On this November day, the garden is an amazing contrast of seasons. The dear (I use the term loosely) bougainvillea waited on summer, and now it has decided to bloom and we have had to move it into the garden room. And because of the very tardy blooms, we cannot cut it back and its thorny branches take up more room than we should give it. But it is blooming!
The lemon tree has lemons on it; we do not know if they will ever ripen, but we will see. Because very cool nights are eminent (and late, actually, for the season), we have moved it into the garden room, also, and there they sit, side by side, two tropicals that perhaps are confused by the weather we have had, where it was in the low eighties about 3 days ago, and now we need a jacket outside.
And outside, in the garden, the chrysanthemums are glorious, the marigolds are golden, the sedums are lovely, and leaves are turning yellow on the redbud tree. And the Mexican mint marigolds are all tipped with clusters of small gold flowers. Their foliage is very like tarragon, and can actually be used as a cooking substitute for tarragon. My pot of purple periwinkles is still vivid, along with the purple asters and a pot of white pentas. The begonia pots along the patio, red, pink, and white with a pink edge, are all doing fine, and so are the impatiens given to me unexpectedly, which have unexpectedly given so much color. The impatiens are also on the edge of the patio; they are so good for enjoying up close.
On warm days, the basil plants, most of which sprang up from seeds from last year’s basil plants, give the garden a lovely herbal fragrance. But even on very cloudy days such as today, they give a fullness to the garden and show off their blooms.
Our one dahlia, Orange Nugget, the only dahlia I have found to survive both our summer heat and my limited dahlia skills, has bloomed and bloomed, and looks to be getting ready for a long winter’s nap.
Like most gardens, there are many things that need to be done, such as setting in a few more violas, encouraging the planted pansies, trimming back the phloxes, and moving the pots of winter-vulnerable plants closer to the house, to make it easier to cover them if need be. But as always, with every change of season, there is excitement in the anticipation of the coming winter season, and that grand payback for every gardener’s work: thinking about spring.