earthy and herby

salvia leaf close-up 9-14
mystery salvia

Salvia forsskaolii

What is so exciting about autumn? If things are slowing down and dying, wouldn’t that be depressing instead?

Maybe the season just finds us ready for change, glad to move on from the laziness of summer to the harvest and to tidying up, getting ready for the winter….The heat is not so enervating, and the air is fresher and not heavy.

In autumn, being a gardener, I get close up and intimate with the dirt and the plants’ roots, as there are so many perennials that need trimming and the planting beds cleared out. Today I reached my hands and pruners down through the swaying leaves of the lemon balm, to where its roots run all tangled together with oregano just below the surface of the ground, and their earthy and herby smells rose up and quite affectionately came right into my nose! I always leave the door open for them.

coleus 9-14
coleus

I pruned the spent flower shoots and leaves of the “mystery” salvia, revealing all the clumps of volunteer plants with their fresh new leaves. Better Homes and Gardens has a salvia guide online, but I didn’t have any more success than before in finding my plant among all the 30+ varieties they show. [update: it has been identified as Indigo Woodland Sage.]

pimiento

 

I picked the last of the pimientos and fried them all up with slivers of garlic. Here is one of the loveliest so you can see how big and heart-shaped they typically are.

Two friends showered us with goodies from their gardens in the last few days, including things we didn’t have in our own, like lemon cucumbers and green beans and hot peppers. Tonight I managed to deal with quite a bit of the bounty and include it in a yummy dinner. The Yellow Brandywine tomato vine is loaded with fruit and now it is all ripening late. So sweet.

One last zinnia picture: This is one of the trailing type with blooms only two inches in diameter. When I look at it closely the detail grabs me. It almost looks as though tiny yellow stitches are holding the petals on. Orange is a good and even arousing color to go with the season; maybe it will help to energize me for the remaining garden work. Happy Autumn!

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9 thoughts on “earthy and herby

  1. Happy Fall to you too!! Your garden is always lovely. There is just something about having a garden and watching the cycles through the eyes of a garden that brings joy.

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  2. Transitions, for all our hesitations as we face withering and end of fruitfulness are yet full of promise and autumn with its gentled sun and softened air can be a kind reminder.

    I snitched a piece of coleus from a dear friend last week and then realizing it wouldn’t be happy in my hot car while I stopped to shop, I drank most of a bottle of water and popped in my hopeful cutting; and so it waited happily.

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  3. Hello sweet friend! I did not know that pimentos looked like that! I know what you mean, you would think that autumn would be a sad good bye to summer, but it never is. I think we welcome it as we anticipate the holidays and the invitation to come indoors, close to the fire. I must hone my fire-making skills.
    Your zinnia is glorious! Isn’t the zinnia a beauty overall? My friend and I grew zinnias in small milk cartons at the back of our eighth grade classroom. I think that’s why they are my favorite annual. Happy gardening!

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  4. The zinnia petals are stitched on by the Loving Hand of the Maker.

    He stitched us together, too.

    He loves us so very, very much, that He gives us the diminutive beauty of an orange zinnia, that we might learn to praise and worship Him more every day.

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  5. I have never noticed the petals of the zinnia being stitched on. Cool! I am usually mostly ready when fall comes and it’s time to move into the next season. Your produce sounds spectacular!

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