Back to the Books

My next project management class started about two weeks ago so I haven't had much time for blogging. Where I live most of the fall color is golden or yellow. However, there are some trees outside my office building that have caught my eye recently because of their reddish hue. The leaves seem like they're suspended in mid-air like an Alexander Calder mobile.


Word for Wednesday - Illumination

Donna at Garden Walk, Garden Talk started a meme, called Word for Wednesday. I'm a word junkie. I have a favorite word and a penultimate favored word. I subscribe to word of the day and I used to subscribe to urban word of the day. So I love this meme!

Today's Word for Wednesday is illumination. The light in Santa Fe is remarkable. Sometimes, I see someone pulled over to the side of the road to photograph the sun setting. It's one of the reasons, I didn't move to a more urban area after living here a few years. Even though my intentions were otherwise.
Recently, I've spent more time at the dog park than in my garden. I've had my dog, Aster for over a year and can't seem to exercise her enough unless we go there.
The light in the moments between the sun setting and dusk are luminous there. Sometimes, I bring Aster's pal, Guinness to frolic with her.
Many thanks to Donna for hosting Word for Wednesday and check out more posts on illumination.


Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

For me, this hasn't been the year of the garden. There hasn't been much to whisper about, much less shout about. I've lamented the dry heat and the incessant wind. However, in the last month some late monsoonal rains revived the garden. Woohoo, I can participate in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for the first time this year. Thank you Carol for hosting!
The Rose Queen salvia came into its own this year. The color is so pretty and cutting back led to a second and a third flush of blooms. I bought four more and planted two of them this summer. The first two didn't get into the ground soon enough so I made another trip to the nursery.
I said in an earlier post that I wasn't sure if I like the ultraviolet salvia or not. I'm still not sure, but it has bloomed all summer in a grass like way.
Look at what I found behind the shed. I have wild asters popping up all over the place. I've tried transplanting them before to no avail so I will enjoy them where the grow and maybe consider developing a meadow-like space behind the aspens.
Agastache and more agastache. I've tried different cultivars, but the rupestris seems to work the best for me. One year I tried the Acapulco. Alas, it didn't come back the next year. I have some Rositas in the front garden and some Avas in the backyard, but both were sparse bloomers in this dryer than dry summer.
The gaura and raspberry delight salvia have been the stalwarts of the summer garden and will continue to bloom through early fall. Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!


Picture This Photo Contest

This is a photo I took last month that I've previously blogged about. It is my entry for the Picture This Photo Contest at Gardening Gone Wild.

This photo evokes for me the bittersweet late summer garden and the transition from flourishing to decay. 


Divide and Conquer

Today, was an atypical New Mexico day. The sky was like sheets of steel. It was overcast and cloudy. If I reached high enough I could probably touch the sky. I had a hard time rousing myself to get started, but thoughts of buttermilk pancakes and French toast finally stirred me.

I spend so much time making to-do lists at work, that at home it's easier just to start on something or anything for that matter. My sea foam artemisia was threatening to take over the flower bed in the front yard that there was hardly a bloom from my blue twister allium this year. Unfortunately, there was hardly a bloom from anything this year. I trimmed back the artemisia and divided the allium. I divided two of the original three plants into six plants. We'll see how they fare and I will finally find out if they keep aphids away from the roses.

I pulled out most of the mint and moved a Spanish lavender from the back to the front yard. The Southern exposure in the front yard is more conducive to growing Spanish lavender. I never thought I could have too many penstemon, but I finally hit the threshold. Most of the Rocky Mountain penstemon was overdue for division, but I pulled out one plant in its entirety that was about two and a half feet in diameter.  After lots of pruning and weeding, the blue sky gods rewarded me for my diligence. The sun came out in time for me to take Aster and her pal Guinness to the dog park.
At the dog park, the sunflowers were blooming in profusion and the camera phone comes to the rescue again.
I read yesterday on Patricia Tryon's blog, Picturing Plants and Flowers that there is one sunflower (Helianthus x multiflorus), that propagates by root division instead of seed.
Aster and Guinness frolicked to their hearts content and a fun time was had by all. 


Word for Wednesday, Serendipity

I was cleaning out an old purse to throw away. It wasn't worthy of the donation pile. The handles were frayed and the leather was wearing away. It was cavernous and had two pockets on the outside and five more on the inside. It had places to put a couple of pens, my cell phone, business cards and other detritus. Sometimes, my purse doubled as a brief case and held a file folder or two.

I started emptying the pockets out one by one. I found mostly old receipts, but continued to go through each pocket. In the process, I touched something small and plastic that turned out to be an SD card that I thought I had lost. I'm not sure if I gasped, but I was delighted by the serendipity. It had photos of a baby shower for my friend Lori's first grandchild and my nephew's first birthday. And some of the first photos I took of my garden after buying my camera. I also found the photos below of Indian paintbrush (Castilleja). 
I took the photos while hiking on the Aspen Vista trail in the Santa Fe National Forest. Some are overexposed. Nonetheless, I was elated with the serendipity of finding these photos that I'm going to post away.
Special thanks to Donna at Garden Walk, Garden Talk for hosting Word for Wednesday - Serendipity.

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