Oct 14, 2011

Let the Fireworks Begin

We've yet to experience our first frost which is somewhat unusual and something I hope Al Gore doesn't hear about. But, one of the many vine maples [Acer circinatum] I started from seeds or cuttings many years ago has responded to whatever primeval genetic code orchestrates such things and dyed the top of its canopy Sedona red. Almost makes me want to go into the woods at midnight and perform some ancient Druid dance to hurry the mercury down. We have two other large maples whose leave are only able to produce varying shades of yellow, but we do have five Japanese maple [Acer palmatum], and while small, all under ten feet, their amazingly varied foliage turn half a dozen shades of red, bronze, copper, gold, and a few tints that aren't recognized nor produceable on an artist's pallet. Then there is the incendiary Euonymus alata 'compactus', variety "Chicago Fire". Although in a shady location it too has begun to take on its brilliant crimson fall color.

And so many others who grace our gardens with their temporary farewells, The ancient birch, perhaps the first tree I planted 37 years ago, the leaves of which, while only turning a somewhat uniform yellow are so dense and intense that when light is behind them the tree appears festooned with freshly minted doubloons, but without the portrait of Ferdinand and Isabella. But the treasure chest has not been opened this year, we need the nip of frost to snap the lock.

Most of the Hosta raised from seed earlier in the year (I mentioned them in May) have developed into nice little plants, and, not having decided where to plant them, and, realizing they would not survive the winter in their four inch pots I planted them in three rows in an 'out-of-the-way spot until next spring. When you can't prune a shrub or a rose or a tree without wondering if you might turn the trimmings into additional plants, and you never cease to marvel at the potential hidden in every perennial or annual seed pod, well, you end up with considerably more plants than anyone, other than a commercial nursery, can use. The fifty or so day lilies started from seed last year should begin to flower next year and although I don't expect any surprises, just like buying a lottery ticket, one can always hope that among the new blooms one of them proves to be unique, so different in fact that daylilyomania might sweep the land as did tulipomania Europe in the 1600's and I can at last afford a copy of Hortus Veitchii.


Oldfool said...

Have you noticed that the closer one gets to the grave the more one pays attention to what grows out of the ground? Answer not required because I know you have.
I gave up on ancient Druid dances and made a medicine rattle. It somehow fits me better, can be used without travel and is about as effective. Usually I'm trying to make the frost, drought, rain or some boil go away. Now I'm just trying to get some very old seed to sprout.
October and none of the trees that turn here seem to be concerned.

L. F. Hawkins said...

Just maybe the creation stories passed down from generation to generation by so many [primitive] societies in which man (and woman I would suspect) were molded from a damp handful of clay are more than just folklore. There is definitely something primal in working in and with the earth. Soil. Water, Air. (and perhaps a few seeds) What else could anyone ask for? At times I have worked with the soil in all my nakedness and can say on those occasions I experienced something akin to rapture, in the sense of [the state of mind resulting from feelings of high emotion; joyous ecstasy] Here's a quote from 'My Summer in a Garden' a book by Charles Dudley Warner:

"The love of dirt is among the earliest of passions, as it is the latest. Mud-pies gratify one of our first and best instincts. So long as we are dirty, we are pure. Fondness for the ground comes back to a man after he has run the round of pleasure and business, eaten dirt, and sown wild-oats, drifted about the world, and taken the wind in all its moods. The love of digging in the ground (or of looking on while he pays another to dig) is as sure to come back to him as he is sure, at last, to go under the ground, and stay there. To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds, and watch their renewal of life –– this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do."

The book was published in 1870

I wonder if a medicine rattle would have any [beneficial] effect on warts? I get them most summers on my hands, from working with so much peat moss and ground bark I think. Washing my hands in sage smoke doesn't seem to help, nor Lava soap.