September 01, 2016

OK, So It's September...
(Lessons Learned While Speeding Through Space)

speeding through time

How did this happen? How did the summer pass so quickly?

I have a friend who uses the term "full disclosure" to communicate, in all honesty, that she's not quite operating at full energy level ... or that she's stressed or tired or not feeling quite right. (If you're reading this, you know who you are.)

I'm borrowing my friend's excellent term to convey where "I'm at" right now, at the beginning of September, after a crazy, busy summer ... as I contemplate the "garden lessons" I learned this summer. The biggest lesson I learned is that I didn't spend enough quality time in my own garden. I wasn't present and mindful enough. And I don't want that to happen again.

It doesn't matter that most of the reasons I was too busy this season were my own choices (and they were all fabulous). It doesn't matter that this is not a huge problem in the grand scheme of the world.

So, full disclosure: I'm tired, I'm feeling overbooked, my garden is a mess, and the summer is almost over.

I hope to get back into the full swing of things with posting and visiting my favorite blogs during the next few weeks. In the meantime, I decided to spend a little contemplative time in the garden on one of the last days of this beautiful, wonderful summer in Southern Wisconsin ... and take it all in.

monarch

I'm captive-raising a few monarchs again this summer (more on that later). When I released this little beauty and she flew up into the trees, I wished her Godspeed.

bouquet

She didn't stop to rest or nectar on the fresh flowers I offered her, but that's OK. Maybe she'll hang out in the garden for a few days before she heads toward Mexico.

chipper

One of the resident chipmunks found the sunflower seeds I accidentally spilled when I was refilling the bird feeders. Cutie pie.

containers

The planter pots looked decent despite my neglect.

fish

pond corners

The fish didn't cooperate for a blur-free candid. But in the process of trying to capture them all in one "perfect" shot, I noticed the beauty of the trees reflected in the pond.

fuchsias

I noticed the late afternoon sun back-lighting the Fuchsias. Sigh.

gr soldier beetle

Fewer Goldenrod Soldier Beetles have visited the garden this year, but this little guy was hanging out on the Zinnias.

house wrens

Looking at this scene, I remembered the House Wrens who occupied the birdhouse early in the summer. Sweet memories.

hummer

Though photographed through a screen, this photo captured what I see out the dining-room window frequently throughout the day.

jewelweed

The Jewelweeds were blooming and seeding prolifically--it's easy to see why they attract hummingbirds.

lemon

I saw some new growth on the Lemon tree, which lived outside all summer and will go into the sun room again before the first frost. Maybe we'll have more fruits this year.

mistflower & ferns

Blue Mistflowers and Ferns glowed as great companions--with a bumble bee hovering nearby.

yellow jacket

Yellow Jackets don't belong here and they're mean. But something about this little guy on the Hydrangea leaves struck me as beautiful.

Simple things like these happen every day, whether I notice them or not. But when I do, it's a joyful, blessed day. I need to slow down and observe more.

How about you? What garden lessons did you learn this season?

To join in the "garden lessons learned" meme, simply write a post or share one you've already written about lessons you've learned during the past season. Then share your links or simple observations in the comments. I'll keep this post up for a few days, and it will be available always under the Lessons Learned tab at the top of this blog.

I'll share your "lessons" posts on the PlantPostings Facebook Page closer to the equinox. Happy autumn to friends in the Northern Hemisphere, and happy spring to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

54 comments:

  1. Not sure I learned any garden lessons, but I did overbook myself. Too much socializing (and rain) is taking a toll on the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure your garden looks very organized and gorgeous. Ditto for the socializing and rain for me. The rain is wonderful and unusual for August, but the garden is very different than it usually would be this time of year. I like it, but I haven't had time to tidy up. ;-)

      Delete
  2. I understand completely. I had high hopes for the garden this year as I do every year. Mother Nature has had other ideas yet there is still beauty here and there despite the deer browse, caterpillar defoliation and dryness. Today I am appreciating rain. I need to go out and get some 'raindrop photos'. As for what I learned? Control is an illusion. Go with the flow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I like that Layanee! I like to go with the flow, too. I also need to slow down to enjoy the flow. ;-) We've had the opposite weather in August--record rainfall! So, everything is green and looking like June with autumn flowers!

