Sunday, September 20, 2015

Distracted and Relaxed

In kind of a gardening slump here.

The week we spent in New Mexico at the beginning of the month broke my rhythm -- my daily puttering in the garden has slacked off, and my thoughts about what needs doing and what projects are pending have wandered off to other topics.

It happens. Like any interest, it ebbs and flows.

The hummingbirds left. I keep the feeder up for migrants flying through, but no one has visited. I miss the activity buzzing around me as I sat just a few feet away. Seems lonely now.

The blue-leaved zenobia pulverulenta beneath the birch really is that powdery blue. The wine red mophead blooms on the 'Preziosa' hydrangea really are that rich color.

Right now the nights are chilly, the days are hot and summery and it all looks fine even without the trimming or weeding I might be doing. I'm enjoying the red nasturtiums in the gravel garden, and the white Rose of Sharon outside the porch.

Everything looks end-of-summer tired -- not worn out or fried, just distracted and quietly relaxed. Like me.

There is no longer a growing urgency in the garden. Fall bloomers like the aromatic asters and the perennial mums are getting ready to flower, but the rampant growth and fullness of life that was the summer garden is muted now.

And yet, as it all winds down, there is one plant robustly shooting up as fast as it can. Clematis viticella 'Alba Luxurians' gets cut down in summer after it is done blooming, and then regrows in September and has a full second bloom by October.

I cut it all the way to the ground on August 6 this year (other years it has been the third week in July). The bare tower looked so empty in early August, but look how it's filled back up again with leafy growth, and tendrils have reached the top of the pyramid already.
There are buds and soon it will bloom. Last year I experimented with leaving the vine on the pyramid all season. I did not cut it back and it did not rebloom. If I do cut it all the way down, it comes back with tons of white handkerchiefs, just as flowery as its first bloom in spring.

Okay, that's all the garden stuff for now. I have other projects and thoughts going and need to sit a while and think on them.

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