Thank you Rose Riley, Master Gardener at the Webb Deane Stevens Museum for this post.
The long, very hot, very dry summer is lingering into the first days of autumn. Although the temperature has moderated, soil remains dry and plants look stressed and parched. Nonetheless, the earliest signs of fall are appearing. In my walk through the community gardens which adjoin the Webb Deane Stevens wood, I note that the uncultivated plots at the north end of the gardens have returned to meadow.
Wild grasses sway and sparkle, their gracefulness contrasted against the rough green leaves of the Comfrey which grows wild there. The cultivated plots also are being taken over by grasses. Where once there was order and neat rows of lettuces and cabbages, the vegetables now fight for space and sunlight. Each year I think, in the early days of June, that this is the year that the tidily cultivated vegetable gardens will win out and not be invaded by the meadow. This year, like all other years, the meadow wins.
In the Webb Deane Stevens garden the annuals look weary and hosta leaves are crisped brown. Phlox hangs on to its flowers after being cut back twice during the summer.
The autumn bloomers, Sedum and Ageratum coelestinum have begun to bloom. The perennial Sheffield Pink chrysanthemums are in full bud – they will come into bloom in the first week to 10 days of October – as always the last flower to bloom in this garden.