Friday, October 16, 2009

Autumn Color in the Garden

This is one of my favorite fall combinations in the half-moon garden. Burning bush is in the forefront with an unusual coral bells behind.
There is nothing more transitional than sedum. This variety started out as a pale pink and daily is making the change to a deep crimson. I keep sedum growing all over the yard just for the pulse of color in the fall.
This hydrangea has doubled in size this year and has produced double the flower heads. They started out white and are deepening to a rosey pink.

As I take my walks through the autumn garden I am reminded of the cycles of life and death. It's time to start cutting down the dying summer growth from all the perennials and preparing them for winter frost and frozen earth. We are just surrounded by large oak trees and even though most of the leaves stay on the trees until spring sprouts push them off, we still have mountains of leaves and acorns. The chipmunks are absolutely crazy busy rounding up all the acorns.

We are starting to think of winter. The patio furniture has been stripped of it's pads, the umbrellas down, and the pots of flowers emptied. No more mandavillas or hibiscus, the cool nights have nipped the life out of them. My cactus, the one unusual plant that will survive the cold, has drooped and is starting to wilt. It has made it through two winters OK in it's large pot in a protected corner of the deck. A few more chores are left to do. The wood in the shed needs to come down to the garage for fires on those cold winter nights. The garden tools need to be cleaned and put in the shed until spring. The garage needs cleaning out so we can fit our cars inside to avoid the mountains of snow coming our way.

Likewise I am looking to my studio with different eyes. All the wonderful windows, sliders and skylights are like double edged swords in the winter. What sun we get will help to warm the room in the day, but also wick some of the warmth out at night and the glass is so cold. I need to make insulated curtains for the windows. When we moved here, the window treatments in the studio were vertical blinds. Unwilling to spend a lot of money, we just left them. They do nothing to help to insulate against the cold and need to be replaced. A huge task, it is daunting to me. As much as I love sitting at my machine for hours working on a quilt, I hate sitting at it to perform mundane chores like curtains.

With the coming of snow and after the holidays are over, there will be time to quilt long hours again. My day job will wane in hours, and there will be no garden chores to take my time. But I'll have to wear heavy sweaters and socks in order to stand the cool of the room. My machine gets more use in winter as it is warming to sit with a quilt on your lap stitching at a machine. There are a couple of juried shows that I would like to create work for. I will use the drawings I sketched this summer to develop pieces for them.

This shift in perspective, moving from the extroverted warmth of summer to the inner workings of winter is happening as I type. A slow shift inward.

There will be more here on this progression as time moves on.

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