Now we have reached mid-September we are already seeing, in neighbouring gardens, the armies of neatnick gardeners (and garden contractors) intent on making the world “tidy” before winter. So annoying, so unnecessary … they should relax and make their gardens “messy” ones and leave the cleaning until spring when there isn’t much else to be doing anyway.  Coincidentally, a webpage was promulgated this week by the good people at Cornell University – please check out their Messy Gardens Page  … 

We are still hearing Cicadas in the undergrowth and trees, albeit they are starting to slow down a little as the days cool … though it’s not that cool for the time of year and we are enjoying a long run of sunshine. In fact, there is no rain forecast here for the next 12 days so there will be some watering required. September is usually nice, but not this dry. There are also just a few of the evil Japanese Beetles in the roses – constant vigilance is the answer.

At the start of the week we played Lumberjacks and toppled a dead and fungus-riddle birch tree. Quite an exciting venture as it needed to come down in a confined space that had things we didn’t want hitting  … the emergency electricity generator for example. Anyway, mission accomplished and the thick part of the main trunk was moved to be a welcome addition to our “stumpery”. The wildlife will enjoy that.

Most days at the moment are perfect for gardening with coolish starts that gradually warm but not too much accompanied by pleasant sunshine. If all summer days could be September days things would be pretty perfect around here. We have a small number of cardinal plants scattered around and we took advantage of the conditions to collect them together and move them to a revived bed adjacent to the pond where they will be visible from the sunroom. Conditions there are hopefully damp enough for them to thrive and we can watch them being visited by Hummingbirds.

While preparing the bed for the cardinal plants, J was energetically digging out pernicious fern roots to make space when she heard rustling behind her; turning this changed to “eek-eek-eek-eek!!!” and small rodent, probably a Deer Mouse, shot between her feet to hide in the undergrowth closely followed by Mittens, a neighbourhood cat. The cat was chased away and the mouse lived to fight another day … wandering cats from nearby houses are a real PITA for us.

Pots have had to be watered this week and the window-boxes have been taken down as the Petunias were looking scrappy. We are considering abandoning these next year as they are a bit of a pain to put up and keep adequately watered.

We recollect that a wettish period followed by a dry September is ideal for foliage colour in the fall – already roadside trees/shrubs are starting to colour up a little, especially the Sumacs. We hope this will be an autumn to remember … conditions are perfect.

Friday was “hatching day” for Painted Lady butterflies which we saw all over the place while out walking, clustering over a Verbena we passed. Later in the day there were clusters on our garden sedums.

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet appeared in the birch trees and we still have juvenile Purple Finches and Cardinals that are gathering in small flocks. Saturday morning “our” Carolina Wren appeared at the feeders again.

VIDEO … see below for a video of Painted Ladies on Sedum. Friday/Saturday saw a mass emergence in this area.

Finally … Spiders!  Beautiful large Wolf/Dock Spiders are scuttling about and we got good (“soul satisfying”) views of a Cross Orb-weaving Spider about which we have commented and shared some interesting information on our other, more nature focussed, website … here’s the link if you’d like to know why we think it should be called the “Quebec Spider”.

Featured Images
(Click to enlarge)

Painted Lady on Sedum

Along the eastern border

Japanese anemone

Wolf/Dock Spider — a good three inches across and a fast mover

Click any thumbnail to see images at full size …