Opening the Gate

Still round the corner there may wait
a new road or a secret gate.  ~Tolkein

gatefromdeckWPLast weekend, I opened my garden gate to a class from The Phipps, who came to see what a garden might look like in September. The weather was perfect, with mild temperatures, blue skies, and a soft breeze. Poodle pup Angel Eyes was a friendly greeter and my husband played guitar on the deck so that there was live music in the garden.

I love my garden every day and month of the year, and September is usually a lush and colorful display of flowers and foliage, so I readily agreed to open the gates to visitors close to the autumn equinox. Little did I know that, when I agreed to do this, the lower garden reconstruction would take place in late June instead of April and the wooden deck refinishing would be delayed until July. If you’ve lived through a home construction project, perhaps you understand the chaos and domino effect that even a small project creates. Nevertheless, I undertook additional tasks in the garden to make it visitor ready by September and though I was still tweaking things the morning of the tour, it made a good impression.

Still, when preparing for garden visitors, the gardener only sees what they haven’t done – our imagination sees what project we left unfinished, what flowers aren’t in bloom, what weeds we forgot to pull, instead of what is actually there. Fortunately, garden visitors only sees what is before them, unburdened by expectations, and hopefully will enjoy the experience. I took no photos of the garden until the next morning, when I could look at it with fresh eyes and let the camera tell the tale. There are so many photos that I’ll limit them to the lower garden this time, and show the remainder in my next post. I hope you enjoy your virtual trip through the September garden! (Click any photo to view a full size image; all photos @2014 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)


I could happily lean on a gate all the livelong day, chatting to passers-by about the wind and the rain. I do a lot of gate-leaning while I am supposed to be gardening; instead of hoeing, I lean on the gate, stare at the vegetable beds and ponder. ~ Tom Hodgkinson (British author)

See (and listen to)  last year’s take on September in the garden at September Song, a song that runs through my head at this time of the year.

39 thoughts on “Opening the Gate

  1. Pingback: Visiting Gardens | composerinthegarden

  2. Pingback: The Old Year Passes | composerinthegarden

  3. Pingback: Outside the Gate | composerinthegarden

  4. Thanks for inviting me in. What I see is a symphony of color and texture.
    I have lived through major kitchen and bath remodels. It took months to get some of the final details finished.
    IT IS All worth it!

    • Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a lovely comment. I actually do think of “orchestrating” the garden 🙂 Re the renovations: in preparation and execution, garden renos are very much like a home reno. The biggest difference is that in the long run, the garden is more of a moving target – change is its middle name, so one is never really finished with it. But I know that you, as a gardener, knew that!

  5. It’s very generous of you to open the garden. I know what you mean about the difference between what you see and reality (whatever that is). What a lot of work – and pleasure – this represents, and I’m glad you had a chance to share it in person, as well as online..

  6. Your garden is a symphony of colours and textures! or should I say a musical tapestry?
    (I don’t have a gate to lean into but daydreaming in the garden is one of my favorite task… 😉

  7. Ah, Lynn…so much of the world in turmoil and yet, here, because of your work and artistry, a reminder of what we may do with energy, gifts, love, and patience, to relieve our hearts and renew our spirits. I’m betting your guests left deeply refreshed and inspired, and that your creativity will flow through their lives in ways we can’t imagine. The world is indeed a better place for its gardens and gardeners. Thank you.

    • Kitty. you are always so encouraging and always lead me to see things in a different light. Perhaps there is a meeting place between the act of creating something from love and passion and sharing that creation with others in a way that might lift their spirits. I certainly hope so. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  8. A truly wonderful color palate!!! Still much green ,,, of course a variety of shades add a great deal of beauty .. personally, I love the touches the crimson leaves bring … and all this without the turning of colors. Splendid …. truly Splendid … well done Lynn!

Leave a Reply to composerinthegarden Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.