Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dark Sunday

All day Sunday it was dark. The kind of day where you have to have the lights on to eat lunch. We got another inch of rain on top of the inch we had last week.

Late in the day it got even darker to the north, and brilliant blue sky came out to the south, all at the same time. From the front door Jim took this shot of rainbow, clouds and sun all together.

It was so brightly sunny that there were shadows on the lawn even as heavy rain fell in sparkling sunlit sheets. The west side of our house was bright and sunny and pouring down rain, while this view, to the east, was stormy and rainbow bedazzled.

Then the rainbow disappeared, and with it the pot of gold. The skies cleared abruptly and clouds tumbled excitedly into the open blue.

Before it rained, in the darkest part of the damp morning, I had gone out and trimmed the plants along the walkway -- my "allee". The Hakonechloa fountain grass had flowed all the way over the walk, the dwarf deutzias were encroaching from the other side, and the geraniums at the bend had completely taken over despite having been cut twice this summer already. I could not walk down the bluestone path.

Here it is now in the sunshine, all shorn back. The Hakonechloa looks a little funny now, but what can you do -- it's a plant that wants to spill over and it loses its grace when cut back.

The herbaceous caryopteris, C divaricata 'Snow Fairy' had gotten big and bushy and was also an obstacle to walkers on the path. I love snipping that back -- the leaves, described as "stinky" by some, have the sharp smell of green peppers to me. I liked cutting the soft stems and sniffing the aroma.

It's shorn looking now on the walkway side, but still frothy. Part of its whitish look is from the variegation on the leaves -- they have clean edged white margins. I've noticed a couple stems have reverted to all green, though and I'll need to do more snipping to cut those out.

Hard to see with the sun on the shrub, but there are tiny lavender flowers all over it. They are not very noticeable (except to the big bumblebees who adore them), so it's genius that I sited this bluebeard at the edge of the walk where the flowers can be seen, but even then you have to look.


When the sun came out for good and the rain moved on, everything looked fresher and brighter. I like the colors in this scene -- hidden red chair, yellow potted croton, steel blue spruce, and the green of the stately looking paperbark maple with its rusty orange trunk.

Notice the green spill of sedum growing out of the wall face. I cut a stem of an unknown sedum growing by the dry creekbed this summer and stuck it into a crack between the stones with no soil or any material to root in.

Apparently it is living off rainfall and some sandy material that washes down through the wall with each rain.

The sky is clear now all this week. A dark Sunday, ushered out by fancy rainbows and a glittery sun-rain pageant has finished its show, leaving fall to take the stage.

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