Looking out over the garden in late August, I see the flowers entering the final stage of the season. The Black-eyed Susan blooms are fading, producing seeds that the goldfinches love. The verbenas along the sidewalk have given up, no longer able to take the heat reflected off the cement. This is the usual state of affairs at this time of year. I can accept it because I know they will be back as strong as ever next spring.
This growing season has yielded many pleasant surprises, like the scarlet verbena that returned unexpectedly. However, the crocosmia, once so massive that it rudely elbowed aside its neighbors, barely made its presence known. First planted three seasons ago, it had a rocky start, and only one of the original plants survived until the second season. But that second season was spectacular! The plant grew slowly, but by June, when it began to bloom, it was almost five feet high and sent out flower spikes in all directions so that its width matched its height. It was so large that we could not walk past it from the driveway. The third season was just as impressive. There were more flowers and the plant was somewhat larger.
But this year, it made barely a peep. One or two flower spikes emerged from a few scattered, poorly organized leaves and grew only a few feet high. It could no longer be seen from the street. Like all my plants, I’m attached to the crocosmia. Having fretted through its first season, hoping it would survive, then seeing the triumphant second and third seasons, the fourth season is heartbreaking.
I took these images as a remembrance, and while doing so, could not help thinking, “how the mighty have fallen…”