September 26, 2009


Mrs. Chomondelay clematis, May

Mrs. Chomondelay clematis, September

Butterfly Weed, June

Butterfly Weed, late September

Black Lace Elderberry, June

Black Lace Elderberry, September

Though the petals are barely hanging on to many of our perennials, and colors have faded to paler shades of their vibrant summer hues, a different beauty is emerging in our garden now. Seed pods, dried flowers, and berries adorn our plants where flowers once were. To me, this stage of seasonal shift is a magnificent peek at the inner structures of plants and at the efficiency of nature.

These photos show the flowers in May/June, and again in late September. The 3rd and 4th photos are of a "Butterfly Weed" — not to be confused with "Butterfly Bush", and too beautiful to be confused with a weed. This is the first year we've had it, and it's been amazing to watch those intricate little pink flowers transform into quite unexpected seed pods! Just look at how neatly those seeds are stacked into the pillowy spires and how well-equipped they are for air travel on the slightest breeze. My husband, Pete, took a bunch of the seeds and tossed them in the air to see how far they'd go. We had no idea that they'd spiral upward and disappear against the white clouds of the sky, vanishing over roof tops and wherever they finally landed.

We couldn't help but to think ahead to next summer's blooms when our neighbors would wonder where their new, mysterious and beautiful plant came from.

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