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

Lavendar

ENGLISH LAVENDER

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

FRENCH LAVENDER

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

Latest posts

  • A Mother’s Day to Remember-Cali Cat Has Kittens

    Mother’s Day Surprise A glorious May Mother’s Day, replete with brilliant blue skies and wisps of sun-drenched clouds, became gardens requiring enormous clean-up once the storm had passed. We had walked in the mid-afternoon, savoring the sun and remarking on the cerulean blue sky. But we had no longer returned home before the skies grew […]

  • “Okay,Who Gave the Cat a Pen?”

    Ah ha! Captured! That stray pen–twirling, whirling, edging ever closer its way towards me. And Paper? Well, that’s a given. I’m already sitting on top of a stack of papers. ’Tis my place (always) to sit atop her papers, especially when she’s writing, especially the papers she’s trying to use.  And besides, what use does she […]

  • When Peaches Meow: Musings with “Most Beloved”

    The Orchard Years I look up and above to the picture Mom gifted me of my 11-year-old self, hand across the back of our Labrador Retriever’s shoulder, and Dusty (our rescued groundhog) pulling at his jaw. I was sitting, plaintive smile, faraway look in my eyes even then, blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, […]

  • Three Ways To Know When Summer Ends and Fall Begins (According to the Cat)

    #1. The cat is subsumed by melancholy “Oh yet to relish, to sleep, to bathe in the heat of the midday sun–” –sighs the cat Oh yet to languish, to sip, to savor a cup of catmint tea–” –bemoans the cat Act 1, Scene 1: Bay Window in the Breakfast Room. Most Beloved upon seeing […]

  • Hungry Hawks and Plump Kittens

    The kittens, at 7 months now, flush beautifully with their full winter coats. Poofy and gorgeously striped, they frequent the food bowl together, an inherent pecking order amongst them, one often under the forsythia while the other one eats.

  • Ode to Joy of Being a Cat

    Scherzo. Forte. Crescendo without denouement. Succession of notes, days metered in the click-click of 4/4, key of A (for August heat), unstable and trilling, repetition the same and in measured heat, 90 degrees plus and even when not, humidity to sear the presto. 

  • Cat Naps and Winter Dreams: Is it Spring Yet?

    Winter Daydreams Eagerly await mail for seed and flower garden catalogs to arrive Bring in mail and start an ongoing (and ever-towering) stack of winter dreams Pile up all garden books, magazines, journals, and catalogs Gather a soft, snuggly blanket (preferably one that looks good against all my white fur) Get excited and open several […]

  • A Cat Sleeps in Our Garden

    Days fall short now, time cutting across day’s light, night coming too fast—before supper, before work can be done, before we are ready. Gardens have been put to sleep—by us, or by nature—and while inside we work by light, outside, this early darkness awakens late fall’s chill.  Against this vague, ambiguous drift of days between […]

  • Finding Spring in the Snow: Happiness is the Color of Daffodils

    Daffodils in Early Spring With their creamy yellow centers surrounded by snow-white petals, Daffodils bring smiles of joy and unbridled happiness in anticipation of spring. Saturday and I’m dilly-dallying the day away. Frivolously, I might add, and contentedly I must add, for I am alone with she who loves and adores me. Just the two […]

  • Happy Highlights: Newborn Kittens Video!

    Welcome to my journals! So good to see you here. I am “Most Beloved,” she who lives in the big house at Gardens at Effingham. I write a great many of the stories here, recording my observations, snapping photos, and keeping a daily journal about the gardens. My journals are my sketchbook where I keep […]

  • A Photo Gallery of Midwest Gardens in Bloom

    Celebrate the Seasons through Flowers At Gardens at Effingham, we celebrate spring, summer, winter, and fall through the joy of our perennial gardens. Enjoy the gardens in full bloom through this photo gallery of the seasons. Spring Beauty Spring and summer bring a spectacular display of early, mid, and late blooming flowers, shrubs, and trees: […]

Watch the cats
from your inbox



One response to “The Cat, Considering Fall, Wists Melancholy”

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: