Sunday, November 1, 2009

A blast of color

I did something a little unusual for me this past gardening season. Some would call it being lazy, others though might say that it was thrifty. Then, there are those who would say that what I didn't do was really showing some gardening heart.

Last fall I put out about 10 rather small mum plants, dividing them equally for the beds on the side entrances to the front of the house. They looked great and exhibited a blast of color that only a grouping of these plants can offer. I guess there are other plants that can scream color like these, but in the fall you turn to mums to get you through the last months of outdoor planting.

When it came time for the usual clean-up before spring rebirth in the yard, I noticed that these hardy plants were already budding new growth in my beds that are usually rotated with plantings spring, summer and fall. Well, I just didn't have it in me to pull these viable plants up by the roots and chunk them in the waste heap. They we thriving after all, having survived the harsh Jersey winter months.

So they lingered in the yard through spring and summer. I say lingered because their real show of purpose wouldn't come until at least six months down the road in the fall. Over summer they benefitted from rich soil and mulch, full sun and record rainfall. They grew and grew into rather big, deep green, ball-like shapes that added a rather sculptural sight to the yard – but no flowering or usual colors that I traditionally dedicate there. So the scene was green well into late summer. Panning from left to right, you'd see a collection of large green mums, mature azaleas of matching green tones and then another collection of large green mums of my rather symmetrical gardening layout.

Come October, the show was on. It was as if they were telling me all along, "Wait – you'll see." The months long anticipation was worth the delay for something I had that obviously was too enormous to have been bought off the lot of the local hardware store. The orange coloring was perfect for the month and as you turned onto my street, the blast of color in the yard could be seen from quite a distance. It wasn't something a passerbyer could possibly ignore. It was like - how can you not hear fireworks or notice what the product has to offer like its grand spray of boldness.

The show is almost over now. It was, as it turned out, a limited engagement. The heft of all the blooms weighed down the plant. The color is fading as is the sunlight that fueled its magnificent run out front. I will be pulling these up soon and getting back into the routine of rotating the area with seasonal annuals with limited time in these beds.


Amy L said...

Wow! Those are gorgeous. Just wish I could have been the one turning down your street!

Jeff Branch said...

Great color. We used to have a few of these that would bloom every fall. Maybe time to get some more.