Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Season Winds Down

Summer, that is.  November 1 as I write this, the nominal end of summer, if not the hurricane season.  And the garden looks like its holding on to the last few summer blooms, or resting up for the fall season.  Here's one last crinum that surprised me yesterday.  I thought they were all finished.

Summer's Last Crinum (probably!)
And the butterfly gingers continue to bloom, but slower now.  The fragrance is powerful, and reminiscent of gardenias.  If I were a hawk moth, I'd be there every night!

Wildly fragrant hedychium
Here are a few chrysanthemums, pale shadows of their cousins in garden centers now.  These are about four years old, and planted in an east-facing flowerbed.  When I planted them, they were dark lavender.  Now they've reverted to their true nature.  Which is sweet, small and not really worth it.  They are the last mums I ever bought.  I realized that I was constitutionally incapable of discarding them while there was the slightest evidence of life.  Henceforth, I'm cursed with these weak sisters who really should be removed and other, sturdier plants put in.  Live and learn.

Mums.  Ehh!
The bougainvilleas seem much happier, though, now that the hellish heat of summer has broken.  Even though we think of them as tropical bloomers, mine actually do much better in the spring and fall, when they can rest in the cooler, nighttime temperatures.  I can't quite capture the color of these flowers -- they are quite an unearthly shade of purple.  Mixed with that glowing morning glory of last week, they have an almost chemical aura.

Bougainvillea.  Intense!
And this little ornamental pepper, like the famous bunny, keeps going and going.  It either survived last winter or reseeded itself where it always does.  I like it for its perky colors and for the fact that I don't have to pick or pickle them!

Ornamental peppers.  No canning required!
 And finally, here is Valentine, who's also pricking up her ears a bit.  She likes the cooler temperatures too, but she's also celebrating the fact that I moved her to a sunnier location.  She's had a sunny fall, with no rain to speak of.  So, no blackspot!

Valentine.  Redder than Knockout and just as healthy!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice colours in your garden. I like all the blooms and your ornamental peppers are most striking! I haven't grown them but you know, reading blogs makes us think of endless possibilities....:-)

    Thank you for your wishes for the cooler weather.I've sowed marigold and poppy seeds. And I'm gardening like there's no tomorrow!!