Friday, October 5, 2012

The Timeless Garden

I was thinking this morning that gardens somehow embrace the opposing experiences of being tied to the seasons, a cycle as old as the earth itself, but also one of timelessness. Each time we walk out in our gardens there's a sense of timelessness, of standing outside time itself. As if the garden were a world where time itself doesn't exist. For me, that's part of the meditation, of the sense of "disappearing" into this precious & carefree world. On the best days, the concerns of the everyday world melt away, replaced by the feel of the earth between my fingers, the tactile sensations of preparing the bed, of planting, of the tools in my hands and the timeless scents that the garden offers. Nowhere else is losing track of time so complete, so engaging.
Those of us in the milder zones of the Bay Area also have a sense of time appearing to stretch beyond its natural limits. It's October and for many parts of the country gardens are winding down for the year. Not here. The warm days often extend into late November, making for a much longer growing season for both vegetables and flowers. Yes that means more work but it's a small price to pay for the rewards such work will bring.
Here are a few more photos from my fall garden. The funny thing this year is that some flowers were much earlier than usual but many arrived much later. Last year my pretty bulb known as Coral Drops (Bessera) bloomed in July. The first flower just opened this morning, two months later than last year. I'd almost given up. Mind you, it's been another cool summer and those plants waiting for heat, like was the case with the bessera, were triggered by our mini heat wave this week.
Top to bottom the flowers are:
Alyogyne hakeafolia. This yellow flowering "blue hibiscus" is just indescribably lovely.
Salvia azurea. Simple but such a pretty blue.
Trachelium Hamer Pandora. A closeup shot reveals more of an exploding star kind of effect, not unlike Allium schubertii or A. cristophii.
Scabiosa ochroleuca. My favorite pincushion flower these days and, showing that bees seeking nectar are color blind, this bee was hard at work collecting nectar.
Daucus carota. The flower cluster starts out funnel shaped before opening to a flat cyme, offering a unique kind of view.
Hibiscus trionum. One of my favorite flowers and by far the easiest hibiscus to grow in our climate.
Golden sedum. Just love this color. No bloom yet but I'm enjoying its smooth caramel textures.
Tuberose begonia. Common but that doesn't mean this rich yellow isn't simply stunning.
Kalanchoe species. More yellow on this vigorous little kalanchoe. Long blooming.
Red canna. I brought this back from the dead, put it in my tropical bed and it's made a complete recovery.
Ranunculus Buttered Popcorn. Yes, a funny common name for this variegated, water loving, low growing ranunculus. It's planted beside my pond where I'm hoping ti will spread to soften the junction of the gravel path and pond edge.












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