Musings on Fall and My Garden


Tomorrow I will pull up enough plants to fill the Green Waste can.

The front yard of my home is a small botanical garden. I live in the house with all of the flowers. There are roses in variegated colors and even stripes. There are daylilies in every shade of pink and purple – not just the orange kind planted in road dividers and office building landscapes. My daylilies have ruffles and huge flowers and come to life in ways that most people can ever image. Between them are large bearded iris oh so tall and beautiful. In the early spring huge amaryllis bloom on huge stalks with five, six, ten giant flowers. Large pots of seasonal flowers and bulbs are changed out twice a year so that there is always color in the yard. Against the living room windows are huge bird of paradise bushes that bloom and bloom and bloom in all but the hottest summer months. Even in the dead of winter something is blooming. African Daisys, Lantana, Geraniums in every color all thrive in the rocky soil.

The plants thrive in the poor soil in my crazy hand dug beds because they have so much love. I don’t even use sprinklers. I water everything with a hose. It is what I do to clear my mind, and my soul, and everything else.

Oh right, I was going to write about the countdown to Halloween. I’m sorry to say, dear readers, that the only body buried in my backyard is of Angus the cat. He was an unusual being. He hissed and growled at everyone. He was a horrible cat. We loved him. He never clawed or scratched anyone. He loved our other pets. Angus was just a tormented soul. No matter what we could have never given him up. Nobody else would have taken him in. And as I say, we loved him.

There are no bodies in my yard (at least that I know of) but that doesn’t keep me from writing about bodies and other unsavory things buried in backyards and gardens.

I can’t say that about Ghosts. Only one comes inside. The rest are outside behind my house and mostly on my fence. Like the wild turkeys I chase them away when they get too close. When I’m in my backyard I glare at them and make them go away. They aren’t welcome when I work in the soil or with my plants. I threaten to stuff them in the compost bin and they look shock and dramatically vanish with puffs of ghost smoke. Ghosts are so needlessly emotional.

We haven’t had any problem with Goblins in a long long time. We nipped that one in the bud.

Of course we’re Vampires. That doesn’t mean we hang out at night behind heavy velvet curtains, and only grow night blooming cactus plants. I used to grow night blooming cactus, otherwise known as Cereus. I no longer have plants and imagine I’ll have to find some more in Southern California next time I go down there to visit my grown children.

As I write this, at night, I can hear the owls outside. They’re huge. My owls are Barn Owls, and Great Horned Owls, and Screech Owls. The small ones are around too, but the kind I see and hear near my home are the big ones. They rarely let us see them but I hear them call and respond in their cathedral like night forest.

Owls are a favorite animal of Halloween. They warn travelers of danger that might lurk around any corner or stump.

It is morning now so I will go out and observe, then come in to take care of other things, as the temperature rises to somewhere in the 90’s. It is starting to feel like fall in the mornings but by the afternoon it feels like summer. Unfortunately it always feels like summer until almost Halloween, or at least until my birthday which is a week before Halloween.

I hope you are not plagued with Ghosts, and that your garden grows and blooms all year long.

Stay safe. Wear a mask when needed. Get vaccinated. Talk to your kids. Call or text them if they’re adults on their own. Check in on the elderly or those who are alone, or need extra help. Hug your dogs and cats. Be kind. Be creative. And kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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