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The Last Afternoon


We have all said goodbye to a garden or two. This is never something we want to go through but always resulting in a new garden, a new spot and a whole new experience. I will always have a special spot for the garden I just left, the garden I will share here. One long last afternoon, the final day I was at ease, just enjoying before the moving began and nothing was the same again.

I pulled a chair out into the middle, backed up against tall sunflowers and thick dark blooms of stock, the smell sweet and warm around me, the buzz of bees cutting the soft rush of the breeze rustling. The midday shadow of the big spruce was wandering across the garden, shivering pools of sunshine coming through birch limbs to both sides. This is when the heat of the morning lifted off with a few hours of respite before the hot afternoon. (My sunshine began at 3AM and stayed full until 11AM all from the gentle lower east sky, wonderful warm mornings, something I feel myself missing.) Once I had everything prepared I went in and got a cup before entering the Last Afternoon.

Stepping out the door onto the porch, of course my L. stenocephala is immediately singing! She is a real treasure to me, my darling. No one enjoys the respite in the shadow of the big spruce more than she!

I pass down my steps and there next to my chair is the other, L.przewalskii. She sits in a pool of light, smaller and slimmer in all respects from stenocephala. This is only the first year with me but it seems to enjoy well enough, and bloomed again strangely at the base later in the season. I expect much from it to come.

Once settled into my spot to enjoy this last day, I immediately got caught up with the Lychnis. This one commands attention through its blooming period, what a wonderful color! A spot of sun had just moved to it, and it alone. It just glowed there, singing to me of happiness and wonder.

I had my telephoto, so what better time to practice a little with my garden, immediately discovering that I could find what I was feeling using this lens, more than any other. The distance really showcasing whatever I was focused to.

My eyes turned to the Ladybells, Adenophora liliifolium, a new ray of sun catching the bunch, coloring it a brilliant lavender. These are spreading and growing with the geraniums more than any other plant I have. Slowly I’m separating the two, as I received them wild in patches of Convallaria which I’m slowly separating as well. She is so tall and wonderful!

After a time, enjoying, admiring, I see the sun has moved over the runner beans. These have been a must in this garden, I’ve grown them up the poles at each end of the porch as long as I have lived here. Always trusted to grow 8+ feet in a season, they have always pleased. This time of year, August 1, they are blooming strong, the first beans beginning to form.

To the left of my chair, the sun lit up my new pentagonal bed, the cosmo’s blooming like little pinwheels above the cloud of wispy foliage. I grew the cosmo from seed, to fill in around perennials. You can see they swamped them, the cotoneaster poking a branch through the top. Common with cosmo here, the larger varieties never reach bloom in our season. This shorter picotee bloomed while the other variety just got bigger and bigger. I’ve already thinned this patch in half twice by this pic. Still, those that bloomed are lovely things.

Squeezed beneath the valerian and cosmos sits my new old fashioned Dicentra. She thrived there, blooming through the entirety of the season and doubling in size. The foliage took on a lovely blue cast that I did not expect. Fingers crossed that this one will survive a winter. I have yet to bring a dicentra through, and the new neighbor said it is the only one she can’t bring through as well. I can’t help but keep trying. :-)

Poking through the cosmo on the other side is a new Acteae simplex (Cimicifuga), still very small but such a wonderful color. More likely to survive in the new garden, I may even see blooms one day. Its time to blooming is a little long for here. Another new treasure if I can keep it. Pondering the new additions, I find a moment away from my goodbyes as I think about how well this will do in the new garden.

Thinking of new plants, the Icelandic poppy demands attention from the other side. I found this deep red-orange so stimulating and it has done very well, forming a healthy clump. The telephoto lets me drift away with them, just lost in that stunning color.

I found a little fuchsia catching the sun beneath the immense sprawl of the valerian. Just a cutting from another it was meant as filler, but the valerian set it back a bit, much larger than I expected it to be. I’ll be taking my fuchsia cuttings earlier next year.

