Fall whispers farewell


The garden is tucked under a blanket of leaves.


We’ll let it wear this thin cover through the winter to protect sensitive perennials from frost while feeding the soil.


I am always surprised at how quickly the garden can fade; from brilliant oranges, reds and golds


to a canvas of grey and brown.


Not dead; just moved to a new state of slumber as if to say, ‘let’s rest awhile.’ It is a well-deserved. Fall whispers farewell.

Garden Dog_Fall_DSC_7588

Last year at this time, two weeks of record cold and frost were upon us. Unheard of for our area, it stole – overnight – the last color from the garden and resulted in more than a few casualties.



This year, we are blessed with successive days of warm rain. The last roses shine like neon against an earth-colored backdrop.


The long-term forecast says we will not yet escape the drought – but the outlook improves somewhat. For this we are very thankful. With the grey skies and the holidays upon us, the pumpkins were promptly dispatched to the compost pile


and a living tree was moved in.


While the décor has changed, we are still filled with the spirit of giving thanks. Our kennels are only half full after so many “going homes” including eleven of our twelve puppies –


Only sweet Titania remains. We have promised her a home by Christmas.


The breeder dogs that came in recently are all spoken for, including this beautiful pup – surrendered for a heart murmur. One person’s “defect” is another’s great fortune.


For once, the pace is relaxed – with time for enjoying each other’s company as well as the company of dogs.


Our own well-earned rest.


“And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’” ~ Robert Frost

First Hint of Fall

Every year I prepare for our annual ocean camping trip over Labor Day weekend. It’s how I know that Fall is near. The Memorial Garden seems to sense it too…earlier this year.


The Obedient Plant in Ina’s Cottage Garden is making an appearance.


Maria’s Sunflowers are showcasing shades of gold and red.


The grapes are sun-kissed ripe and wonderfully sweet,


and the Sedum has flowered.


The tiny drifts planted last spring have sprouted a new fountain…and its guest.


And the Amaranthus, started from seed, is spreading like deep red pearls throughout the Perennial bed.


Even Sequoia is dressed in fall colors. This sweet girl was surrendered by a family that loved her dearly, but happened to live in a grove of Eucalyptus trees that she is horribly allergic to. No amount of medication could help, so they entrusted her to us to help her recover and find her a home where she is pain (and itch) free.


I’m not sure that I am ready to say good-bye to summer – although I am very ready to leave the stifling hot valley for a week of ocean air, cold nights and campfires.


The garden – well it does what it will in its own time – ready of not.