It’s finally raining. Cool, soft rain has been falling for several hours now with more on the way. It is such a relief, because I’ve been pulling hoses and carrying full buckets of water nearly every day for the past several weeks to keep the pots and certain parts of the gardens watered. It has been hot and muggy, which has encouraged all of the flowers and elephant ears to push out new flowers and growth and stay beautiful longer than usual; so long as they can stay hydrated. Otherwise, we have drooping stems and crispy leaves.
I’ve been doing July chores in October. And even as we admire the lushness, my thoughts have already turned to changing out plants for the winter, planting bulbs and cutting back.
I dug out the first Caladiums and Callas this week, laying the bulbs in a cardboard flat to dry. I replaced the Caladiums with soft pink snapdragons to bloom on into the winter and again in earliest spring. Trays of ferns and herbs are marshalled, ready to begin new lives in pots as soon as I lift out the summer tenants.
And here into the second week of October I’m still waiting to find that particular variety of Panola that blends pink and burgundy and softest yellow in each ruffled blossom. My planting visions are filled with this warm palette of color to brighten winter pots.
Climate confusion affects us all. Butterflies linger a bit longer. Trees remain green well into ‘autumn.’ It is still too warm to plant most of the winter ornamentals that usually fill nurseries and garden centers in October. Gardening trains us in patience and flexibility. And appreciation for even the smallest bit of beauty.