September Song

Oh, it’s a long long while from May to December,
But the days grow short when you reach September. ~lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, from September Song

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Those long summer evenings are gone, borne away on the boom and crack of violent thunderstorms. Perhaps a few more warm nights remain, filled with the summer songs  of cicadas and frogs, but the weather is quickly changing to the cool short days of fall. It has been an odd summer – weather spinning from torrential rains and steamy days to the occasional stretch of dry sunny weather. Now the garden is filled with the sunny blooms of goldenrod and black-eyed susan; the last crop of cherry tomatoes glisten in shiny red cascades, and a giant cloud of fragrant white stars covers the sweet autumn clematis climbing up the fence and into the trees. All the creatures are busy filling their larders against the coming winter, from spiders bundling up yellow jackets caught in their webs to squirrels and chipmunks gathering acorns under the oak trees. The hummingbirds and most of the butterflies have headed south and flying V’s of geese are starting to follow them. Next week, the autumn solstice returns and summer will be truly gone.

As I wander the garden these days, pruning and weeding in preparation for bulb planting, I keep hearing the lovely “September Song” in my mind.  Here are a few images from the final days of the garden and a lovely clip of Ella Fitzgerald singing Kurt Weil’s haunting song. It is a lovely experience to start the music as a soundtrack before exploring the photos. (Click on any image to start the slide show – all images ©2013 Lynn Emberg Purse.)

41 thoughts on “September Song

  1. Pingback: Opening the Gate | composerinthegarden

  2. And now here it is, October, and I’m just getting around to visiting your September song garden. Your words and images are all so beautiful, and I feel just a little homesick (although I keep telling myself this is home now). Here it is still summer, with temperatures in the 90’s. We were swimming in the ocean yesterday. There is something to be said for that. 🙂

    • Thanks, Robin. We had temps in the 80’s today,but I know what you mean. The months definitely flow differently further south and along the coast, with different markers for the seasons. It might be feeling more like September for you anyway!

  3. Your post, with its beautiful pictures and musical references, perfectly captures the feeling of melancholy many gardeners feel at this time of the year. I can’t wait to explore more of your posts. Where do you garden?

    • Hello, Peter, and welcome! I garden in western Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh. I’m in a Zone 5b microclimate (but sometimes warmer) – it is a great place for the changing of seasons, as we experience all four in equal measure. Yes, that was “gardener melancholy” coming through this post that you caught – always a bittersweet time of the year.

  4. I think I’ll plant some Brussels sprouts – if it isn’t too late –
    Down South their winter veggies – and they can grow in
    large flower pots.

    The oranges are one their way – if the rain keeps up we
    will have over two hundred of them.

    Good to hear from you again and see that you are still
    blogging.

    • Ah, oranges. It was my father’s dearest wish to live somewhere he could “reach out the window and pick an orange off the tree.” That never happened, except the time we had a miniature orange tree that bore fruit and we held it up in its pot up to the window so that he could reach out and pick it. Good memories.

      Yes, I am still blogging, though with longer than desired times between. I hope to get back into a better rhythm this month and back to a more regular posting. Brussels sprouts – my family loved them, I hated them. Whatever. Still, I can appreciate those who love them 🙂

      • I cook them so they stay crispy. I prefer coarser sprouts. My friends overcook them. They say the
        smaller sprouts taste the best – the really big ones are bitter – I’ve also heard their excellent if picked
        right after a hard freeze –

        I like to boil then until they are just soft enough to cut in half – then spread each half with oil and spices. Then I bake them –

        I find there is a difference between bagged frozen
        sprouts and those that are fresh. That’s it for the sprout lore –

        and Alas – the orange tree is no where near the
        window. 😦 You can however put a basket on the
        sill. 😉

  5. Flowers are like little summer-spring vingnettes of life and memories. Your daily garden strolls and tender care is reflected in the health of some featured flower shots. Wishing you warm, golden autumn days to enjoy, Lynn.

  6. It’s a beautiful post. I love the feeling that the words radiates. There is something very special about the change between summer and autumn. A bit of melancholia and sadness mixed up with excitement about a new season – visually beautiful – about to start. The images are as always delightful.

    • Otto, I think you have it exactly right – “A bit of melancholia and sadness mixed up with excitement about a new season – visually beautiful – about to start.” Thanks for visiting and commenting; it is always a pleasure to have you stop by!

  7. What a lovely meditation and gorgeous place to wander…I know that, for you, it also represents hours of loving care, Lynn. All the photographs are beautiful; I especially love the vibrancy of the autumn crocus and the intricacy of the dogwood berry…Thank you for the gift of this, Lynn, a wonderful walk in gratitude and peace…and with Ella, to boot.

    • Walking with Ella in the garden; that’s a nice thought, Kitty! The autumn crocus is blooming under the kousa dogwood, so those photos were captured in the same early evening light after a rainfall – one of those little moments of magic that I was lucky to see and capture. As always, your visits here brighten my day.

  8. Hi Lynn, nice to listen to Ella while reading and looking at all those wonderful plants you have in your garden. I guess the next time we see your garden we shall be in the midst of Autumn and all those plants will look different, if not covered in leaves.

    • Hi Chris, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the garden is slipping into its final phase, and I noticed this morning that the Virginia creeper vines in the woods are starting to turn scarlet. By October, the woods will be gold and red and bronze, the final fireworks of the season.

  9. Your description of your garden is so poetic…I especially like Spider Woman bundling up the yellow jacket…my spiders have just begun their hunting and gathering. Thanks for Ella she really fits the mood of endings…there has been so many this year.

  10. Your garden still looks wonderful! There are so many plants in flower yet and also colourful fruits formed on the spring flowering ones – this is my favourite time of the year!

    • It is a lovely tune, isn’t it? Can’t get it out of my head these days. The garden is amazingly colorful and lush; as long as it keeps raining and it doesn’t get too cool, the blooms should keep coming. I do love this time of year, even though it signals the end of the garden season.

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