Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day Five

I did ask for rain.

I must not have been specific enough. I was thinking more along the lines of a normal rain event, in one day and out the next, not a five day with no end in sight rain.

This afternoon it poured. We have had five inches of rain in five days. An inch a day is much better than an inch an hour at least. Gives the ground time to suck it up.

I may not see much of the sun until Sunday. I'm beginning to wonder if the Tall Flower Meadow will even be able to stand back up before my asters turn to mush. There can be no fluffing until things dry out.

The ground is so wet now the new Visible Art Piece behind the fire pit fell over. It hasn't stopped raining long enough for me to go out there and stand it back up.

After five days and in a real downpour, culvert falls began to flow. It has a nice little roar.

I find it very curious that all that water can come roaring out of the culvert, cross the upper path, flow ten feet down the slope and vanish. It makes me want to dig a big hole and find out what is going on under there.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Afternoon Reprieve

The rain sort of stopped at mid day. The mist became imperceptible. The clouds did not go away. It is only a short reprieve. This thing that has been sitting here for days is reconstituting itself for round two.

I went for a short walk in a trying to dry squashed meadow. There is no sense in trying to fluff anything up just now.

This is the pink aster I found. My asters simply do not follow single species protocol. There has to a be a whole lot of interbreeding going on. I find far too many oddballs.

And there it was fluttering by, another rare visitor to the mountain top.

I hope it planned to stay and rest for the night. Things were not looking so good to the south.

I see Monarchs in the fall as they are passing through. I see them because the garden is filled with nectar plants for them to feed on. They need this sustenance for the journey south. They may not make babies on my milkweed, but I can feed the few who fly this way for part of their life's journey.

The Goldenrod that screens the roadside vegetable garden is still standing tall. The one patch of wild flowers that doesn't ever seem to fall over is on my hit list. I want more, more variety, more color, a longer bloom time.

There are miles and miles of goldenrod along the byways. It is well represented in the two meadows. I need more here. I want something different and unique. The goldenrod has got to go.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Three Days Of Rain

Parts of my house are cleaner than they were. Some things that never should have been cleaned are. I'm no Hazel though. There is plenty of filth left. I have been stuck inside for three days by non stop mist and rain. Some folded laundry and cleaning was the result.

But with all this rain that won't quit, there will be no bloody moon eclipse for me tonight. Unless by some miracle the clouds part in the night.

There has been a wee bit of wind with all this rain. Leaves are falling. Leaves start falling at this time of year with or without wind and drought and rain. Fall is still scheduled for October 17th to the 24th.

Will the Tall Flower Meadow perk up for one last hurrah? I hope so. My asters were just getting started. It was a gentle rain, but three days worth of water makes big fat flower heads heavy. Unfortunately the extended diagnosis is looking very moist. They may never get dry enough to lighten the load.

If it is going to be all over, I might as well chop it all down and spend a little more quality time with the winter under garden. But, I won't.

Fall is next on the agenda. It will happen soon enough. I will let the vegetation return to the earth however it sees fit.

Even bent there is still something to see in the Tall Flower Meadow. In the right light it can still appear magical, if perhaps spooky magical. The Goth Period just came early this year.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

It Began Gently

And has stayed gently for almost 48 hours now. We certainly needed the rain.

Gentle has been regularly interspersed with a certain degree of vigor and accompanied by jostling winds. The result is the first vision of a Tall Flower Meadow in decline. It is a prelude to the Goth period. Flower heads bent low, the drought induced brown hiding below and deepened in color by rain, hints at what the first frosts normally bring.

The Tall Flower Meadow has bowed down. The asters are closed for business. Sunshine is needed for a short return to the Baroque Period if possible before it is all over.

I remember last year's big bloom out as being much better. It was less pressed and put upon by circumstance. It was perkier. That was last year. This is now. There is always next year and still a chance for splendor in the meadow before it is over.

Gentle gathers mist into drops. Leaves land on top. It presses down.