      Delete
  3. thank you sharing your garden Beth - seems to have done all right with the gardener away! am a sucker for planter pots - what is that silvery and red streaked stunner?
    not sure I have any lessons other than the old adage - 'right plant for right place' - still being over-optimistic with part-sun instead of more realistic good part shade as the neighbouring ivy-filled sycamore expands its girth each year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To Telltaletherapy - Perhaps you are talking about the caladiums in the same photo with the different colored coleus. They are one of my favorites.

      Delete
    2. You are welcome, Laura. Actually, the garden is a very healthy wildflower garden, but it's very far from neat and tidy. It's OK with me, but I do need to fix a few problem spots--maybe next spring. Ha! I have the same issues of part sun/part shade--especially this year with all the rain we've had lately!

      And, yes, Jeanette is right. The large-leaved plant with red veins is Caladium--one of my favorites, too. They seem to work well with Coleus in filtered sunlight.

      Delete
  4. The soldier beetles seem to favor different flowers each year.

    This year there were some on the agastache earlier and now they are all hanging out (and 'socializing') on the false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides).

    Lots of good pics here - the hummer at the feeder, the trees reflected in the pond. Looks like a beautiful summer in a beautiful garden! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. Most years it seems the soldier beetles like the Rudbeckia in my garden, but I think it bloomed earlier than "normal" and was ravaged by the Japanese Beetles. Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, it has been a beautiful summer! I feel like I missed out a little bit on savoring it. Next summer, I'll try not to be so busy!

      Delete
  5. Did you read my mind? You must have because your full disclosure statement is EXACTLY how I feel at the moment. I'm actually quite looking forward to the break that is fall & winter. The chance to clean up and catch up...and start over with renewed energy in the spring. By the way, I think the shimmering hummingbird photo is simply gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I'm glad I'm not the only one. ;-) I'm not looking forward to the "w" time, but that's still a long way off. I'm regretting that I tried to pack too much in to this summer and didn't have enough time to savor it. So, I'll try hard not to make that mistake again next year! But, yes, autumn is a wonderful time of year. And even a little w_____.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for a nice and relaxing stroll in your beautiful garden Beth – I haven’t been around much lately as I have had a very busy summer myself and I feel I have neglected you all. But upwards and onwards as they say over here, September marks a new gardening year in my garden where the temperature is going down a bit and I start to plan all the things I will do during the winter. No rest for me, the winter is when I am busiest in the garden and get things done, even though I might spend less time outside every day. My lesson for this period is one I should have learned a long time ago; stop biting over too much! The amazingly good weather we have had the last 7 weeks has meant I have had to water every single evening which has greatly impacted on my workload. A bit of free water from above would have eased the job a bit for me, freeing up time to do other things but there you go, can’t have everything :-)
    Happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I guess we've all been neglecting blogging/visiting blogs because we've all been so busy. I'm glad you've had a nice summer, Helene! We have, too, I've just been too busy to really savor it. And I don't want that to happen again next year, so I won't plan so many activities. May through October are such amazing months here--I don't want to travel as much during that time. :) Happy gardening to you, too!

      Delete
  7. I always feel about ready for the end of the garden season when it comes. By late August I seem to throw up my hands and give in to whatever Mother Nature has created. Usually there are at least some good thngs :-) Here's hoping you'll have some days of mindfullness in your garden before winter comes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cassi: I don't feel ready for the end of the garden season! I wish it wouldn't end. That's part of why I'm sad, because it's winding down and I was traveling too much. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk ... or anything else in the past. Time to learn the lesson for next year! ;-)

      Delete
  8. Such a joy to have a walk with you in your wonderful garden. That chipmonk is so adorable. The lesson learned from my garden this year is that it´s still looking reasonable despite I have been taking it more easy, so I´m definitely slowing down and leave the wild cute rabbits to have fun in my garden despite they nibble lots of plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's a comfortable, lived-in garden. I was away too much and too busy to make it "perfect," but it's still a haven. I don't want to be so busy next summer. You are kind to let the rabbits nibble on your garden! I don't have that same tolerance for the long-eared fiends!

      Delete
  9. still learning - when do I harvest the limes? When are they ripe? Will have to pick one ... and see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes, that would be challenging! I've never grown limes--lemons are much easier to determine. ;-) Good luck!

      Delete
  10. My lesson is that I need to redesign big sections of my shade garden - again. I'm so tired of not getting it right! Waahh!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you really need to, or do you simply want to? LOL. I need more time and more $$$ ... but then it will be time to move. Argh.

