Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sitting in the Shade

With the cooler temperatures that have come about since the beginning of September, sitting in the shady part of the garden is once again a pleasant way to spend some quiet time.  Cool is a relative term I suppose.  The daytime highs have been in the mid to high eighties with night temperatures being in the mid seventies. 

So many of the plants in the garden are enjoying this time of year as much as the gardener.  Sitting here,  I notice the Curcumas are as tall as the six-foot fence.  The Butterfly Gingers and the Pinecone Gingers are nearly as tall.  Since all of them will be going dormant for the winter season, I want to sit and appreciate them for all they are giving to the garden right now. 

Persian Shield, Forsythia Sage, Shrimp Plants, how many of these will last through this winter's cold spell?  Past years have seen these plants going semi-dormant but not disappearing altogether.  That is, past years not including the most recent.  Oh how I fear the corner becoming nothing but oak leaf mulch as it was this past January through March.

Some plants were added to give the area at least a minimal amount of green this winter.  Cast Iron plants are cold hardy and several clumps have been placed throughout the corner plantings.  Both Variegated and Green Liriope were planted as a border to define the area.  Two Holly Fern were placed within the corner plantings as well.  But what about the Schefflera, the Bleeding Heart Clerodendrum, and the Cat Palms?  How will they react to a cold winter blast?

Ah, well, this is the best time of the year for this area of the garden.  This shady corner has been growing in beauty all summer and now has reached its peak.  Seasons change and so will the garden.  Everything that seemed gone forever in January has returned with enthusiasm. 

The huge live-oak that gives the area its shade will stand strong through the cold continuing to provide cover for all the birds which frequent the feeders and birdbaths during all the seasons of the year.

Providing feeders with fresh seed and birdbaths with fresh water ensures that these colorful visitors will stay around through all the seasons.

Now is the time I have been given to enjoy this spot.  The scent of the Butterfly Ginger blooms, the ripening beauty of the Pinecone Ginger cones are only available now, in this season.  The buds on the Forsythia Sage promising yellow spires of blooms, the reddening bracts on the Red Shrimp plants are only for this time. 

As I continue to sit in this special corner of my garden, I realize I'm learning to listen.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
Psalm 90:12


  1. Beautiful post, Nana! Your garden corner in the shade looks so nice, and I wish I have such a corner in my garden too! Let's all hope this winter will be mild one, so that we won't experience another garden heart break. I can see you already planned quite well to give your garden some greens even the worst comes.

    Enjoy your beautiful garden!

  2. What a restful place to sit and enjoy your lovely gardens. It is so nice that the weather is changing. This rain is so welcome too.


  3. Beautiful post.This weather has been perfect, hasn't it? And this weekend should be even better,hopefully.
    Your shade garden is beautiful!

  4. Really pretty, Kay! Your shade garden is lovely. I, too, hope they all last through the winter this year. Actually, I hope this winter is not as tough as last year.

  5. Kay,
    What a lovely post... text and photos all so well put together... as always. But this one especially strikes a soft spot. Love all your combinations. And great job capturing that male red bird. You and your camera are working together very well. :-)

    Listening and enjoying these days with the weather changing and our gardens looking so lush is a real joy. You've done a great job preparing (mentally, too) for the winter and the 'harsh' realities that some of our most beloved plants will go dormant. The upside is those gingers actually will last quite a while into winter (sans frosty mornings) and then come back so quickly with spring.

    I just planted more cast iron this week in preparation for bare spots.

    Gardening is a beautiful world!!! You and your blog make it even better.
    Have a great day.

  6. I do share some of those same anxieties, NanaK. I noticed last year that the scheffleras and the bleeding hearts were quick to recover, but yeah, they looked bad for a while. You have given us some good thoughts to remember as we go through our day. We must enjoy what we have today...right now. I love your little cozy sitting area. What a great spot for a glass of iced tea and some birdwatching! Speaking of which, I love those cardinal shots. Great captures!

  7. Hi Kay...You summed it up very well. Everyday is a different day in the garden, and your post is a reminder to me to get out there everyday...to enjoy and listen.

    Your beds are filling in nicely and your combinations look really nice. It is still quite warm in the middle of the day, but nothing as oppressive as in July and August. The days are slowly changing. The garden is just such a joyous place! Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Ami - Thank you for stopping by. I certainly do hope for a milder winter this year for all of us.

    FlowerLady - I do enjoy sitting and watching the birds and butterflies. You should be getting a really good rain today. Enjoy.

    ChrisC - Yes, it's been beautiful weather lately. Hope you enjoy your weekend. BTW I got an e-mail from Hardins Roses that said they had Belinda's Dream in tree form. They're only open on Saturdays. (Just in case YardBoy is interested.)

    Kimberly - I know we are all hoping for less freezes this winter. Sometimes I envy you zone 10ers:)

    Meems - Thank you. This is definitely the best time for my garden. As the weather cools even more, I have lots of non-plant related tasks laid out to do. I wasted my time moaning and groaning last January. It's always a learning process for me:)

    Floridagirl - I am constantly reminding myself that it all came back. If it did THIS year, it will any year.

    Susan - Yes, with blogging this year I think I'm seeing the good things of each season. It's a good reason to look for the pluses when looking for pictures to show.

  9. To everything there is a season ... you can hear that over and over again, but I never really got it until I experienced a garden's seasons. Enjoy it while you have it and be prepared to say good-bye ... well said, Kay!
    As for the winter, after seeing the spring comeback following January's devastation, I don't think a freeze will ever again freak me out. (Well, maybe a little :) )

  10. I was just reading some of your old posts. I could not believe my red shrimp plant this winter. It continually flowered and grew so big that I really had to cut it back in March. I am not complaining!

    My gingers are starting to pop up now. The varigated ginger never dies out. The torch is coming up now. I had 2 pass-a-long hawaiian gingers that did nothing last year (think I got them too late). They are growing like crazy!


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