The Colors of Fall

How my bedroom looked this morning



Kate Flora here, sitting in the chaos of my torn-apart house. What seemed like a great plan four months ago–making a more workable bedroom and closets–now seems like the fast road to a month-long blinding headache. Right now, three sturdy guys in blue shirts are upstairs smashing windows and hauling down plaster. There’s a peculiar drilling sound that shakes the whole house. I can’t find anything I own, so I’ve been wearing the same outfit for three days.

My solution, after emptying all the closets and moving all the furniture, has been to go outside with my camera. My gardens have been seriously neglected this summer, the result of teaching, writing, and spending a lot of lovely time with readers in Maine libraries. But the gardens seem to be resilient. August was a bust, due, in part, to a bold and chubby woodchuck. Still, years of trying to find plants that will extend the season into fall seems to be paying off.

Soon I’m going to be back in my chair, wearing my Bose “carpenter-canceling” headphones and hard at work on the new Joe Burgess, And Grant You Peace, which is due in May. Obsession with that, and   the delicious pleasures of NANOWRIMO will probably push the planting of fall bulbs onto a cold November afternoon. One year, it was 900 bulbs and a whole lot of cursing.

But right now, I’m taking a few minutes to savor the colors that remain. Here are some of the delights that wait outside my door:

The inelegantly named Ligularia, when it's not devoured by slugs, offers richly colored leaves and a bouquet of flowers in late summer.

A shrubby perennial called Monet's Palette has finally decided to like the spot it's in, and has tripled in size this year.

Most clematis refuse to grow for me, under dry and shady conditions, but Sweet Autumn provides a cloud of lacy white in September.

Three tiny anemone plants have grown, over the years, into a forest outside the door that blooms until mid-October

My first experiment with grasses is looking very good, paired with roses and day lilies.

Perennial ageratum reliably bloom in September

What was just a tiny sunflower plant last summer now threatens to take over the entire flowerbed!

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3 Responses to The Colors of Fall

  1. Joan Emerson says:

    First, I wish for you a speedy completion to the remodeling! Next, I have to say that the good side of that frustration is getting to see some of your beautiful [and surely peaceful for you] garden. It’s lovely to see the hardy plants that hang in for a bit. Around here, the ranks of my white petunias, a staple at the front door the moment the frost is past, have been decimated to a few hardy blossoms still hanging on to keep company with the still-blooming Rose of Sharon and the rose bush in my mother’s pink garden. Thanks for sharing the pictures . . . .

  2. John Clark says:

    Mom would be proud.

  3. Ruth McCarty says:

    Great photos, Kate!

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