      Delete
  11. Love to see the mix of coleus and caladium, very nice colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Endah. They are performing surprisingly well, considering I basically plopped them in a pot and have rarely watered them. I'm surprised the critters haven't dug around in them much, either.

      Delete
  12. Hi Beth, your garden doesn't look neglected at all. Beautiful pot plantings. Lovely Monarch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's a lived-in garden, and it doesn't bother me to have cobwebs and "weeds" here and there. Mostly, I feel like I didn't spend enough time savoring the season and the garden. So, I'll try not to overbook next summer. ;-)

      Delete
  13. Very poignant posting, Beth. I learned that I can't go away too often in the summer without the garden suffering. I don't believe your garden is a mess -- you have some beautiful blooms there. P. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pam. You are kind. The garden is a bit messy, but it is "home sweet home." But I did overbook this summer, and it sped by way too fast. Summer is my favorite season here in the Midwest, and I always get a little sad when the seasons shift.

      Delete
  14. Even though your summer whizzed by . . . and you feel like spending flower and garden time was much less than desired, your "bits and bobs" that I see in your photos look colorful and well tended . . .
    I found some of my usual gems were much less so after our weeks of high humidity weather . . . Things around me "looked drippy" just exactly like I was feeling . . . I literally did zilch in the outdoors for a good four weeks. Very unusual!
    Now the pages have turned though and a new energy has emerged . . .
    The daunting task of cleaning our wooded areas of sticks, brush piles and fallen trees betoday . . . onward we will go . . ,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can tell you understand where I'm coming from, Lynne. I guess I didn't spend as much time outside, either, during the really hot days. The garden seemed different this year and kind of "off." I didn't see as many pollinators, either. But, then, I was way too busy and traveling quite a bit, myself. Well, here's hoping we both have a stunning, rewarding autumn season in our gardens!

      Delete
  15. I'd say your planters look better than decent. We've been seeing a pair of hummingbirds many times every day since we returned home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jason. The potted plants seemed to thrive in spite of my neglect. I guess the plentiful rain and warmth helped. ;-) Aren't the hummingbirds so fun to watch?! They really do put on a show that one could watch for hours!

      Delete
  16. I can certainly empathize, Beth; this is a lesson I keep trying to learn every season. It's especially hard to leave during the height of the garden season, but I suspect you are being too hard on yourself--as these photos show, there is still so much beauty in your garden. I love the photo of the hummingbird through the screen--he looks ethereal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am going to try for a less hectic schedule next summer. It simply passes too quickly even when I'm not too busy. I know folks in the south are so happy when summer is over, but it is such an amazing season here in the Midwest!

      Delete
  17. What you have highlighted in your garden looks good. I know that feeling of being away too long during summer. You just feel behinder. I think that is what I learned this summer. You just have to let go of what you can't control/change. There is only so much time and you just use it to your best ability and sit back and enjoy your work. I wish we had had more time Friday. The day flew by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes "behinder" is a good way to put it, Lisa! And also like I missed out on summer a little bit. It's my favorite season and it passed faster than it usually does because I was too busy. Lesson learned! :) I wish we'd had more time on Friday, too. It really was an amazing day (and now weekend) here in the Midwest. Thanks for making the trip over to Madison! Happy Labor Day!

      Delete
  18. Hi Beth, I enjoyed your post. The season went by too quickly for me, too. I have been thinking I need to spend more time in the garden, even when I'm not gardening. It's been so hot, though, and that's part of the reason I haven't made it out as much as I'd like. I did go around the other day, looking to see what insects I could find on different plants. Does blue mistflower spread a lot for you? I'm trying to decide how far to let mine go. We are seeing lots of the goldenrod soldier beetles. Are you seeing more now?

    Thanks for your comment on my WW post. I forgot to answer your question about mountain mint. Some of mine are in partial sun, on the east side of the house, and do fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue: I'm glad I'm not the only one. Maybe the heat was part of the issue for me, too. Now that it's a little cooler, I feel like it's easier to savor the little moments. Plus, my schedule isn't quite so busy. Yay! Thanks for the info on the Mountain Mint. I know that's a pollinator favorite, so I think I need to add it to the garden somewhere! I haven't seen many Goldenrod Soldier Beetles. Only a few.

