Monday, October 22, 2012

Late for the Party, Wearing a Smile








            October is turning into an “annual” event.
            Some annuals that seem to need all summer to work up their strength look better than ever, look finally like themselves in autumn sunshine.
            These red circles of Lantana. I bought them late (somebody must have started them late), planted them late, waited a little impatiently for those initial blossoms to pass away and the roots to produce sufficient energy to spring a new low field of flowers. But we finally got there.
            A handful of Portulaca, lying flat on the low dry ground between sidewalk and street take care of themselves at this point. Seeding, popping out of the ground when it’s already mid-summer, and slowly growing themselves big and happy by September. They’re still with us, though they’re no fans of the cold. Enjoy them, I remind myself, while they last.
            Some of the mums are uncommonly cheerful as well. The mums in the back garden are garden mums, perennials. You expect them to be back. Some are the “hardy mum” annual, which survive a winter or two if you dig them into the ground. I did that with the one (last year? not sure) that bloomed a thick golden yellow halo of flowers this year, brightening up the sidewalk.
            I added some blue-lavendar range annuals (that shall remain nameless because I don’t know it) grown for the late season by the nurseries to the back garden. They survived the local night-chomper plague we suffered this year, found their footing last month and put out lots of little blooms this month.
            A few blue salvia too.
            They all seem to fit in with the fall perennials and turning leaves of the autumn foliage of the mid to late October. Healthy plants take care of each other. They harmonize, naturally.