I’m always happy to find flowers still in bloom in early autumn – besides the ubiquitous mums, of which, I a not a huge fan. The meadow rue can easily be taller than me, despite its delicate appearance. I like things that manage to be mighty and tender all at once.
Luminous & cheerful in the sunlight, the white woodland blooms of the anemone become a graceful cascade of undulating stems and delicate petals at dusk. It’s as if they are giving their final curtsy after the radiant performance of the day.
There is a tendency to want to capture everything at its peak – the exact moment of perfect expression between striving and declining. That is a beautiful moment, to be sure. But to see with fresh eyes, I like to observe the full cycle. Those other moments – outside of the 15 minutes of fame – tell the true story and reveal beauty of their own.
Possibly my favorite plant in the whole garden for the way the leaves light up the shadows with an unreal chartreuse glow. The flowers, too, are pure poetry: handing delicately off their arcing stems, they lift their fine pink petticoats in sort of curtsy. It’s enough to break your heart.
One of the many delightful things about a shade garden is the impact of every bit of color and light. It really does seem as if the white flowers and variegated leaves are glowing against the rich tapestry of greens.
As much as I love flowers, it’s the foliage that really gets me. I like a good leaf and rainbow of green hues. That’s why our woodland garden – full of hostas and ferns – gets more TLC than the others; the luscious unfurling of the fresh fronds is my love’s reward.