Gardens at Effingham: Where Cats Tell the Tales

The Cat, Considering Fall, Wists Melancholy

White Cat named Most Beloved, the inside cat at Gardens at Effingham and the cat who writes the stories and reflections.
Most Beloved, Gardens at Effingham

Fall Brings Melancholy and Reflection

Fall brings melancholy and reflection. Earth, plants, trees, and flowers all begin to prepare for whatever journey life intends for them. Seeds scatter, birds migrate, bumble bees still cover themselves in pollen from flowers still blooming. Lavender is blooming again, still a dark purple, still vibrant and healthy, but fewer blooms on fewer stalks of the deep sea of green early summer brought.

Pink sedum is in its prime, a peculiar twist for this late in the season. Sedum, though, waits for days such as these. Intensely warm during the day, then dipping down 20 degrees or more during the nights. But what seems out of sync with the blossoming and blooming of the rest of spring and summer flowers actually seems to play a significant role in providing pollen for the bees. Their plentiful blooming flowers during the summer months begin to die back as the nights grow cooler, the days shorter, and the earth turns on her axis.

Pink Sedum in Fall, Gardens at Effingham

Melancholy haunts me this time of year. I’m tired of the intense heat of August, though not yet ready to see the colors fade into the browns and grays of our winters here. This is the season of caught in-between, one where I can visibly and tangibly feel the pull in both directions. I want the lingering warm days to stay. I want the cheery colors of the flowers to stay. I want to remain unencumbered, able to step outside without having to don heavy clothes to keep warm.

I want to remain smiles and flip-flops, fireflies and fourth of July, sketching beside the water gardens while the dragonflies play. I want always to see the hummingbird dip and flit about, joy in her boundless energy, heaviness lifted from her heart.

Most Affectionately Yours,

Most Beloved

Cat paw of white cat indicating a signature by Most Beloved, Gardens at Effingham
Most Affectionately Yours, Most Beloved
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Male Anna's Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
Yellow Heliotrope with Winged Insect, Gardens at Effingham
Yellow Heliotrope with Winged Insect, Gardens at Effingham

From the Gardens at Effingham

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin
White Yucca, Gardens at Effingham
White Yucca, Gardens at Effingham
Purple Liriope (Lilyturf) highlighted by sunshine with serene water in background, Summer Gardens, Gardens at Effingham
Purple Liriope in Summer, Gardens at Effingham

Learn More About Lavendar and Sedum



Botanical name: L. angustifolia

Zones: 5-8

Bloom time: June to August

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Flower colors: Lavender, deep blue-purple, light pink, white

Garden Design

Despite its Mediterranean origin, English lavender was so named because it grows well in that country’s cooler climate and has long been a staple in English herb gardens. The gray-green foliage and whorls of tiny flowers make this one of the most attractive lavenders in the garden. It’s one of the most cold-hardy varieties and the best for culinary use because of its low camphor content.

Garden Design


Also called fringed lavender, this showy variety is distinguished by narrow, finely-toothed leaves and compact flower heads topped by purple bracts. While the flowers have less aroma than English lavender, the fleshly leaves are more fragrant, with an intoxicating rosemary-like scent.

Garden Design

Autumn Joy’ Stonecrop

Sedum “Autumn Joy”

This plant is as dependable and adaptable as they come. Its flowers bloom from August into November; they open pink and mature to a copper befitting of autumn. It is 2 feet tall and wide, with succulent stems and leaves. ‘Autumn Joy’ looks great with ornamental grasses.

Fine Gardening

Noteworthy Characteristics The long-blooming flowers change from deep pink to copper. Attracts butterflies.

Care Sedum prefers moderately fertile, moist soil in full sun, but can take it drier. ‘Autumn Joy’ can be tip pruned at 6 to 8 inches to shorten the plant, but this will also delay flowering.

Propagation Take softwood cuttings or root leaves in early summer. Start seed of hardy species in fall. Divide in spring.

Problems Fairly trouble free, but watch for mealybugs, scale insects, slugs, and snails, as well as bigger critters, including deer.

Fine Gardening

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