Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Last Gasp

One of the advantages of the long growing season in NJ (zone 6), now prolonged thanks to Global Warming, are the number of plants still in bloom in October. Not shocking, I know, to those of you in warmer climes but still a wonder to those of us who were raised in much colder areas of the country. I brought my camera with me today so that I could capture the beauty of the Display Gardens at Rutgers Gardens before the plants are removed and the beds raked next weekend in preparation for winter.

Photo of the Day

I love that the seedheads are all leaning to the side contrasting with the rigidly upright stems. The ornamental grasses in the perennial borders captivated me. I have a love/hate relationship with ornamental grasses. In the spring and summer, they repulse me. I wonder how anyone could possibly plant such ragged, weedy plants in their flowerbeds. But in the fall and especially the winter, when they come into their own, I am bowled over by their beauty. I am determined to add them to my landscape. I carefully choose spots where they will look best in my yard. And then, in the spring, the cycle repeats itself. I find myself at the nursery, staring at ragged, weedy plants in pots wondering how anyone could possibly plant such ugly things in their flowerbeds.

Look at the color! The patterns! Who could resist this?

Personally, I like this photo more. It looks like a child scribbled on it.

I’m still struggling with light. Since I was photographing in strong afternoon sunlight which I dislike, I tried getting around it by shooting shaded subjects like this:

That same harsh light, though, produces magical photos like this:

The Yellow Garden Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) in my plot is finally blooming and yellow:

The earliest flowers were white, but like the Seashells Cosmos which curled as the season grew later, these cosmos have become yellow at the end of the season. I like them so much that I think I will grow them at home next year.

Another flower that I would like to grow at home is lantana.

I haven’t figured out how to use it, but after seeing these berries and falling in love, I’m going to try harder to find a way to include it next year.

Just like in my own yard, insects were everywhere.

The sky was an incredible blue today, as you can see from the first photo in this post. While I was photographing the bee, I looked up and saw this:


LadyLuz said...

Yes, who could resist those grasses in the autumn. It's true, you have to have vision in garden planting...and patience, which you must have in abundance to take such beautiful photographs.

Srividya said...

I grew up in a warm climate where we had flowers year round. I have to admit I like this better. There is something sublime about putting the garden to bed in fall and seeing it come back to life in spring.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Old Roses - just discovered your new blog and now know why no new posts showed up on bloglines for the old one!

The cosmos are lovely and is that a tithonia whose petals are translucent in the last photo? Cool shot!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

OldRoses said...

Hi Annie! I'm glad that you found me. Yes, that is a tithonia in the last photo.

srividya, I agree! I love the change of seasons.

ladyluz, thank you, I'm having a lot of fun with this camera.