea he was there.
I’ve been watching this base leaf because it is so much longer than any I’ve ever seen
I finally decided that it is growing taller in an effort to find somewhere to attach itself.
I’ve been recording its growth every time I think about it.
The other day, I turned from focusing on another plant to snap it again.
When I saw the image on the card, I was shocked to see Mr. Anole.
And, I’m happy to include him for you here.
These bracts are produced by the Fan Palms.
They are similar to the ones above on the Pygmy Date Palms.
They are much larger with a much bigger base and longer bunches of fruits.
They grow in the most interesting way from a tall sheaf-like stalk that opens to reveal the fruit.
Perhaps, I will post the stages of its development when I think of it one day. 😉
The white Nachez Crepe Myrtles blossom early in the summer.
The pink ones blossom much later and have only recently lost all of their blossoms.
This was among the very last of them.
It was hanging by itself on a stray limb that was about to swat me in the head as it swung back and forth in the wind.
I stopped and snapped a photo of it and forgot about it.
I saw it when I was choosing photos for this post.
It’s combination of seeds and little flowers struck me as symbolic of the change of seasons.
so, while its mood is too cheery, I included it anyway.
I suppose the Sago Palm “blossom” signals the end of summer.
I think it has been there all summer in one stage or another.
Now, it appears to be finished with its work.
I have forgotten what happens to it in the end.
It’s the Mad Cow, you know. 😉
My very favorite image of autumn is of Boy when he was three years old.
He discovered acorns and fallen leaves in the garden at the old house.
He was delighted to pile mounds of them in a big steel fire pit.
I laughed when he came running to show me the leaf in his mouth.
Of course, the adoring Granny snapped a photo for posterity.
Happy Autumn and Happy Snapping, Friends!