Thursday, September 30, 2010

Celebrate autumn!

It seems we are headed for the first frost of the season Saturday night as forecasters are calling for lows around 32. This is exciting. I absolutely love this time of year! I love the whole autumn scene: colorful leaves, frosty nights, harvest season, putting flannel sheets on the bed, digging out the sweatshirts, actually COOKING again (I have no idea what we ate all summer) and turning on the furnace.

Ah, yes . . . the furnace.

Every year, the Farmer and I play the “I can wait longer than you can to turn on the furnace” game. At some point, when we’re both shivering and turning blue and can see our breath in the house, we mutually agree that it’s time. I’m pretty sure we’re not there yet, so chances are the furnace will not be on this weekend when the mercury dips into the 30s. It’s only supposed to be cold like that for a couple of nights.

Although chances are the frost will not be a killing freeze, I need to take some cuttings from tender plants I want to winter over, just in case. These include the Coleus from Hell and the Stolen Birthday Begonia.

This is the Coleus from Hell.

It’s huge. It’s wonderfully easy to grow and thrives in sun and heat, making it a good candidate for living on our south-facing cement patio. Here's a closeup. It's darned pretty.

These are the Stolen Birthday Begonias.

They have bloomed non-stop in one form or another for over a year. This plant was grown from a clipping from the mother plant. I have two other pots just like it. They were blooming last September when I (okay, Paula, at my request) rescued the mother plant from abandonment at a dog show. Well, she asked a Boy Scout first and he said it was okay. Who’s to argue with a Boy Scout? So technically, they weren't stolen. Not exactly.

Finally, here’s my newest perennial, a Black Diamond hellebore.

I’ll have to cover it up Saturday night. Even though it’s up close to the house and probably sheltered from the frost, I’m not taking any chances. It’s from Marsha, Tammy and Michele, in memory of Connor, who’s registered name is Sunazie’s Black Diamond. It’s supposed to bloom early in the spring and will look like this.

I know autumn bums some people out because all the plants and flowers die, daylight hours are shortened and winter is just around the corner, but I always look forward to it as a break from the insanity of summer, when it feels like I’m doing 12 things at once. During fall and winter, that slows to maybe 5 things at once. I'll get cabin fever once winter actually arrives but right now, I'm ready for a slower schedule. Looking at the calendar, it doesn't look like that's going to happen for a while yet.

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