By the third week of October, most anything left standing in the garden is fair game for bouquets. I scavenged just before the rain set in, fighting my way past the spider webs to harvest these final flowers: hydrangea, Northern sea oats grass (Chasmanthium latifolium) with its flat, reptilian-like blooms, a re-bloom of grape colored penstemon, sneezeweed, and an artichoke so past its prime that it was topped with a fringe of purple-buzz cut.…..I’ve mostlly been away from the garden for weeks, traveling and then busy in the city. In my absence, the spiders took over, wrapping shrubs and perennials in their sticky, dew-drenched masterpieces.
Are spiders the sign of a healthy garden? If so, mine is doing great….the dahlias had a boost from a few days of warm weather, as did the sneezeweed….love the hot orange of 'Fortnett’s Furnace' dahlia, with yellow centers that inspired the choice of vase…The green tomatoes tell the story of a chilly summer or perhaps fall arriving a couple of weeks too soon (doesn’t it always?) and the purple grape leaves turned burning red play off the intense color of the dahlias….