      Re: the Blue Mistflower ... yes, it does spread for me now that I protected it with lava rocks and chicken wire. LOL. Last year and the year before, the rabbits were eating it. I don't think we have quite as many rabbits this year and the Blue Mistflower is getting established, so it's filling in nicely. But I don't think I'll ever have to worry about it spreading too much.

      Delete
  19. I am with you. Overworked and overbooked. Really it is health issues that caused my malaise with gardening, but plugging along is how it goes. The heat this year was oppressing, even when traveling to where the heat is not supposed to be so unyielding. Sadly, I read 2017 might be a worse year. This winter might be a bear too. I am certain climate warming is fully upon us. No fun gardening when the weather does not cooperate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's frustrating to be overbooked, isn't it? I brought it on myself, for the most part, so I have no one to blame. But I learned the lesson! ;-) I didn't really mind the heat, but the climate change and what it brings does worry me for the effects on plants and wildlife. I hope the winter won't be too bad for either of us, and I wish you a healthy, happy autumn!

      Delete
  20. Oh yes, I am with you. Adding selling fresh cut flowers at market each Friday took a chunk of time. Sadly, my English Garden suffered. I did not have the time to weed and dead head like I usually do. Making notes and hope to do some work in September and October in the gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carla: Oh, it must have been fun to sell the flowers, though?! But I know what you mean about the garden feeling neglected. My garden usually gets a little untidy this time of year, but this year the plants are extremely healthy--including the weeds! Happy autumn!

      Delete
  21. Don't we all mourn the passing of summer and wish we had taken more time to appreciate it? You packed enough into this post to ease your regrets a bit, don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It happens every year to me, yes. This year, though, I simply had too many events on the calendar--all fun stuff, but I must try to pare it down for next summer. Yes, the past couple of weeks have been a little less hectic, so I am happy! I like to be busy, but not so busy that I have no time for the garden. ;-)

      Delete
  22. Little things give us a great pleasure. Thank you Beth for reminding us about them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Tatyana! Yes, I think gardening teaches us to appreciate the very little joys in life. Most gardeners I know are very happy, because there's no end to the simple joys of nature and gardening. :)

      Delete
  23. Your garden is teeming with life now, in a little while they will succumb again to winter, sorry for them. I love so much that caladium, haven't seen it yet anywhere even in FB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, winter is coming. LOL. We have a few more weeks of awesome weather and beautiful fall foliage to look forward to, but then winter will take over. You're lucky you don't have to deal with that season! The Caladium is very happy in my partly shady backyard--facing south. I think I'll dig it up and try to save it this year. I've never done that with a Caladium, but I really like how this one performed this year. I think it's called 'White Queen.'

      Delete
  24. Thanks for the prompt Beth. Here's my link to Lessons Learned.. the plants that have survived the soggy English climate and a wood full of nibblers!
    https://www.rustyduck.net/2016/09/06/against-the-odds/
    Love your hummingbird shot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for joining in! Your description of your habitat sounds like mine ... except we had quite a few days in the 32C to 37C range this summer, with extremely high humidity. Those days felt like we were in the jungle! Fortunately we didn't have 38+C, which usually happens at least a few times during the summer. I wish the hummingbirds would stay here year-round, but of course I understand that they soon must migrate to the tropics!

      Delete
  25. Great post Beth...I also was not mindful enough. I was overwhelmed with the heat and drought and trying to keep things going with my dripper hoses. I love mist flower and now I think I need to add some ferns...Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle. We didn't have a drought, but I know how difficult that can be from previous years. I hope you're getting enough rain now. I was simply too busy during my favorite time of year--not able to savor it enough. Yes, Mistflower is awesome! It grows well in partial shade and the pollinators love it (and it looks nice with ferns ;-) )!

      Delete
  26. Beth, I fully agree! Though I'm in the garden day in and day out, I sometimes don't see the petunias for the pesky flowers. All I see is weeds and failure when there is great beauty to enjoy in even the weediest weed, really--even the weeds are works of art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I like your wording. And this is so very true--there's beauty in all aspects of nature, even "weeds." :) Most of the time, weeds are beautiful wildflowers!

      Delete
  27. I'm glad you're a little late doing your wrap-up of this season's "Lessons Learned," Beth, because I just finishing posting my contribution! I feel like a lazy gardener this year and didn't think I had learned all that much, but I have a few tidbits to share.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)