A New Season

maple leafAutumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Camus


Somehow, summer slipped by without me and now that I’ve returned to the garden, I find myself in a new season, deep in autumn’s glory. The oak and maple leaves are at their height of color, still clinging to their branches and rustling in the wind that brought November with it this morning. What a rich season filled with a touch of nostalgia for the flower-filled summer that was and a touch of sadness for the stark and cold winter to come.

I missed my garden this summer. Most of my attention was on a major renovation in the kitchen, followed by a nasty flood in the basement brought on by a series of torrential rains. Instead of a quiet summer tending the garden, I lived in a noisy dusty house answering dozens of questions a day from hard-working men who were there to make it beautiful and functional again. We are still putting the last few displaced items away but how wonderful it feels to return to the rake and the clippers and reclaim the last lovely days of the garden season.

In spite of months of construction chaos in the house, I stole a moment here and there to enjoy the garden and those memories inspire me as I weed and prune and prepare the garden for its long winter’s nap. The owls have been hooting in the early morning hours and the bluejays leave me a feather now and then as if to remind me that life goes on in all seasons.

My talented husband Bill Purse has graciously allowed me to include a track from his upcoming album Tribute, a piece called “New Seasons” that was composed by our friend Colter Harper (The CD will be released in December). Enjoy listening while you browse the garden photos that range from July to October! (All photos ©2015 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved).

37 thoughts on “A New Season

  1. Beautiful music – everyone has such a light touch, including the percussionist – nice! It’s a pleasure to see your day lilies, roses and irises again, Lynn. And the autumn images have beautiful, subtle colors that meld together. Sorry you missed much of the growing season. Next year – always next year! 😉

  2. I’m sorry your summer in the garden was nearly kidnapped by your misbehaving house. Yet you did manage to get some beautiful photographs. I love those roses and those views of sky! You’re husband is indeed very talented.

    • Thanks, Jason – yes, the poor house was assaulted by construction workers and flood waters, but came out beautifully in the end. I, however, am still recovering 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the garden images – the roses were spectacular this year with all the rain and heat; the sky was very moody and photogenic. Thanks for stopping by; I’ll pass your compliment on to Bill.

  3. Welcome back! I have really missed you. So sorry to hear about your basement flooding. Water damage is so destructive–I’ve been through that, and it is no picnic. The cut from your husband’s CD is OUTSTANDING. Count me in as a buyer and a fan when it comes out. Loving it . . . As always your photos of your garden minister to me in a deep way and leave me in awe. Looking forward to catching up with you this winter.

    • Eleanor, I will share your comments with Bill – he will be thrilled! Glad you enjoyed the music and the garden images. It feels so great to be back in the garden and dreaming of next season already. The basement flooding happened during the last week of the kitchen reno – go figure! The upside is that we updated the basement flooring and it looks great.

  4. House renos can be quite disturbing; we only had some small work one year and it was enough. I can imagine your place with work in the basement and the kitchen!
    But the plants in the garden have been waiting for you 🙂 they look so happy and resplendent under the autumn sky!

  5. How wonderful it is to tour your garden, Lynn. What a paradise you’ve created.

    So sorry to hear about the flooding. I hope there were no great losses involved and am happy to hear it’s been so masterfully restored. And a new kitchen?! Hooray…can you work any photos into a post? 🙂

    The music is, as always, just perfect. How beautiful to have a life so filled with your own and others’ art. Thank you for sharing so many gifts with us.

    • Kitty, thank you for stopping by. Summer was certainly filled with distractions, but with great relief they have been resolved. No great losses in the basement – no gear lost, but new (and very attractive) flooring was installed – an upgrade!

      Bill’s talent always amazes me and it is so fun to be able to share it. I am so lucky to be surrounded by creative people in my life.

      Take care, always wonderful to hear from you!

  6. Ah! Such a treat to stroll through your garden, Lynn; what a paradise you’ve created!

    Sorry to hear about the flooding: no fun; hope there weren’t great losses involved! How lovely to have it restored…and a new kitchen too! Hooray!

