On this last day of October, the sun is warm, the sky is clear blue, and the crickets are singing in the shady spots. Almost overnight, warm tones of burgundy, burnt orange, and gold have begun to show in the tree tops. But many of the beauties of summer remain steadfast – Colors of Persistence.
Lantana and Blue Chip Buddleia – blooming profusely since May. A popular source of nectar for pollinators – butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds – always a busy place in summer! Shade and cover for the little Blue Tailed Skinks and Toads.
Mint, contained in a pot for sanity’s sake, & still flavoring my water, along with a little fresh lemon juice.
The 3 photos along the bottom are part of my “embracing native plants” scheme. I stopped using any kind of herbicide or pesticide in 2001. Considered to be weeds by many, I find them to be beautiful. I’ve no idea what the tiny purple flowered plant is, but it seems to be co-existing nicely with the Clover – maybe they’re working together to put nitrogen back in to the soil? Daisy Fleabane, center photo, pops up along the fringes of mown lawn, along the creek buffer, amongst the gone-to-seed asparagus, at the base of the grapevines. The tiny daisy-like flowers persist from June until the first hard freeze. Cradling the Cedar logs – Creeping Charlie (Ground Ivy), spreading profusely in the shady spots, where nothing else wants to grow and hold the soil. Ok, I admit, this one is out of control as soon as you blink your eyes! But it persists here in the Southeast for much of the winter, holding the soil in place during winter rains, lending a bit of green to the winter landscape, and bursting in to a carpet of lavender flowers in Spring. I’ve found that it even appears to choke out Poison Ivy. And, since its tendrils remain on the ground, it doesn’t become a nuisance by climbing up into the shrubs and trees. I spent many hours, dollars, and more energy than I care to admit waging battle on Ground Ivy in the past – pulling, raking, tilling, boraxing – you name it, I tried it. I’m much happier now that I choose to see its positive attributes, instead of just the negative ones. Perhaps there is a lesson in that for all of us, in other areas of life?
And, here, much loved Impatiens and Licorice are still bursting out of the flower box at the kitchen window! Greeting me in the morning while the coffee brews, brightening my thoughts while I slog through the pile of dirty dishes, providing an anchor point for the Brown Box Spider’s delicate web, and attracting insects for the Blue Tailed Skinks to hunt from the window sill.