Though we had not a blade of grass in sight, Gerry still managed to create this delightful hidden retreat behind our urban row house in downtown Philadelphia. My favorite feature was the year - round white icicle lights twinkling against the white brick. This photograph looks summery, but in fact it was taken well after the official beginning of autumn, seven (7) years ago this very day, 2 October 2003. So late in the season, yet look at those full-bodied impatiens!
The flower bed, the robust bean vine, the trailing philodendron -- all perfectly capture the sentiment expressed by Elizabeth Jennings in her poem (posted earlier this week, scroll down or click), "Song at the Beginning of Autumn" :
. . . All looks like summer still;
Colours are quite unchanged, the air
On green and white serenely thrives.
Heavy the trees with growth and full
The fields. Flowers flourish everywhere.
. . . [yet] autumn gropes for us.
I can't say for sure how far beyond this early fall day the brilliant impatiens continued to flourish. Perhaps autumn was groping for them, but certainly at the moment of this photograph, they had never been happier.
As Roger McGough points out in his poem (posted last week, scroll down or click), "Trees Cannot Name the Seasons":
Nor flowers tell the time.
But when the sun shines
. . . they are charged with light . . .
They feel no need
To divide and itemize.
Nature has never needed reasons
For flowers to tell the time
Or trees put a name to the seasons.
For another view of the back garden,
see last October's post: "St. Peter's School - A Celebration,"
featuring my son Sam and his 4th grade teacher.