LATELY I’ve been so busy in the kitchen that I’ve barely ventured outside. But today is too beautiful not to pause and drink in the autumn sunshine, and to breathe the musky-sweet air. Care to take a walk with me? We can limit our visit to just the Serpentine Garden, which is now at its mid-autumn best:
Naturally, we should sip a little something during our Serpentine stroll.
The “little something” in question. It’s called an “Old Fashioned.” To make it, you drop a sugar cube in a cocktail glass, and then moisten it with Angostura bitters. Then you add a splash of club soda, followed by a sensible amount of bourbon.
Why did I design this winding oasis for the steepest slope on the property? You’ll find the answer in this post: “From Hellish Hill to Serpentine Garden.”
The Serpentine in 2007.
It has grown.
Ah, Thuja ‘Green Giant.’ What a shrub! It grows 3-5 feet every year, and tolerates all kinds of soil. If you need a privacy screen, this evergreen skyscraper is for you. More details.
The shrubs have already produced their winter flower-buds. I say “winter,” because this variety of Witch Hazel blooms in late January or early February, regardless of the temperature. The orange, spidery blossoms have a strong, clove-y scent.
And why do I feed the wintering birds? Because I’m a nurturer. I could no more deny fruit for birds and flowers for honey bees than I could vote against Social Security and affordable health care for people who need it.
What’s that you say?
Yes, I brought the bottle of bourbon along.
Now, if we were to sit on this bench in spring, our view would be very different.
SNAP! Back to reality. In October, the phlox serves as a thick (and weed-suppressing!) carpet of green…
As for flowers, they do exist in this garden, even in October. Would you like to meet them?
And this clump of Coreopsis, which I acquired through last January’s winter-sowing project.
To the left of the Nicotiana is a clump of cheerful, lemon-yellow Chrysanthemums. Sure, “mums” take up a lot of garden space during summer. But I don’t care. They are a welcome sight in autumn, when the rest of the garden is shutting down.
If you’d like to see the other gardens I’ve created, by all means visit the Gardening category on this site. You’ll find lots of plant profiles there, as well as some nifty garden-design projects, and quite a few garden tours which you can enjoy while…sipping a little something.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Serpentine Garden. I certainly enjoyed your company.
Mind telling me what’s happening in your own October garden?
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