WHEN THE BEAUTY BECOMES THE BEAST
Back in June I posted a picture on Instagram of a gorgeous hydrangea bush that I saw on my walk while I was in Pennsylvania. My hydrangea obsession of the season was to have my hydrangea bushes produce beautiful blooms like the ones they seem to turn out every season back East. I must say that this year in the midwest almost everyone I spoke with was having a banner year with their hydrangeas. No, they weren’t necessarily getting the gorgeous blue of the Pennsyvlania bush, but it was a better than average year for this flower that I love and that has eluded me for so long.
This summer I did have some lovely lavender and bright pink which was a huge step forward from other years! Did a few shots of Miracle Gro really do this or was this just a lucky year? Whatever it was, it was a source of major enjoyment throughout the summer!
Now it is late autumn. My gardens are way past prime. Perenniels have been cut back and annuals pulled. What a few months ago was so lovingly nurtured and gave so much pleasure, is now a stub waiting for their time next year.
And the remnants of my hydrangea beauties are now a pile in my driveway, to be discarded.
Of the nine trees in our yard, I have a very large maple tree in my front lawn, too big for my taste now, but a beautfiul tree nontheless. I marveled at the fact that this tree in addition to other trees in our neighborhood and all over town had kept their leaves much longer this year. The foliage also maintained a brilliant green color way into fall than I thought was evident in previous years. It may have been a result of a very warm September and October. Whatever did it, the other day I went outside and seemingly overnight I was met by a thick blanket of leaves begging to be raked. I know that the gardening gurus say that raking is unnecessary and even counter-productive. But given the depth of the blanket, I felt (perhaps incorrectly) that this could not be good for the lawn long term, particularly since there were many more leaves still waiting to fall. Generally our lawn service crunches up leaves as they cut the grass every week. But now it was November. Typically they stop cutting at the end of October, further proof that we were about two weeks late in our falling leaves. So just with the leaves under that tree, I raked together 7 lawn bags of refuse that afternoon. The next day there was a new blanket of leaves that had fallen. But what was that sound I heard? It was indeed our lawn service still cutting our grass and mulching up our leaves!
And yet nature always evolves in such a way that there is beauty still in our yard – the turning colors of our azaleas and hostas make me so happy as I look out on them! To everything there is indeed a season.
DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS
With my leaves now rotting and nurturing my lawn, bushes and trees for spring, my mind is turning to the holidays. My friend’s blog (ivy&ironstone.com) was recently posted and I am adding my own response to her question about when to decorate for Christmas. There is of course the argument that with all the work involved in decorating, why not get it up and leave it up for as long as possible. I am such a purist, though, that I love the magic of turning on the Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving, but not before. My feeling is that this gives each holiday its due. The decorating is a sort of announcement that the time of year has come for joy and peace. And this was a year and a time that surely can use an infusion of joy and peace.
It is as usual a very busy time. This year, however, we have already begun to test our strands of light and my husband has already put them on the bushes because we will be in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving this year and then away in Ireland the week after. The strung lights will remain unlit until we get back home in a few weeks. So we’ll start to sparkle a little later than usual this year.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! One of the very many things I am so grateful for, is the ability to write this blog and enjoy so many other blogs that I follow.
Until next time……