    Wonderful music: such talent. Thank you.

  7. This is the second time I’ve come across that Camus quotation recently. I got curious about the presumed French original, so I searched online and found several occurrences of “L’automne est un deuxième printemps où chaque feuille est une fleur.”

    But then I also found this, which seems to have been (incorrectly) translated back into French from English: “L’automne est un deuxième ressort où chaque feuille est une fleur..” The problem with it is that ressort is the kind of spring (in English) that is a metal coil, not the kind of spring that is a season.

    I searched for a good while but never could find a single hit that said in what work Camus made that statement about autumn. In the past, when I’ve come across a widely disseminated quotation that is attributed to a certain person, but never with any further source, the quotation has usually turned out to be bogus. Is that the case here? I don’t know.

    In my searching I also turned up something relevant in a British periodical called The Spectator. The issue of August 30, 1929, carried a short article by W. Beach Thomas:

    “Every botanist knows that autumn is a second spring, a time of germination and growth as well as of decay. Birds, too, feel this springlike sense. I had a suggestive example this week. On the evening of August 26th the thrushes sang loudly in the garden after many weeks of silence. Every- one noticed the suddenness and fullness of their lyrical outburst. The next morning we all said, ‘This is the first day of autumn.’ The peculiar scent of autumn was in the air, Almost always there is a clear and obvious first of autumn, a day when things are different and the hottest sun, or the most gorgeous roses, cannot deceive you into the belief that summer is present. A new season has begun ; and almost the best in England. It is quite the best—and by a large margin— at the nearest point across the Atlantic. If you want to taste autumn’s perfection, or at any rate relative perfection, the place to go to is Newfoundland, where along with a delicious air you may enjoy a supreme glory of colouring, especially in the low berry bushes, that everywhere prevail.”

    On August 30, 1929, Camus was still just 15 years old.

    • Ah Steve, I depend on you for keeping me and my blog honest! To be truthful, I did a search for quotes about autumn and the Camus quote struck a chord with me. I would be disappointed but not surprised if it was not accurate, but that has been true for many quotes that I liked but researched further. I hope this is accurate, but if not, it is a lovely sentiment that I will embrace at any rate. The Thomas quote struck me with its reference to “the peculiar scent of autumn” – perhaps a scent that we all recognize but cannot accurately describe. At any rate, I always appreciate the etymology skills that you share 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • So wonderful to hear from you! I have explored your post and love it! I have always been a great fan of the “artist’s garden” because it follows a unique artistic vision rather than horticultural “correctness” (although many artist’s gardens are also models of good horticultural practice). I have long been a fan of Ms. Jekyll’s writings and in particular, her take on color in the garden has been a big influence on me. Several years ago, a friend and I drove through southern England to visit gardens and Hestercoombe was a revelation. Lutyen’s architecture was scaled to the human experience and, filled with Jekyll’s plantings, created the perfect garden experience. The multi-dimensional experience of moving through the perfect “artist’s garden” has continued to influence my own garden. Thank you so much for stopping by, commenting, and adding your own take. I recommend your site to all of my readers!

  8. So much to enjoy. Looks like your garden survived and flourished through the summer m
    My husband is one of those hard-working men who give folks new living spaces. Glad to hear you appreciation for them.
    Happy fall.

  9. Lovely pictures, indeed. I can readily sympathize with the garden withdrawal symptoms. For a year, now, we have been in the process of building and renovating, and every time I establish a part of the garden it gets wrecked. I have given up until they finally go away.

    • You have my sympathy, Colonialist. Fixing the flooding in our basement meant bringing in heavy machinery through the woods and into the garden. Fortunately, the machine operator was a real artist and successfully moved some large shrubs before digging the holes and trenches. On the other hand, he didn’t move them back at the end, so I’m still trying to rework the area and create new beds for the displaced plants. You are wise to wait until the end; I have a lot of things heeled in until spring.

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