Monday, September 3, 2012

Blackberries of September

Day 202
The Daily DuBrule

This is a transition time in the way I handle my garden. In the summer months, any leaf turning gold, any seedpod needing deadheading, anything less than fresh gets cut off as soon as I have a chance. Now that September is here, my standards have changed. Today I was working in my garden-finally-after being down for the count with a wicked flu for the past two days. What a waste on such with such gorgeous weather. Anyway, outside I went this morning, determined to do something, anything, before I ran out of steam or had a coughing fit which forced me to quit. Miracle of miracles, I was able to accomplish a lot. As I got around to the south side of my house I was greeted by this happy scene. My Pardancanda (candy lily) has just about finished flowering. The seed pods have been swelling for a few weeks. Now they are popping. Shiny clusters of black beads are everywhere. I especially like them above the buds of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' which looks like white broccoli right now. They are heavy, those seed pods, and the Sedum holds them up like a soft pillow. 

These seed pods are VERY prolific. My favorite thing to do with them is pick them, dry them, and use them in fall arrangements. Anywhere I place these arrangements, candy lilies grow. They look like tiny little iris plants at first. Mine come in every color of the rainbow and the more I left them self sow, the wider the range of colors emerge. Purple, rose, yellow, orange, coral, striped, speckled. So pretty. 

As I deadheaded the morning away, I was ruthless with the butterfly bushes- let's just call it cutting them back. I know that this is a good thing because last year at this time I did this right before hurricane Irene and I had fat, full, flowering butterfly bushes as a result for the rest of the season (until the late October snowstorm that is). 

The harvest season is a time for abundance. That includes the seedheads of my self-sown annual sunflowers, which the goldfinches are adoring as I write this. Happy, happy, happy they sing as they land on the heads and bob up and down. My coneflowers (Echinacea) and black eyed Susans (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'), and many other plants are forming seed pods. This week I am leaving them alone to feed the birds and myriad other creatures in my yard. Eventually I will cave and do a bit more rigorous deadheading, always afraid that these plants will take over my entire universe. But for now, the harvest is in and the flower garden is a part of that scenario.

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