I know the lands are lit
With all the autumn blaze of Goldenrod.
~Helen Hunt Jackson, Asters and Goldenrod
Today’s damp autumn weather has kept me indoors tending to the chores I left unfinished the moment spring’s first breath was upon the garden. It’s been satisfying to put things in order, to tidy up and get our house prepared for the seasons ahead, but even with somber skies and drizzling rain the gardens beckon me to come outside and walk around. Who can resist?
A summer heaves its last sigh our yard looks a bit (o.k. a lot) like a jungle… lush, green and filled with towering plants that seem to have forgotten their boundaries and are toppling over one another in a happy jumble. There’s no mistaking this is the fall garden, scattered with the first falling leaves in shades of brown and yellow, the scent of ripe apples adrift on the chilly air and the sight of goldenrod lighting the edges of the beds like lanterns on a country lane. How I love goldenrod!
Originally a gift from the birds, we have several bands of Canada goldenrod in our yard happily mingling among the shrubs and flowers. The glowing golden blossoms abuzz with bees and other pollinators seeking a late season snack are a sweet reminder that though summer is quickly waning, ‘it ain’t over yet!’ A closer look at the plants today revealed something interesting:
An old gall from the goldenrod gall fly. I’ve noticed the galls on our goldenrod almost every season, not a surprise considering the flies don’t move very far from where they emerge and their entire lives are centered solely around goldenrod… but this year I don’t see any new galls on our plants. It may be a bit soon, when the leaves have fallen the stems will be more visible and I will know for certain. I’ve grown accustomed to the sight of the swollen stems with larvae hidden away inside protected and insulated from the winter snow and wind, I’m a bit bothered there are none to be found. Where have all the gall flies gone? Perhaps nowhere and I just need to wait a bit until the garden unveils them. Until then I’ll watch the garden change, enjoy the small surprises it reveals each time I visit and relish all of the glorious colors… especially the goldenrod. Happy gardening!