Autumn Imperfection

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Autumn often brings a bit of imperfection to the garden. 

The foliage around us is a little tired and droopy.  Greens are fading to brown.  Bright colors may appear, highlights on our trees for a few days; but we know it will fade all too soon.

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Mexican blue sage

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“Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…
but merely to be LIVED.
Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly,
imperfectly, magically LIVED.”
.
Mandy Hale

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Dahlia ‘Nuit d’Ete’

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Every autumn flower feels precious.  We stop to enjoy the sweet, fleeting fragrance of ginger lily and roses.

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We stop to admire the ever deepening colors of the berries and Lantana.  We find beauty in the seed heads of the Rudbeckia, and the beauty berries so plump now they look like they might pop.

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“The eye always fills in the imperfections.”
.
Rabih Alameddine

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Hibiscus

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Birds fill the garden, gorging themselves on the ripening berries, drying seeds and abundant insects.   They appear suddenly from their hiding places, shooting through the air from shrub to tree as we move about.  We see living flashes of yellow, red, black, white, grey and brown as they celebrate the moment and fill the air with life.

We hear their exuberant song from first light until they click and chirp softly to themselves, as they settle in the bamboo at dusk.

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Even as the garden fades into its autumn disarray, we find it beautiful.

Its ‘perfect imperfection’ reminds us to find the beauty in each day, and to savor its sweetness.

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“A scar is not always a flaw.
Sometimes a scar may be redemption inscribed in the flesh,
a memorial to something endured,
to something lost.”
.
Dean Koontz
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Caladium ‘White Delight’ at sunset

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Woodland Gnome 2017
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Sunday Dinner: Acceptance

July 8, 2016 sky 014

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

.

Lao Tzu

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July 13, 2016 garden close ups 022

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“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining

is let it rain.”

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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July 13, 2016 garden close ups 023 - Copy

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“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty.

It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to

embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides.

The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves

exactly as we are,

but never stop trying to learn and grow.”

.

Tony Schwartz

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July 12, 2016 garden layers 030

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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July 13, 2016 garden close ups 033

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My happiness grows

in direct proportion to my acceptance,

and in inverse proportion to my expectations.”

.

Michael J. Fox 

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For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Details

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July 12, 2016 garden layers 026

In A Vase On Monday: Dahlias and Friends

June 1, 2015 in a vase 011

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Digging up the Dahlia tuber was an afterthought last October.

We only grew one, and I simply scooped it out of the Earth and laid it on top of one of the pots coming into the garage for the winter.  That pot ended up near the back of the group, was only watered occasionally, and the poor Dahlia got no special treatment at all.

So the dirty little tuber  took me by surprise when the pot came out of storage in April.  It took a minute to register that this was a living tuber, and not something to compost, when I saw it.

And just as thoughtlessly, I scratched a hole in a large plastic pot near the butterfly garden with one gloved hand while tucking the Dahlia in with the other.  Done and done.  Moving on…

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June 1, 2015 in a vase 014

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Except this Dahlia had a thing or two to teach me.  It grew quickly, stocky and covered in buds.  Its first blooms opened on Saturday.  Surprise!

I have never been a Dahlia devotee.  But that may change, now that I see what a powerhouse of flowers come packed in such a tiny little tuber.

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June 1, 2015 in a vase 009

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The warm colors of our vase this week bear witness to the weather.  Warm is a polite euphemism.

It has been hot and humid now for so many days I’ve stopped counting.  Tropical strikes closer to the truth. I’m out watering again nearly every morning, watching the garden unfold itself into beauty.

The Yarrow has been blooming for a few weeks, and this wonderful Coleus has grown large enough to cut off side branches for the vase.  It comes in a mix, and I’ve no idea of the cultivar.

Our roses continue to open bud after bud.  They badly need some concentrated attention to prune away their finished hips. I keep procrastinating until we find a day overcast and cool; comfortable enough  to do a thorough job of it.

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June 1, 2015 in a vase 001

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Pineapple mint has returned yet again, and grows near the Dahlia’s pot.  I love its sweet fragrance and gorgeous foliage.  All mints run, but this one remains exceptionally well behaved in its allotted space.

And finally, our variegated ivy has grown this delicate little stem of cream colored leaves.  I cut it for today’s vase with hopes it will root.

The vase today sits on a side table, in front of the beautiful board Michael Laico made for us, and beside our salt lamp.  These hunks of wonderfully colored salt, dug out of mines in the Himalayas, are drilled to accept a tiny bulb to illuminate them.  They are said to have healing properties, and their light is soothing and soft.

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June 1, 2015 in a vase 006

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There is a salt spa, here in Williamsburg, where you can pay to relax and bask in the glow of salt lamps.  Tons of imported salt line the ‘salt cave’ where your treatments are given.  We’ve not been, although we’ve heard good things from friends.  We enjoy our salt lamps, though, and they cast a nice glow on today’s little vase.

In addition to the salt lamp, we also have an Amethyst spirit cluster.  The vase is hand blown cobalt glass by a local artist.

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June 1, 2015 in a vase 006

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Please remember to visit Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, who sponsors “In A Vase On Monday” each week.  I appreciate her tireless inspiration to cut and arrange home grown flowers, and her warm encouragement of other garden bloggers to do the same.  You will find links in her comments to many other participating gardeners.

Each has created something beautiful for us this week.  I hope you will follow as many links as time allows.  Stop and admire the flowers on this first day of June.

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June 1, 2015 in a vase 004~

 

Woodland Gnome 2015

 

 

 

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