November is here, and it is so warm that almost nothing has stopped flowering. A few years ago, I would photograph November flowers; tiny frail things, defiant against the cold. I was so delighted whenever I found one!
This year, I am walking past gardens where the ruins of dahlias and the wreckage of chrysanthemums are everywhere, nodding richly in the mild November breeze. The unfalling leaves are checkered with chlorophyll unwilling to leave while there is still a breath of warmth in the air; a last sweet shock of Indian summer.
In my garden, all the HHAs are still wildly blooming, even proper tropics like the lantana. The golden raspberries are still a-fruiting, I have chillies up against the wall and even the grapes look like they might make a bucket of wine...
...and then the fog comes down like a curtain and the moist cool starts on all those plants, blotching them with brown and rot and the clammy hands of autumn close around the fruits and the flowers and the leaves begin to fall, scattering paths, pavements, rivers, puddles with elegant patterns in sumptuous autumnal Liberty of London complex colours.
The rain is falling, finally, washing the petals from the flowers, shrinking the roses, rotting the fruit and raising the water table slowly and inexorably. Time to get the pots up on pot feet or into the shed or out of the wind.
But it's so hard when the Begonias and the Germaniums and even the Zinnias are still flowering. I keep wanting to pretend it's still summer.