Still on the telephoto I drifted away with the cosmos, letting the sun wash over me, the familiar hum of the garden filling my senses, ah, such heaven.

At last drawing away, I see that the lig is now in the light, the shaded lavender of the ladybells contrasting around them. Taking that in I see the sun is filling the beds up above the cabin, in the lawn. The Artemisia ludoviciana returned doubled in size and this year, blooming in this little dry golden flower, before going to seed. She is native to where I was born, and brings a deeply sentimental emotion of childhood when I smell her. This is another Treasure.

Growing just beneath the Artemisia, my orange electric lillies bloom happily. I’ve begun an addiction with these, nothing I have added yet doing anything but multiplying. So reliable I find collecting very pleasing and blooms filling the garden from midsummer right through to the first frosts. This is one of the more interesting, wonderfully softened by the silver of the artemisia.

Turning back to the house, now realizing that the Last Afternoon is beginning to pass I see the long awaited begonias, glowing in the sun. Though late to come, they are wonderfully large and colorful. They were a bargain and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. They are the last to bloom in the porch boxes, coming right as the schizanthus are finishing.

The boxes turned out just as I wanted. Years I’ve spent perfecting what would look best here against the rails. Now, I’m pulling down the boxes and taking them somewhere new. I just look and admire for now.

Finally pulling away as the shadow of the late day touches my toes and the air begins to cool, I see the roses nestled against the porch steps. The peace roses best blooms are in the spring. These are the summer blooms, always only a few, and the fall blooms are just too wet, never amounting to much. I love my Peace rose and wish it long life every day.

Reluctantly I turn to the tasks at hand. About to travel and when returning, immediately moving everything. The Last Afternoon is passing. Only something new in the future. Thank for you visiting my old garden in these last days. Only pics of late summer blooms and the move to come. The lovely days of summer in the compass garden are ended.

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What a beautiful blog an wonderful garden...someone else will love it after you . Fantastically bold, bright colours!

9 Nov, 2012


I have watched you create that garden and marvelled at your successes considering the part of the world you live in, I hope whoever moves in continues to care for it.
Tell me will you still have to cart water in your new home, also will your plants continue to live indoors with you, I can remember one of your blogs from when I first joined and the plants seemed to have more space than you did, lol.
Lovely to see all the colour you have this year Gt and to take a last look around, I hope you are as happy and have as much enjoyment and success in your new home and garden and look forward to seeing it....

9 Nov, 2012


You have created a lovely garden & I am sure someone else will treasure it as you have. So sad to have to just walk away from it ....I have had to do that several times as I have moved my way around the world, so I can empathise with you. You will have a new garden to either create, improve or just enjoy. I shall save this to Favourites & will look forward to your next blog in your new garden.

9 Nov, 2012


Beautiful photos, by the way.

10 Nov, 2012


Oh thats hard, you had made it so lovely. Good luck in your new home and garden. I too look forward to the next episode in your gardening life.

10 Nov, 2012


Thank you all. I was so glad the day was so beautiful and I could get all this material. The old cabin was sold and moved off the property. So I moved all the plants I could since they would be in the wild next year. Hears hoping they survive and thrive in the new spots.

10 Nov, 2012


What a lovely way to remember a garden, it's treasures and memories, such a beautiful blog.

10 Nov, 2012


If it had been me moving into this garden I know I would be tickled pink and delighted to be the owner of such delights and to have an already thriving garden that had obviously been so much loved. I would consider myself extremely lucky. Good luck GT. in your new abode, I hope you have taken many cuttings with you. :)

10 Nov, 2012


Very nice garden and a lot of light over there. I can smell it and hear the forest and bees. Wish you find a peaceful joy in another garden which is waiting for you.
Added to my favourites.

10 Nov, 2012


it was always a pleasure to share this lovely garden with you Gt. look forward to getting to know your new one with you..:-)

10 Nov, 2012


Oh how sad, but also exciting at the same time. I wish you well for the move and in your new home.
I've enjoyed seeing your old garden over the years, and now look forward to seeing your new one :o)

How's Bianca ?

