Autumn unfurled itself in the waning afternoon sunlight yesterday, coming to life in the spiraled blossoms of the moonflower vine (ipomoea alba) that opened up to star-kissed flouncy petals. It was as if flower fairies, hidden deep inside the heart-shaped leaves of this magical vine suddenly decided to celebrate the changing of the seasons by twirling their celestial moonflower skirts in the unpredictable breeze coming from the southwest, which usually means rain, here at Blooming Hill.
Billowy clouds in shades from crisp-white to soft-grey skipped across the blue sky in an effort to keep up with the finicky breeze. Dressed in their finest cotton-candy outfits, the clouds greeted the newborn Fall and kept the moonflower blossoms well protected under dappled sunlight through the late afternoon. All the while, the unseen fairies flitted in and out of the vine, for they were just getting started.
Evening came and still, with no rain in sight, more fairy-like moonflowers came out to dance, twirling their skirts as the dark night crept in. The moon, itself, was nowhere to be found, hiding behind the burgeoning cloud cover that lingered to enjoy the company of the twilight gardens. Still, the moonflowers called out by releasing their sweet perfume while dreaming of love, (as their meaning implies in the language of flowers). The flower fairies wrapped themselves in the creamy-sheer moonflower petals with emerald-green leaves for capes, too protect them against the chill of the evening, in preparation for their nighttime Fall Gala.
Moonflowers claim their name because they appear in the late afternoon, showing off their full, round figures, so similar to the full moon and yet, possessing their own beauty. They stay open, dancing the night away through the misty dawn before they fold up their petal skirts, leaving the sunlight to their cousins, the Morning Glories, who while away the quickening days. Each moonflower blooms only once yet, their brilliance requires nothing more than their own radiance to glow in the garden. Again, so much like their mentor, the full moon on a clear black night.
So, caught up in all of their enchanting revelry, I took their pictures by the light of their own silvery-ness and, they smiled back at me in all of their grandeur, basking in the glow of the cool autumn evening and bidding farewell to the long, hot summer.
I have a question for you...How many steps does it take to walk up a country hill? Apparently, here at Blooming Hill, it takes sixteen steps. Yes, that's right--it takes sixteen wide and gently sloped steps dressed in pearly pea gravel and garnished with cherubs, lavender and hydrangea all arranged under dappled sunlight and shade provided by tall trees along the way, to reach your destination, the gardens at the top of Blooming Hill. Of course, there are other ways to go that are just as pleasant but, maybe, not so clever.
My last blog entry talked about the adventures of the Blooming Hill Ax Men clearing dead trees and branches off of the hillside which lead to a quandary of what to do with all of that wood--in fact, that could have been yet another question I could have posed to you but, I liked my original riddle best. Anyway, there we were, with piles and piles of tree trunks, not too thick and not too thin, but just right to create a green solution to an age old problem of walking up this particular steep, country hill and it became Peter's pet project for several days and evenings.
We are already on a first name basis with the local milling establishment that supplies gardeners' necessities such as stone and mulch, as it seems we are in there every weekend for a fresh load of something to fill the truck bed with so, they were interested to hear what P.Lorenz was up to this past week with all of that stone and, a meandering, stepped walkway up into the gardens sounded pretty intriguing to them.
Who needs a membership to a gym when you have endless projects such as this to keep you honestly working out and working hard in your finest work clothes? Now, walking a country hillside here at Blooming Hill just became a little easier and not quite so steep.
So, here are the completed steps that now connect the shop, down at the road, to the upper gardens and lavender beds! Pretty nice, don't you think?