Getrude Huntington McGiffert, writer
After a hectic July of garden projects, chores and weeding, all in preparation for the garden tour, it was time to take a much needed break from the garden and so we ventured over to Haliburton for our week at the family cottage. It was here that I traded my garden tools and wheelbarrow in for a canoe and paddle. Up early one morning, as the mist began to rise off the still, calm surface of the lake, I slipped the canoe into the water and paddled on. From out on the lake I was able to view the shoreline and contemplate the beauty of nature.
The garden, although of nature, is a contrived setting, no matter how natural and informal we try to make it. Although we may select native plants and add rocks and other natural elements, we can never really make it appear as though it occurred naturally. From out on the water, looking back on the shore I saw nature in all its glory - trees that sprouted from fallen seeds, the understory plans of shrubs and small flowering plalnts co-existing happily. Along the shoreline, the sedges and bulrushes provide nesting areas for ducks and camauflauge for the great blue heron, standing still as a statue, amongst the cattails, hoping perhaps that I wouldn't notice him.
It's nearing the end of August and already the trees are just beginning to turn, the odd one giving hint that autumn will soon be upon us. It is in the fall that we are truly able to distinguish the great mix of our boreal forest, the warm colours of the changing deciduous in tone of yellow, orange, reds and burgundies, contrast to the cool shades of the coniferous trees creating a rich tapestry of nature. Sometimes in gardening I think we strive too hard to make things looks natural when all we really need to do is let nature take over and do its own thing. After all, the world existed before we did.
For me, Rudbeckia (above) are the perfect fall flower - bright and cheerful.