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Monday, September 28, 2015

Late Blooming

In our little pocket of New England, summer isn’t even close to over before nurseries and supermarkets roll out their displays of fall Chrysanthemums.  Mid-August, we stop short and utter a “You have got to be kidding me,” exclamation upon discovering Halloween candy on store shelves while we’re still savoring the last precious weeks at the beach and sailing.  I mean, kids haven’t even returned to school yet.  Geesh.

Until October arrives, I do my best to ignore these displays, because I know they're just a herald for winter, and, because late in life I’ve discovered the miracle of fertilizer for my potted plants.  This means when the rusts, crimsons, golds and corn-stalk decorations crowd the sidewalks in front of the grocery stores, the impatience and coleus I planted with such hope in May still mound in their patio pots, tall and striking in all their warm-weather glory.

What’s a summer flower lover like me to do? Each September I wonder if this is the year I’ll tear out the pinks and whites and plant the colors of fall.  But I can’t.  It's too much of a betrayal.  My plants are perfectly healthy in spite of the acorn bombs dropping from the oak tree above them.  So, even later, deep into calendar fall, I come home from work each afternoon and water them, finding it impossible to destroy that which I nurtured, just because the seasonal pallet has changed.  Instead, I scurry about with a broom, sweeping up acorns and the early ash leaves covering the patio, while celebrating the scrappy Black-eyed-Susans and the zinnias that remain vibrant in my garden.   
Somewhere mid to late October, the first frost will kill my babies.  About that time, I’ll ponder chrysanthemums for a Thanksgiving display, only to discover stores filled with Christmas decorations.

God help me, because by that time, I'll really need the Halloween candy.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Keep your bright spring colored flowers. Other than buying some mums, my wife doesn't change anything.

Bish Denham said...

I'm with you. It's still in the 90s during the day and "they" want me to think about Halloween? Give me a break! I say, let nature take its course. (What you could do is buy a few fall flowers now and plant them in a NEW pot so it'll be filled out by Thanks Giving.)

Daisy said...

Your last line made me laugh. I hate to give up on summer blooms too.

Robin said...

I think your devotion is admirable.

The best time to buy Halloween candy is AFTER Halloween. Everybody knows that;)

Pixel Peeper said...

You've got it ALL wrong on the Halloween candy! You buy three times. The first time: weeks in advance, because you are a responsible person and you plan ahead. The second time: a few days before the holiday - to replenish the stock that you ate. The third time: the day after Halloween, because it's 50% off (and 50% off means the calories, too, at least in my book).

I love your chair on the back patio - looks perfect for relaxing!

Jan Morrison said...

Why oh why does everyone want to rush? I just brought my huge geranium in and it looks so purty next to the window. Have to here because we get frosts much earlier (truth -it snowed a bit the other day). Your photo is simply lovely and this post witty and wise. Thanks.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

As I walk around my neighborhood, I see the orange and yellow mums planted neatly in gardens. I think that these are people who never took the time or effort to put in a lovely spring/summer/fall display. My gardens are in full bloom with pink, salmons, white, purple and blues and except for a few plants that bit the dust recently, I plan on them staying put for at least another few weeks. However, I have purchased some purple and white cabbages and kale just in case a space opens up.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I agree with you. It'd be blasphemy to pull out perfectly healthy summer plants to make room for fall blooms. Enjoy the fruits of your labor as long as you can. Maybe you could put out potted mums. Then you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Your final line cracked me up.
The orange in my yard right now is from two Cinderella pumpkins I grew. Now that makes me happy.