Leaves start to change as fall, and a new bearded collie puppy, arrives

Published 9:00 am Sunday, September 28, 2014

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

If you happen to walk by my house you will undoubtedly hear me saying, “Roosevelt, please don’t eat the daisies!” (or any other flower because he is not picky). Yes, Roosevelt is now a part of our family so let me tell you little about him. His registered name is Artisan Rough Rider but we call him Roosevelt and yes, he was named after Theodore Roosevelt. He was born on my birthday and as I am writing this today he is nine weeks old. He was born in the Loess Hills area of Iowa and we picked him up last weekend. This little brown fluff ball has stolen our hearts already. He is a bearded collie, the poor shepherds’ dog from Scotland.

Lang’s new bearded collie puppy, Roosevelt, will spend many good times in the gardens with her. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Lang’s new bearded collie puppy, Roosevelt, will spend many good times in the gardens with her. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Roosevelt loves my flowers and so he has to be on a leash when outdoors because the first thing he does is head for the flowers where he tries to steal one and then run off.  His breeder, Cheryl, has many beds of flowers filled with 3,000 daylilies, hundreds of peonies, an apple orchard and many other flowers. Her house sits on top of the high Loess Hills area of northwest Iowa and I sure wouldn’t want to navigate her driveway come winter.

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The main bed is directly in front of the house on a steep hillside where 800 daylilies are mass planted. As you proceed up the driveway towards the house there are beds on either side of the driveway filled with ornamental trees, daylilies and annuals. Just before you reach the house is a small pond with very large koi swimming around. You can see for miles from her house. Cheryl hybridizes daylilies and, besides the 3,000 planted in the beds, she has another 3,000 seedlings she will be planting this fall into other beds. How I wish we would have been able to see the spectacular show while all of these were blooming. Now you know why Roosevelt loves flowers.

National Dog Week is always celebrated the last full week of September, this year September 21 through 27. This year we will be celebrating it with our newest family member. This quote by Gilda Radner is so appropriate: “I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

And so we welcome Roosevelt into our home and I am sure we will have many wonderful years of love from him. You can be sure that I will be writing about him in my column. It just seems like gardens were meant to be shared, not only by humans, but also with their pets. All of our other beardies we have had over the years loved to spend time with me while I worked in the gardens or just sat reading a book under the gazebo.

A few leaves are beginning to show color in our neighborhood and my Japanese maple is turning blood red. The tiger eye sumac is really starting to have lots of lime green and yellow color and this little specimen tree really comes into its own this time of the year.  Yesterday I dug out the last Stella de’oro daylily in the oval garden and in its place I moved one of the gazing balls to add height and color in the front of this garden. I really like this look. Lots of bees, dragonflies, butterflies and hummingbirds are gathering nectar from all of the flowers so it will be a few weeks yet before I can start pulling out the annuals. I need to start putting some of the garden ornaments away after I wash and thoroughly dry them so I don’t get caught doing all this work in the cold weather or snow.

Before we know it we will be cleaning up the gardens and raking leaves and we all know what follows that. I love fall and the beautiful colors on the trees, but it makes me sad to think that the gardening season has ended so soon. The smells of autumn will be everywhere from outside campfires to apple desserts baking in the kitchen. Enjoy the fall weather everyone.


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at carolhegellang@gmail.com.