Friday Fun Meets Postcards From Italy: A Blog Mash-up
Like a House on Fire!

Finding the Bright Spots

I kind of lost control of my life back in August.

Between work deadlines and getting everything put in order before my trips . . . then the vacations themselves . . . and then trying to catch up with everything when I returned . . .

Well.  It's just really done me in.


And when life gets really busy . . . something's gotta give.  

And, for me, this time . . . it was my garden that gave!

There was weeding that didn't get done.  And transplants that didn't happen.  There were new plants that died in their containers before I could get them in the ground.  You know.  That kind of thing.

Over the weekend, I took a deep breath and got out there to begin to Deal With It; to get things back to (somewhat) of an order before winter begins.  I must admit - I was dreading it!  So many chores; so much to catch up with.

Once I got out there, though, I found some bright spots.  Sure, it was the weedy, overgrown mess I knew it would be.  But being Out There - and just taking some steps forward - made me relax a bit.  (Although there's still a ton of work to be done. . .)

And you know what?  Despite my neglect, I found some shining stars in my fall garden.

My grasses look pretty fabulous with their plumes.


And the butterfly weed is re-seeding all over the garden.  (I am actually happy about this; I imagine some of my neighbors are not.)


I didn't prune the clematis on my front porch when I should have, so it didn't re-bloom this year.  But that's okay -- because I got these cool seedheads instead!


And my hydrangeas, though tired, are still hanging in there and looking rather interesting (in that faded, antique kind of way).


And some of the rather plain plants -- the ones that just serve as background foliage for most of the blooming season -- really shine during the fall.  (Whether I give them any attention or not!)

My fothergilla, for example.  (In truth, planted explicitly for the show their fall leaves.)


And my hawthorn tree.  (Which earns its keep every fall.)


And there are a few surprises, too.  Like . . . if I had cut back my porcelain vine last August (as usual), I would never have known it would do this in the fall!


So, even though I feel bad about the neglected state of my garden this year, it's nice to find some bright spots out among the weeds.

(But.  I'm going to have my work cut out for me come Spring!)


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Beautiful photos of your garden. It can be overwhelming. My advice? Hire some help!


A friend lives on a small road with a reduced speed limit and she says she's happy if her garden looks good at 25mph. Some years mine has only been presentable at 40 mph, but your fall garden colors look wonderful, up close and personal!


I think that seed heads are really, really pretty sometimes. Doug cut our gardens down a couple of weekends's looking pretty sparse out there!


The little surprises are what make gardening so much fun. It's a good thing to let things go once in awhile just to see what interesting things show up! Self seeders...seed pods...colors and berries!! :)


There are always bright spots among the weeds if one spends the time and energy to look. That's wonderful that you were able to spend some quality time in the garden!


Hopefully, your time in the garden gave you a respite from the over busyness of your life. You may have too much to do in the garden, but you had quite the summer! The bright spots you're sharing look unique and wonderful. I see color palettes everywhere as I think about my next step in decorating!


My sister did some autumn house-sitting once and thought she'd do the homeowner a favor by cleaning up his garden. While he appreciated her effort, he told her that he liked to watch his garden "do its thing" through the seasons -- and especially in finding the beauty of fall and winter. That's always stuck with me... so I don't feel bad at all when my garden is neglected. There's beauty in it all. (Mostly.)

Gardening is funny that way, though, making you relax and enjoy the work -- and isn't that exactly why a person gardens? The results are so satisfying.


Thanks for your generous sharing of the beauty in your garden. And, don't be hard on yourself. You have such wonderful memories of your time in Italy--it's well worth dealing with a few weeds!

P.S. I'm with Carole. Hire some help.

Cheryl S.

You've found a lot of beauty that you wouldn't normally see, and it isn't going to hurt to let the garden go its own way this year.

Sometimes I do a lot of fall cleanup, and other years I just let it go until Spring. It isn't really all that much more work in the spring than what I'd usually do, and I get the bonus of seeing all the interesting seed heads. It also gives me more excuse to be outside in the early spring when I'm so excited to have winter over.


I always love seeing garden photos and as a non-gardener, I didn't realize some of those things weren't completely normal. Reading the comments, I think this season is a happy accident - glad you get to see your garden in a different light! fantastic colors and textures for sure!

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