The Last of Summer Print
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 21 September 2009 08:06
11:30 am update: It's actually snowing. Have I mentioned that we have WEATHER here? How much more literally can you take "the first day of autumn?"

Fall is coming in like a lion in a very un-Colorado like manner. (Usually September is the best month of all here with golden skies, no thunderstorms, highs in the 70's, lows in the 40's, and in late September, the aspens are at their dazzling height.)

The first cold spell of the season is whipping through as I type and the temperature has dropped 10 degrees since dawn to a rainy 37 degrees. Meanwhile, the Institute's phone and internet connections are down along with some of the neighboring businesses because some lovely person cut the phone lines last weekend. (You can still reach the Institute at (719) 219 -0078.)

But yesterday, it was still summer and I spent the last weekend of summer in the garden, which has suddenly reaches its full glory at the very end.

We held a little open-garden for the neighbors to celebrate the finishing of the waterfall and the landscape designer who laid out the plan in the spring of 2004 for us, came by to take a look. She was much more enthusiastic that we had anticipated - even though it is obviously unfinished and her experienced eye no doubt took in all the usual bobbles. She told us that sections of it reminded her of the Denver Botanic Garden - which serves as a kind of national display garden for mountain and high plains gardeners. She was being kind but to be mentioned in the same breadth with the Olympus of high country horticulture was something we never expected.

She also said that she had never seen a display of Tansy Asters like the one that fills the wild flower bed today.

That would be the Asters we considered pulling out half way through the summer because they formed a mysterious 5 foot flowerless wall that covered 2/3 of the bed and I couldn't figure out if they were friend or foe. I trimmed six inches off the top of these mysterious plants in July to at least make the shape a bit more regular and keep it from setting seed. God has mercy on clueless gardeners. The asters just came back with hundreds of new buds.

A pound of wildflower seeds, a spur of the moment trimming, a rainy summer, and the last Sunday of summer looked like this. (These pictures were taken at first light. Click to see the larger view.)