slideshow: bits of beauty before the fall burn

magnolia seedpodsIHAVE BURNOUT, BUT THE GARDEN’S ABOUT TO SET ITSELF ON FIRE. Even before it does, though—before it colors up like last year or maybe better with all the rain—I find bits of beauty here and there, among the shagginess and decay, like the moments in this little show.

Maybe it’s Mercury retrograde that has me (a Gemini—one of the signs most heavily influenced by the antics of Mercury) plum tuckered out; maybe it was just this strange season of lots of wet and no heat. Maybe it’s the book I’m 200ish pages into writing that needs to be 300. But don’t worry; I’ll make it to the finish line on all fronts. I’ve been on an amazing new diet with my sister and my best friend that’s making a big difference. Onward; but first a little walk together, yes?

Click on the first thumbnail to start the show, then toggle from slide to slide using the arrows next to each caption. Enjoy.

  1. Susan says:

    Wonderful walk through your fall foliage, the frogboys have been talking to Jack about not helping around the place. The seedpods on the aqua bench are my second favorite to the frogboys.

  2. maureen says:

    I love your website and am learning so much from it….have a question. I bought a lot of different varieties of heuchera this summer. Some look great and some look like they are shriveling up and disappearing. Any advice?

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Maureen. You know, heucheras are funny plants, structurally speaking, and take a little getting used to. As for young, new plants, here’s the thing: they often don’t have well-established roots yet. Sometimes not much root system has developed when you buy them, so unless they’re well-watered the first months in the ground, in particular, they don’t adjust and aren’t able to keep all that above-ground foliage fresh and healthy.

      Once established, they can take dry conditions pretty well, but not at first (true of many things). So keep them watered through hard freeze,and make sure they are well-anchored in the ground.

      Eventually they develop very woody roots, and need to be broken or cut apart every few years; I frequently lose some each winter that pop out of the ground during heaves and thaws, because those woody roots (especially once old) that need to be well-anchored or they’re vulnerable to dislodging. On older plants you’ll see these thick woody parts above the ground, and the plant will also be declining…time to divide.

  3. deb says:

    An amazing pairing of words and photos ! You’ve inspired me to take some more pictures before the opportunities fade and crumble. Or decay in a wet mess in yet more rain here too.

  4. Catherine says:

    stunning views…don’t know which is my favorite photo – the magnolia seedheads? lazy frogs? the first day of autumn light through the last of summer? just…wow.

  5. Littlesister says:

    Hey, big sister. Here to put in writing my deepest thanks for getting me on this amazing new diet, as you put it above. Yes, it is amazing. Two weeks in, and just back from getting my blood pressure taken and it’s down down down, as is my weight, and my stress. Thank you. Please consider my thanks and love part of what you may count as your harvest bounty this season.

  6. TexasDeb says:

    Thanks for the slideshow as always. I share your love of autumn light. To me autumn sunlight seems to be as much coming out of everything as shining on it. Don’t know why, just know I can’t get enough.

    Garden fatigue is real – here from too much hot and dry. Two different rain spurts have the plants at least bouncing back if not their planter/keepers. Glad to hear your shared diet plan is helping.

  7. Amy says:

    Slide show is stunning as always!! Thank you.
    In spite of this most trying year in the Northeast, my late garden is also pretty productive — still harvesting the last of the green beans, summer squash and basil. Have carrots, beets, leeks and arugula still coming and a few winter squash that might yet make it. Never give up!

  8. Laura says:

    Hi Margaret – Any tips/advice on this very interesting sounding diet? The no coffee part makes me nervous but the mandated 20-minute bath might make up for it. Keep giving us the slideshows they are fabulous.

  9. Bobster says:

    Margaret, another great slideshow! Love the acorn shot in the beautiful little silver cup!

    So what does the Heptacodium Miconiodes smell like? I’ve seen it several times in the same nursery garden, but never in bloom. One of these days.

    Thanks for the reminder that there are always beautiful things happening in the garden if we take the time to look.

  10. Margaret says:

    @Laura: The diet is much easier than we thought. We wrote a little more about it in a post on Marion’s blog today. You eliminate the caffeine over a few days at the start of a sort of preparatory week, and take a lot of Vitamin C to help with that. Worked for all three of us. Marion (my sister) wrote about it originally at this link.

    @Bobster: Very sweet, not sure exactly what, but the intensity that some early spring things like daphne or Viburnum carlesii have, you know — sweet and unexpected.

  11. mimi says:

    How/Where/When can I get details of the diet? PLEASE … a great diet is something to be shared. Most of them are so ugly. Thanks for the lovely pics. Mimi

  12. Margaret says:

    @Mimi: Oops! I think your comments came in just after I added the link to our diet update (as well as repeated the original one). It’s Dr. Mark Hyman’s UltraWellness plan, so have a read what my sister wrote (three comments above) about it and the more details links are there.

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