Marty's Garden, Early September 2022

February, March: I dream of the upcoming gardening season. With luck there are a few early blooms.


April, May: the season kicks into gear. Clean-up keeps me busy; everywhere the garden comes back to life.


June and July: sun and rain, not quite in equal measures, kept everything rolling along. I worked, but also relaxed in the garden.


August: darn hot and dry, the garden stumbled, but hung in there.


September, oh September; now here is a month I like. The temperatures came down; it rained! Suddenly thirsty annuals start growing and push out more blooms. Perennials, deadheaded weeks earlier, pump out buds.


My front gardens are a vision in yellow and blue, yellow, and orange or just plain yellow. But it is the side garden that really came into its own this year. Planted less than a year ago with a variety of grasses, coneflowers, asters, and a sprinkling of annuals, it has turned into a multicolored vision. The annual Celosia with red leaves and bright red plumes rears its head among the grasses, while bright orange marigolds add another colorful counterpoint. 



Three types of ornamental grasses bloom with different seedheads, all of them waiving in the slightest breeze. As fall is right around the corner, asters are starting to bloom as well, bringing a bright pink highlight to the many colors. Two different varieties of Veronicastrum, a white blooming variety and a blue/purple variety will bring height to this garden in coming years. Meanwhile, as the various coneflowers are going to seed, goldfinches fly around, munching to their heart's content. A birdbath provides fresh drinking water before they move on to the next seedhead. They are like little jewels, moving about. 



A different palette will soon take over; yellows and reds will become predominant colors in the garden as we progress. Already Viburnum ‘Winterthur’ is starting to turn red, while the berries are becoming more noticeable. This winter the birds will have a feast when there is not much else to be found. Some of the hostas, crispy from lack of rain weeks earlier, decided they are done for this season. No need to pump out more leaves, they are yellowing and calling it a day. Meanwhile, other hostas, more shaded than their sunny counterparts are still perfectly happy to stick around until the first frost, which hopefully is still a loooooong way off.  


A few weeks ago, I smelled a peculiar odor in the garden and when I investigated, I found a dead raccoon on the steps to the pond. It had a hole in its side, and I can only surmise it encountered a fox or dog before getting away and expiring in the garden. I moved it behind the arborvitae, where it quite quickly decomposed and deflated, although it remained pungent for a few days. I am hoping to add its skull to my collection of found skulls from deer and fox. Last time I checked it still had a face, but I imagine by spring next year I will have that skull.


Days are getting shorter, but the season isn’t quite over yet. I welcome fall and hope for many more weeks of gardening before it is time to retreat indoors with dreams of next spring.