I look for resistance.

Gentle pressure held long enough has an effect. It can create a meadow and it can put it to sleep.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Digging Grasses

It needs a little something more, don't you think? I'm a gardener. Of course I think that.

My wild cultivated meadow looks nothing like those highly stylized meadow gardens that are so popular these days. That is to be expected when there is no budget for the garden. I am not starting with a blank slate either and I work with the raw natural ingredients on hand.

One big difference is my color is much more random and chaotic. It is not in distinct blocks of plants. The other major difference is those highly stylized naturalistic meadow gardens have a very high percentage of grasses in the mix. I have more forbs.

Enough rubbernecking already. Today I stopped, shovel in hand. Today I dug up a grass I have been coveting every time I drive by. I love those bloom spikes.

I have no idea who this grass is. My best guess is it is a Calamagrostis species. My second guess is a Sorghastrum. I most certainly could be wrong on both. I do know it grows in a clump, the leaves are about three feet and the top of the bloom spike is a good six feet. I need that height for it to rise above the Tall Flower Meadow.

One clump of this grass became six starts. The stems were loosely tied in a bundle so I could continue to enjoy them while they settle in.

Now I just need to stuff them into the Tall Flower Meadow somewhere, somehow, without causing much damage. It is far to late in the season to be stomping on things.

I did it. All six divisions got planted.

Now it better rain like they say it is supposed to. Not only do I have a fair amount of crispy happening, I have planted quite a few things in the last two weeks. I found some Blue Grama grass in the discard rack. Some evergreen variegated carex fell out of a potted arrangement I was refreshing. I transplanted a seedling viburnum and my new 'Silver Mist' junipers could use an official natural drink.

Gardy don't water if at all possible.

The garden will be completely different next year. It is completely different every year. That is the nature of a meadow. When I see those incredible pictures of those highly stylized meadow gardens, my maintenance gardener self always asks, how long will this last? How much maintenance does it take to keep them stable and where exactly are they finding the skilled gardeners it would take to do that?

You can't fool me with a pretty picture. I am a gardener. I have a meadow. I know what they do. That's why I have one. And now it has more grasses.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

In The Time Of Asters

It is here. The first day of autumn.
With autumn, there are asters.

They are mostly blue and white. The blue goes from the palest off white blue to deep blue. A few others I have move into purple.

Last year I found a white New England Aster that should have been blue. I have seen a number of white Blue Wood Asters. This year I found a most odd pink Blue Wood Aster. At work the other day I spotted what looked like a freakishly large flowered purple Blue Wood Aster. I almost dug it up.

The asters are up to no good. I think they will pollinate with any aster that happens by. My asters could give an aster taxonomist a hard time.

The Ironweed is far less troublesome. I have just the one species. Its spread is picking up momentum. I found quite a few small plants in the meadow this year.

Asters and blooming grasses are a main component of autumn before the forest starts turning color. This year I am seeing quite a bit of drought induced color. I'm wondering if fall is going to start at the bottom this year instead of the top of the mountains like it supposed to.

There are a few places in the garden to get away from the asters. Trying to figure out who all these asters are can make my head spin at times. I do have an aster unknown. I may have ID'd it at one point. Now I don't remember. It is the tiniest aster of all. The flowers are minuscule.

For now it will remain unknown.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It Needs More Blue

Impatience at this time of year is surely a form of masochism. When the end is near, I should want nothing in a hurry. But there is too much red and yellow. I only see the underside of white. My white has drooped. A lot of it never returned to a fully erect position.

It needs more blue.

And fresh perky whites.

This kind blue.

The blue is coming, along with a fresh crop of white. Being impatient is pointless.

The bloom of blue and white asters will sweep across the mountain top. I will have my blue.

Blue will be added to the grasses glowing in the setting sun.

Or will it be mostly white?

Out front there will be blue.

Along the driveway there is more white.

They are both needed to take some of the edge off of all the yellow.

Let there be blue.