under overcast skies at last

We’ve been watching an old Swedish detective show, Wallander, which is subtitled in English. I’m crazy for that soft, muted Swedish light, which I can only imagine is similar to what we’ve been getting the past few days, creating a pale backdrop for the tetrapanax’s lengthening candelabra of flower buds. Pearly, opalescent — all good words for describing the light the past couple days. I love catching up on garden blogs this time of year, now that we’ve all turned that corner past summer, the fascinating descriptions of how the dream of the perfect summer garden is suspended for a short while, to be picked up again next spring. So much momentous stuff happens to a garden in fall. The first rains, first frost, fall color or a lack thereof. For me every summer is another lesson in existentialism, a sweaty season to be experienced moment to moment. Fall feels like taking charge of destiny again, making plans. I will go here, do this, that, and the other thing. If summer is body, autumn is mind. Spring is emotion. Winter is…I don’t know. For dreaming?


Here we’re all reviving under these much kinder skies. Echeveria imbricata, plumped up and refreshed.


Euphorbia lambii’s leaves have finally stopped drooping and yellowing.


The Eryngium padanifolium made good size this summer, bottom left. Those whipsawing, strappy leaves have the sinuous vitality of an octopus. Agave desmettiana ‘Joe Hoak,’ on the table, has been moved back into the gentler version of full sun offered in late October.


The mist was heavy enough this morning to make the coronilla look like this.


We’ve all started to come out of the shade and back under a much kinder sun.


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7 Responses to under overcast skies at last

  1. Scott says:

    I can only imagine that days like this are even MORE of a relief for you down there (hard as it is to believe)! I totally agree…there is something so restful and refreshing about that soft light, it’s nice not feeling the need to hide in the shade during the day 😉 Even here, I’m amazed at how so many plants seem to “Lush-Up” once the scorching summer sun is replaced by it’s meeker sibling during autumn.

  2. Hoov says:

    I’m celebrating, too, though the heat is expected to return Friday. 🙂

    Your garden looks great!

  3. gardenbug says:

    My California, Oregon and Washington visits have been few. My visits to Oklahoma short. My stay in Nigeria long, but only at the beginning of my interest in plants. Each time I travel I am overwhelmed, imagining how I’d need to relearn everything to do with gardening if I moved. Even the seasons are strikingly different. Not just “summer, fall, winter & spring” – with their varying implications – but rainy season and dry, Harmattan season (dusty West African trade winds) and more to learn about wherever you go… Fascinating stuff.

  4. Linda says:

    Finally America is discovering the swedish Wallander ! There is also a series of films

  5. Michelle says:

    I love your Echeveria in their rusty pot. Like gardenbug I’m amazed at how different gardening is in different parts of the country. I guess I’d best stay put on my farm in the midwest.

  6. Deanne says:

    Love your collection. So very many things I’ve never heard of before. it all looks beautiful

  7. Denise says:

    Scott, it’s been bliss. (I’m trying to ignore Hoov’s comment about what may or may not happen on Friday.)
    Hoov, you’re always hotter than us, so Fri shouldn’t be too bad here. I pulled out tons of that Euphorb. Diamond Frost which throws a shroud over everything by Oct, so things look cleaned up a bit.
    ‘bug, most of us control where we garden about as much as we control who our parents are, and yet so many kinds of wonderful gardens emerge under all sorts of circumstances. Must be a metaphor there somewhere…;)
    Linda, yes, love it. I’ll look into the films too.
    Michelle, those echeveria multiplied like crazy over summer. I can easily see why you’d want to stay put at your beautiful farm.
    Deanne, that eryngo is going to be huge. We’ll see if I get any blooms next year.

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