This morning I decided the Johnson Grass problem needed to be addressed so I ventured out in that general direction, armed for battle. I have been fighting and re fighting this battle all summer, and last summer and the one before that. Johnson Grass is tenacious; you can spray it with chemicals but you will have to repeat that operation over and over again throughout the season to get a good kill on it. Or, you can do some of what we call 'mechanical control', which means that you pull it out or mow it down over and over again so that it does not set seed. Yes, it does have lots of reserve in the roots (which remind me of scorpions by the way and therefore add to my dislike for the plant) but if you are vigilant it will eventually die (or so the soothsayers say). This small patch is the last vestige of the monster in this particular garden patch.
However, before I even reached the site of battle, I was stopped in my tracks by the shine and sparkle of the garden, alive with insects and joyous with the colors of Autumn. I fetched the camera so I could share it with you.
The first thing I noticed was the Morning Glories which have nearly taken the place, despite having been jerked out of every bed all summer long (you can't kill them). They have climbed to the top of Nate's little Magnolia (above) and have taken charge of the blackberry trellis, the pepper plants and the ground in between. I was absolutely enthralled with this purple blooming Magnolia; very festive!
These are the colors I have at the moment, but you should know that Morning Glories are akin to Four O'Clocks and the Oak family in that there is quite a bit of 'hanky panky' that goes on all the time. Oh yes, I did say 'hanky panky' and you know what I mean by that phrase. So, next year my Morning Glories will have be a different shade of blue and red and the Four O'Clocks will have changed their colors as well. It is so nice to have families that get along.
This is my new shade of the year for the Four O'Clocks
The various species of bees and butterflies are still hard at work on the Blue Salvia and the Lantana but their numbers are dwindling. All the swallowtails, blue, black and yellow, have moved south or fluttered to the earth beneath the foliage that still stands, enriching the soil. I discovered a praying mantis clinging to my front door screen as I went outside....praying for invitation to stay the winter inside with me I suppose. No, my friend, you are on your own.
Isn't this one fabulous!?
Maggie's Wood looks fantastic and I am beginning to see the fluff of new grasses blurring the brown earth. (Special thanks to my friend Allen Spencer who is watching and watering the wood when I need to be in STL with my sweet Zaney boy).
This is my harvest of the morning: Swiss Chard, sweet yellow peppers and some sweet potatoes from a week or two ago that I threw into the picture for diversity. If you have not yet dug your sweet potatoes, you should.
The sparkle that first caught my eye came from every leaf of every grass, from their furred and arched seed heads and the leaves of roses, chard and spearmint. I haven't figured out how to catch that shine and sparkle in a picture yet, but you have seen it on cool, Fall mornings on days that follow a rain. It sings! It laughs! That living light which gathers on the edges of all life stands with its arms up and its back to the coming snows and shouts alleluia, amen and whoopie!