December 01, 2016

From Fashion to Current Events:
Lessons From the Past Season

autumn

Does this happen to you? ...

You look out the window, and the arrangement of colors and elements offers fashion advice?

You spend a day raking leaves, and the twist and turn of swirling debris conveys wisdom about current events?

I don't think I'm unique, in that my garden offers mundane and life lessons every time I look or step outside.

As autumn fades to winter here, I'm contemplating the lessons I've learned this past season, as entries in the "garden lessons learned" meme. Here are a few thoughts:

ant

Allow time to look very closely at nature, to see the true "big picture."

monarch

When it's time to say goodbye, rejoice for another soul's "freedom flight."

milkweed

Rejoice in the promise of tomorrow, whether there are signs of it today, or not.

tomatoes

Appreciate the beauty of a life that may not mature or grow; it is simply beautiful today.

waterleaf

Young and old, together, can make the world a better place.

lady beetle

Keep on moving--the journey is worth the effort.

kale

Adjust your tools to match the conditions and the challenges.

chickadee

Sing with your true friends--those who stay with you in every season.

prairie

Break the rules! Hike when the weather says "no" and point your camera toward the sun.

What lessons did you learn this past season? Leave a comment, or share your link to a blog post--old or new--that conveys practical or thoughtful lessons from the past season. Winter blessings to those in the Northern Hemisphere and happy summer to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

November 28, 2016

In a Vase at Season's End

sea oats

Just a few days before Thanksgiving, a first hard freeze hit our area--very late for Southern Wisconsin. I clipped the last of the garden blooms before it hit and created an arrangement of Zinnias, Marigolds, and Lantanas, with a few spikes of Northern Sea Oats.

table

For staging, I placed pumpkins and pine cones around the base. (This didn't last long, because the cat tried to chew on the lot.)

vase

The vase was saved one from a previous arrangement, which came with a matching autumnal saucer.

marigolds
Tagetes spp.

zinnia
Zinnia elegans

lantana 2
Lantana camara

lantana 1
Lantana camara

sea oats 2
Chasmanthium latifolium

bouquet

It's fading now, but it sure was nice to have cut flowers from the garden in late November.

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts the meme In a Vase on Monday. Visit her blog for more cut-flower inspiration.

I hope all who celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Blessings as we move through the busy holiday season ahead!

November 11, 2016

Tomorrow's Big Picture

seeds1

I've been around long enough to know that today is tomorrow's past. The moment after the autumn leaves flame, they're "past peak." When a flower blooms, it starts to fade. When a human being reaches the pinnacle of his or her career (or health or vibrancy), that person begins a certain decline. When we're born, we begin to die (during this life, anyway).

This is not intended to be a downer post. On the contrary, it's to remind me there is more promise in a tiny seed than in a plant in full bloom.

This autumn, I've been collecting seeds--studying them, playing with them, photographing them, appreciating them. What follows is a simple vignette of a few seeds and seedpods that have captured my curiosity.

rudbeckia
Rudbeckia hirta

agastache
Agastache foeniculum

phaseolus
Phaseolus coccineus

chasmanthium
Chasmanthium latifolium

passiflora
Passiflora incarnata

lablab
Lablab purpureus

grasses
Mixed prairie grasses

echinacea
Echinacea purpurea

conoclinium
Conoclinium coelestinum

asclepias
Asclepias tuberosa

solidago
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'

All these plants are dormant. To some, they appear small ... insignificant ... boring. To the wise among us, they're stunningly beautiful ... full of promise ... worthy of great praise.

And lest we think of them as "little" things, we must remember that these tiny seeds, together ...

seeds2

... are tomorrow's "big picture."

They are beautiful and powerful alone, but together in all their diversity and flaws, they can change the world.

pile

Messy, yes ... but think of what they will become.