10 Nov, 2012


Stunning photo GT of your well loved garden, we've enjoyed it with you, but I'm looking forward to seeing what you're planning for the new one, especially as it has a warmer climate, as Hywel say, sad but exciting too...:))

10 Nov, 2012


Greenthumbs, I know how you feel. It is good when you are thinking of coming back to take some cuttings and probably seeds too. But of course as you say a new garden is a new challenge as not two gardens are alike due to their position, structure and climate. Would you be living close by?
Your blog is amazing, so poetic, lovely to read. And the shots are wonderful, you do have a steady hand there with the telephoto's. They turned out fabulous.
Someone else will love the cabin, wonder where it will move to. And you might find yourself another cosy place.
Are you visiting your folks down South when travelling?
Have a great time and am looking fwd to seeing your new challenge.

11 Nov, 2012


Hello GT,

Lovely blog and fantastic photos. Your garden will surely miss your I pray for the next hands and eyes will as caring as you were. I'll agree with everyone who mentioned how lucky will be the person who will inherit your garden.

I'm wondering about all the indoor plants you have... will move with your right?

I wish you happiness and success in your new place!

11 Nov, 2012


So the cabin is gone? that is really uprooting. scuse the pun. I'm reading this in November and all these lovely things must be under snow by now. Did you take your Peace Rose? you wouldn't leave it out there in the open all by itself would you? I'm off to read your next blog as I've been away from goY for a while. I know how you feel, Gt. It is so hard to walk away from a much loved plot...but as I learned...there is so much fun in starting up a new patch. You will love it..I just know it.

11 Nov, 2012


i have so enjoyed your garden GT and watched it grow with love and care, i hope whoever moves in looks after it as much as you have over the years,
but on a new note im really looking forward to your new garden adventures, take care :o) x

12 Nov, 2012


Such a lovely blog Gt. I can't wait to hear your plans for the new garden and to see the photo's as it progresses.

13 Nov, 2012


Ohh, I shouldn't have stepped away so long! Thank you all for the comments! :-)

Thank you Sticki! ;-)

Grandmage, thank you. I had the plan to leave it, but cabin itself is moving away. I did transplant just about everything though!

Katarina, the old garden was exposed and sunny, I was hoping to catch the feeling of the warm sunny day and the hum of nature. New garden is more shady but lots more space.

Sandra, I have loved sharing and will continue. :-) I'll miss this sun!

Thank you Hywel. I was sad to go! The transplanting was so much work, but worth it once the new garden began to take shape. I'll have to wait for spring to know how everything really did. Bianca is well, and moved better than I expected. She loves all the new space to run around in.

Janey, Thank you. I got such nice shots and sun that day! Already I'm excited about the new one, dreaming the new shrubs and small trees for next year, there is so much more space! So much warmer just up the hill here that I can plant a whole different Zone, but now mostly part to full shade.

14 Nov, 2012


Oops, submitted there before I was done. :-)

Marguerite, Thank you. I did visit family down south, my home town this time, and moved after returning. I moved just about everything but some of the larger trees and bushes. I found a larger cabin on the hilltop above the old one. More forest shade, but so much more space and warmth in winter. Cozy, private, no more road! I almost couldn't ask for more.

Aleyna, thank you. I moved all my house plants and most of the garden. Soo many loads in the car! The new house has a real jungle as I had to put all the plants together!

Lori, It was a hard move to make, but I've enjoyed every minute since then. The cabin should have been gone but hasn't gone yet. We are in the deep freeze so not til spring I think. I have much more space, and that is really the most exciting as I plan now for next season. :-) (My rose is inside again, forming many buds as we speak for a winter flush of flowers, probably around new years. :-)

Sanbaz, thank you. I have loved sharing and will continue, I hope everything sprouts back. :-)

Thank you Avis, I am really excited even with a melancholy blog like this. :-)

Homebird, thanks. I have the material and a long winter to keep posting it. :-)

14 Nov, 2012

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