All of the Irene-slaw, ratatouille, pesto, or was it just plain gazpacho having been raked and tossed, wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load, on the 50-foot-long composting pile, remaining foliage is hardly in top form, being rent or chewed and singed by salt airs. I thought that the heavy rains following had done an antiseptic, restorative rinse, and perhaps they had, but the damage had been too marked for such alleviation and was imbued in the remaining foliage. (Fadeout of camera closeup: Forget aloe and lanolin! For the clearest complexion ever, spray with the latest news in complexion renewal: stormwater, a power wash for your skin!)
Drab is a color not necessarily restricted to pottery. It might become the salient hue of 21st-century chic. The new beige. Think Disaster Tan, Refugee Camp Ochre, Starvation Brown, Poverty Fawn, to offer a few.
A major aperture, creating an enormous explosion of light, was caused by the downing of a double-trunked, diamond-barked willow, considered a “junk tree” from the plains of the Midwest, one of the first trees I planted, one that had a stream or two of huge roots bulging across and through the telephone-pole path with undeniable references to the Laocoon. In the emptiness will go a lace-capped hydrangea swamped nearly to extinction by the lushness of the Long Border and two Louis Philippe roses, the only bushes growing here when Madoo was purchased in 1966, also being shut out by neighboring growth. Who planted them just east of the south-facing milk house door? There was also a clump of split cup daffodils nearby.
All of the bottled gentian (gentian Andrewsii) were thrashed off their bases so that we will not have their vaunted, haunting blues this autumn. Cf: James Schuyler’s “Closed Gentian Distances.”
Disaster is never entirely grim. Grasses, made flabby and grown sodden by the extreme wetness of the summer, collapsed utterly under the magnolias, giving me an idea of how the dell-copse-spinney of magnolias will eventually look when the culms are truly gone. Grasses can become belligerent when you want to uproot them. My slow but sure and patient way was to plant magnolias through their clumps, prosper the magnolias and their umbrageous shade, and let them murder the grasses.
One hopes for steadily diminishing night temperatures now, the better to prevent trees and bushes going into spring-like renascence, delicate growth that cannot survive the coming black frost. If what is in floral bud also becomes confused, spring 2012 will be rather bleak.