Bee balm in the fall

Fall is quickly vanishing across our landscape.  The colors that blazed so brilliantly are now gone.  The leaves that valiantly clung to the tree branches have let go and fallen to the ground.  We’ve been working in our yard and gardens, preparing them for winter.  As I was pulling out plants that were way past their prime I found a stand of bee balm, their flowers having dropped many weeks ago.  I paused for a moment and realized how beautiful this seedhead was — a globe of intricate pieces that wasn’t noticeable during its summer bloom.  Sometimes I feel the need to appreciate those things that are stripped of their original beauty and taken out of the context we’re accustomed to.  Here too was beauty and form, even out of season.

On the cover

I am excited to share with you the cover of the November/December 2010 issue of Northern Gardener Magazine.  This is a publication of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, and is crammed full of information for those of us living and gardening with the weather extremes in the USDA plant hardy Zones 3, 4, and 5.  I am thrilled that they chose one of my photographs for their magazine cover.  This image was taken on a morning last February when we awoke to a beautiful coating of hoarfrost covering our trees and plants.  The white ice crystals clung to each stem and seedhead, accentuating their beauty and impermanence.  For those of you that might be interested in Northern Gardener Magazine and/or the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, please check their website at