Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Morning Garden Walk

Sunday morning I woke up promptly at 6:05 am with an orange cat sitting on my chest making sure I knew it was time to get up and serve His Majesty breakfast.  Once I was awake and had taken care of my friend, I got showered and headed off to Descanso Gardens.  I’ve been a garden member for the past five years, but this year in particular, I’ve been taking full advantage of my membership and arriving early before the general public to spend time alone and undisturbed with nature in these beautiful gardens and woods.

Upon entering, I walked past the promenade which right now has a gorgeous display of deep purple salvia along with some other hummingbird and pollinator attracting flowers.  I stood there for a while watching the hummingbirds sip nectar from the purple flower flutes and listening to the hum of bees before walking on.
I then headed into the rose garden to get one last look at it before they close it for the setup of “The Rise” which is a display of carved Jack-o-Lanterns by artists from all over the United States.  As I walked through the rose garden, I stopped by the lily pond which is always full of frogs.  In the morning you can find them sticking their heads out of the water to warm themselves under the first rays of morning sunshine.  In order to see them though, you have to be quick or else the moment they see you coming, they’ll  duck under the lily pads and hide.  This time I didn’t see any frogs.  (I was too slow.)  But, I did hear the “plunk plunk” of them diving under water.

As I continued my walk, I passed by the cottage.  A group of tiny birds flew from tree to tree right in front of me as if leading the way.  In this group was a beautiful, bright yellow bird that stuck out dramatically from the rest.  I believe it was a goldfinch.  For a moment, I felt like “Snow White” in the scene from the Disney movie where the birds are all singing and fluttering around the princess.
I continued on my way and headed into the camellia forest.  My visit today was shorter than normal, because I wanted to get home to do some gardening before the weather got too hot.  So I skipped my usual hike up the hill and took a different route.  A lot of the garden sprinklers were still on this morning, so many of the paths were off limits.  I really didn’t need another shower, so I turned around to back track when, suddenly, I was startled by a stomp and the sound of rustling leaves.  As I turned my head and  looked off to my right, there stood a beautiful, young buck just a few feet away.  He had soft, fuzzy horns that were just starting to poke out of his head.  We locked eyes for a moment and stared at each other before respectfully going about our own business.

After about an hour in the garden, I could feel the sun getting stronger and I knew the day would be heating up soon.  I decided it was time to exit and head over to the nursery.  Even though it’s still scorching hot in Southern California, I wanted to start transitioning my garden into Fall by picking up a few flowers in colors of orange and gold.  I’d already started to feel the coming change of season a few weeks ago, and this is my favorite time of year.

When I arrived at the nursery, I found that the “Halloween” blend pansies were already available for purchase.  Boy were they tempting, but I know it’s best to wait until the weather cools down.  Pansies don’t like the heat one bit and in Southern California, we aren’t done with hot weather until at least mid-October.  Today I ended up coming home with two flower packs of orange marigolds and bright yellow calendula.  Total spent:  $6.75.  They were enough for 3 flower pots.  Just enough to start adding a little Fall flower magic to my garden and to welcome the Autumnal Equinox and the official start of the Autumn season which is already coming up next week.

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