The leaves of North Carolina are glorious as they give up their lifeblood of green and prepare to fall.

I think about this fact more this fall than ever before. The leaves are giving the trees back their chlorophyll as they die.

The result is a crescendo of colors. Folks who do not glance at trees the rest of the year drive here to enjoy fall.

The leaves demand attention as they die. They have been there all along, mostly ignored.

The change makes us notice.

I have driven down this road hundreds of times and have never seen this house until heavy equipment removed the vines that kept it hidden for decades.

We had to take a closer look before more heavy equipment removed it. It is an intriguing liability on land newly purchased.

I knew the boys who grew up here as old men. They are now gone. I hope someone has saved the pictures and the stories.

We got one last look at a jewel that we never noticed before it falls.

I am not a fan of fast change. I am unsettled by the huge waves of development that are washing away the history here.

Every outing brings new lamentations. More houses, more people, more traffic…less trees, less nature…

This old house was built on cleared land many years ago, nature took that land back for a bit.

The vegetation engulfed the buildings, strangling the structures, erasing its human history.

This land will be changed again. We will be changed with it.


The Heat is Gone

I hope this cool Monday morning is a sign of things to come.

There seems to be a collective sigh from the garden.

Water hyacinth blooming among parrot feather and water lettuce in the pond

This summer has been a struggle.

I have constantly pruned and watered in an effort keep things alive.

The stress has shown in yellowed  leaves,  fragile stems and smaller and fewer flowers.

‘Picotee Blue ‘morning glory single bloom

The tide seems to have turned this morning.

A light rain has plumped up the plants and made them glisten.

Pink Muhly Grass/ Muhlenbergia capillaris

My favorite dahlia, Thomas A. Edison has decided to stand up and bloom at last.

Thomas A Edison dinnerplate dahlia

Let’s hope that we all can thrive for a bit in this cool.

Except for the weeds. They will be killed as usual.


Feeling Fall

There is a first frenzy here in North Carolina before fall.

The first one involves moving plants around in the gardens.

The ones that are crowded must be separated.


The ones that are unhappy must be relocated.

This is hot dry work that involves digging holes and amending soil.

Followed by digging, dividing and moving plants.

It’s also time to trim back the overachievers.


Lastly there is a lot of mudding-in of the transplants to ensure the roots make good contact with the new soil.

I use a soaker–hose.


This has been my project for weeks now.  It has been hot and dusty, but not any more.

We had almost two inches of rain yesterday.

Now there is a cool breeze.


That starts me thinking about fall frenzy number two.

Hauling all the delicate plants into the house and workshop.


Another multifaceted job with much preparation.

Also some potted plants need to be put in the ground.


At least it is cool. At least I can stop watering all my parched plants.

There is something final about fall.  Autumn always makes me anxious.

It is an ending.   To everything there is a season.

I like to end all this fall preparation with a ritual planting of spring bulbs.

It is my way of showing my faith in spring.  Bulbs are my time capsules that I put in the ground as a message to myself.


“See you on the other side.”

I think of them all winter, under the snow, waiting for spring …just like me.