September is languidly sliding along with its customary mix of grandeur and dishevelment.

September morning sun on gaura and stipa

While I am tempted to mourn the warmth and vivacity of summer, this new season brings its own pleasures. As we move into autumn and beyond, I am determined not to clutch at the fading seasons, or stare fixedly too far ahead, but celebrate the best of now. So I pull on an extra layer of clothing, take a deep breath of the cool crisp air, and revel in September’s glories.

September sunrise silhouettes

Sunrise is discernibly later each morning now, casting a mellow light across the garden, shuttered with dramatic silhouettes and shadows.

September sunrise lighting up the greenhouse

September harvests

For a short time the greenhouse continues to house the last ripening tomatoes, chillis and aubergines; the cucumbers have almost all succumbed now to red spider mite, the dessicated skeletons of their vines waiting to be untangled. In the early morning light, condensation glitters and turns the panes opaque.

Horse in field in September sunrise

The cows have been moved into sheds during the recent rainfall; leaving a couple of horses the sole occupants of this pasture.

Silhouette of Cephalaria gigantea seedheadsSilhouette of Cephalaria gigantea seedheads

Teasel seedheads silhouetted in September dawn

The seedheads of giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea) and teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) stand proudly, while at their feet the sedums are in full bloom. Stipa tenuissima is indescribably beautiful with the low early sun illuminating its plumage.

Stipa tenuissima glowing in September sun

Stipa tenuissima illuminated by September sun

Stipa tenuissima illuminated by September sunThe few fronds of our young Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’ dance like fireworks over a small clump of Agastache ‘Black Adder’.

Agastache Black Adder and Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Transparent

Nearby, a lone spire from another clump of Agastache glows in the dawn light.

Agastache 'Black Adder' and Helianthus 'Vanilla Ice' in shards of early morning sun

Webs seem to stretch across every space in the garden; single threads speculatively spun across open spaces often catch my face before I see them, while an army of spiders are setting up camp indoors.

September spiderweb

The cats make the most of dry days to explore the unravelling undergrowth, skittering when the wind blows, before collapsing in a sheltered spot to bask in the late sun.

Cat in September garden in early light

The first sharp tangs of wood smoke drift across the hill as the evenings draw in, soon we too shall give in and light our first fire of autumn, to melt the growing chill in the air.


26 thoughts on “Mellow

  1. It’s always hard to stand still and appreciate the “now”. This time of year with the mixture of the slightly tired, and the just peaking is a great time to sit and take it all in. Great pics.

  2. beautifully written Sara, and beautiful photos, the autumal equinox is here a time to celebrate the harvest and all the good things the earth has given us, blessings, Frances

  3. What a beautifully poetic and wistful post. I really enjoyed reading it and being reminded of the good things about this season.
    Thank you.
    Best wishes

  4. Your beautiful photos and writing have exactly summed up autumn and I’ve really enjoyed reading this post. Wise advise, too, to savour the ‘now’ – there’s still much to enjoy in the natural world.

  5. A most beautifully written and illustrated post Sara which captures the joy that autumn can bring. It’s not all about melancholy! I think that celebrating the “best of now” as you put it is a concept that has become more meaningful the older I get. I’m just back from a weekend visiting my mum in East Anglia where the first day of autumn was absolutely stunning 🙂

    • Thanks Anna. There have been a few damp misty days since which are less charming, but hopefully we’ll also get to enjoy some more of the brighter days before autumn is out. Glad that you enjoyed the start of autumn too.

  6. I am a new reader to your blog, from Seattle, where the weather is very similar to yours. The weather has turned in the last week after a long and glorious summer. I really enjoy your writings! Thank you so much.

  7. Beautiful images and words. Autumn light is stunning, although I look out the window now to looming grey and rain. Lets hope we get more sunshine and less wet this autumn so we can all appreciate what a special time it is.

  8. There’s a certain calmness about the days now too, don’t you think? We are not being bowled over by daily changes in the garden but we get the subtle differences of light and shade and texture (and those spiders’ webs in our faces!). Lovely pictures, as always.

    • Yes, it’s good to not feel as if we’re frantically trying to keep up with the garden at the minute, but can just step back and enjoy its last dance. Although the slow pace makes watching for the last anticipated bloomers a test of patience 😉

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