Autumn in the Garden, When Sensible Plants Pack It In for the Winter . . . And a Healing Ankle

Autumn in the garden where, like it or not, the seasons impose their wills on every living thing. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Autumn in the garden where, like it or not, the seasons impose their wills on every living thing. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I took these photos of my favorite up-north garden last October. It’s a genuine four-season garden in the upper Midwest, complete with winter snow, spring promise, and unsurpassed summer glory. It’s also got autumn, with all the grim stuff that happens as winter sets in — death, rot, shrivel and retreat.

But during a late afternoon visit last October there were still some signs of stubborn life — opulent red berries and a succulent with in-your-face magenta blossoms.

A Dying Garden and a Healing Ankle

I’m just now getting around to posting these autumn in the garden photos because the project fell by the wayside last November when Jon broke his left fibula and tore the deltoid ligament right off the bone. Surgery ensued, and Jon was semi-bedridden for weeks.

I took over just about everything around the house, from setting up a hospital bed in front of our flat screen TV, to emptying urinals, to retrieving the TV remote if it fell under the bed. It’s been two months now. The bone has healed, the ligament seems to be safely stitched back to its bone, Jon is up and about and, lucky me, I’m down five pounds from all that running around.

Autumn in the Midwest with bright red berries. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Leaves were dying all over the garden, but these berries were bursting with life and color. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Cottonwood leaf ??? in a Midwestern garden in Autumn. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Autumn in the garden: a cottonwood leaf, partially chewed, soon be buried in snow. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Hosta leaves dying back in autumn in a Midwestern garden. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Low-growing hosta leaves collected debris from pine trees and other retreating vegetation. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Peony leaves turning magenta in autumn in a Midwestern garden. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A peony bush turned purple before dying back. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Autumn color in a Midwestern garden. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A succulent with magenta blossoms held its own in the autumn chill. Photo by Barbara Newhall

deep pink chinacea?? in autumn in a Midwestern garden. Photo by Barbara Newhall

At least one ant was still out and about as the days grew short. It found a lone white blossom to attend. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Another garden story at “My Garden in Summer, but Is It Really Mine?” 

Share

Comments

  1. Sharie McNamee says:

    So all those plants were common last fall but you zoomed in on the beauty at the autumn of their lives to make me appreciative of the details that make us enjoy all stages of life.

  2. Liz Nystrom says:

    Thank you for showing me an artist’s view of the garden. Your writing helps me see differently, which is always a gift. Congratulations on the joint effort to heal that ankle! And by the way, I found those 5 pounds you lost🙁
    Liz

  3. Beautiful reflections and photos!

Leave a Comment

*