“Summer’s Last Show”, the Garden at Clermont in September
September is an in-between time here in the Hudson Valley. The oppressive heat and long days of summer have faded into noticeably cooler nights and earlier sunsets. Even though far from parched, the grass on my lawns grows at a slower pace, and my weeds blessedly follow suit. The still-warm days and cooler nights also allow the region’s gardens one last spurt of activity before the first frosts of October arrive. Some plants, such as my roses and snapdragons, withered and stressed from the August heat, rebound and put out their last blooms of the season. Zinnias, cleome, buddelia, and salvia, having played second fiddle to their showier, earlier blooming cousins earlier in the year, now take center stage. Other varieties such as mums, dahlias and fall blooming clematis, are just beginning to hit their stride. The pleasant weather is perfect for strolls through the local gardens open to the public at properties like Clermont, Montgomery Place, and Blithewood at Bard College. The visits tend to reward the walker with a series of special, smaller moments that allow you to stop and appreciate a cluster of flowers, or the particularly interesting shape or foliage on another plant, which all can be lost in the bombastic displays of spring and early summer. For those who prefer the big, knock your socks of shows, don’t worry – that will come soon enough when the leaves start changing!
Here are some pictures taken last week in the cutting and walled gardens at Clermont.