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.

Garden Party

“You may go down to the garden.”…(Peter Rabbit’s mother) Beatrix Potter

I confess that I did not have to make two trips to the Memorial Garden this weekend.

The temperatures are beginning to cool, which means the need for extra watering is diminishing, and even the weeds are growing a little slower.

But I’ll be taking a little break for some ocean camping, and our blooming days are growing shorter. I want to enjoy summer’s last blooms as long as I can.

Everyone else had the same idea; the dogs were everywhere in the Homeward Bound garden this weekend! Miss Macy with her ever-present toy,

Sunny with her sweet white face and disposition,

Blossom looking pretty,

and Hootie enjoying Laura’s company. (Laura’s the one with the hat!)

Sonny was back for more training classes. He is a certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) who provides weekly therapy visits to a local Kaiser hospital.

Boulder and Phoenix are new arrivals; a pair who will hopefully find a new home together.

And Eastman – another new arrival who greets dogs and humans with a happy smile and wagging tail.

Even Axel and Bradley, who have perfectly good homes of their own, came by just to see what all the ruckus was about.

Party in the garden!

Some new things are blooming in Ina’s Cottage Garden. I believe this is Obedient Plant.

And this looks like an Aster…Ina?

The Roses are putting on a show; the result of Maria’s feeding them last week.

This contrast of blooms is beautiful in the White Garden.

The Hummingbird Garden was hosting more than birds…

can you find my little Dragonfly friend hiding here?

And of course…the Dahlias.

A riot of color. A splash of sunshine. And dogs. What a great way to celebrate the closing of summer. Does the party have to end?