September 2017: The Third Season of the Year

Pathway near the Administration Building in the fall
Pathway near the Administration Building in the fall.


“A sharp frost overnight, and in the morning a thousand little bonfires will be flickering in all the trees. There will be tongues of scarlet flame in the maples, and of yellow flame in the elms; there will be dark fires, deep in the guelder roses, so that when the wind blows you see a sombre glow of leafy embers.” Beverley Nichols, Laughter on the Stairs


Leaves crunch under boots and a hint of caramel is in the air. Temperatures are cooler, days are shorter, and nature’s most spectacular show begins its opening act. The Arboretum is the perfect setting from which to watch the autumnal drama unfold. Let the resources below set the tone, and come see us in September for a lecture or a show--there’s lots going on here in the third season of the year!

At the Arboretum

This month, welcome writer and gardener Marta McDowell to the Arboretum, as she presents The Pen and the Trowel, exploring the connections of writers to their gardens.

Theatre-Hikes® are back! Enjoy The Complete History of America (abridged) this month, and Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe in October.


“Seed time and harvest is perhaps the best definition of the third season of the year; but for the good gardener it only expresses one side of its character. The cooling rains of Autumn produce a similar result to that wrought by the warming sunlight of Spring, and awaken so many bulbous plants to their annual round of growth, flowering and seeding, that in gardens where good collections of them are grown a second Spring seems to fill the beds.” E.A. Bowles, My Garden in Autumn and Winter, pages 1-2

“The rain comes down so steadily as to produce the effect of a fog, half blotting out the landscape and changing the aspect of familiar objects. All the sharp angles are softened a little, and the motion of the rain gives the scene a look of unreality as though it were a moving picture. All the colors are changed. There is no blue overhead, only a dull slaty gray that casts its tone over all the landscape. Green, red, white, yellow, all are grayed as with the broad wash of an artist’s brush. Only the brown of the tree trunks appear to stand out darker and more vividly. Our street seems turned into a Japanese print.” Walter A. Dyer, from The Once and Future Gardener, page 23.

Library Resources

Laughter on the Stairs by Beverley Nichols

My Garden in Autumn and Winter by E.A. Bowles

Fallscaping: Extending Your Garden Season  into Autumn by Rob Cardillo, Nancy Ondra, and Stephanie Cohen*

Gardening with Foliage First: 127 Dazzling Combinations that Pair the Beauty of Leaves with Flowers, Bark, Berries, and More by Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz*

The Once and Future Gardener: Garden Writing from the Golden Age of Magazines 1900-1940 edited and with an introduction by Virginia Tuttle Clayton

Rhapsody in Green: The Garden Wit and Wisdom of Beverley Nichols edited by Roy C. Dicks

*Access the Library’s e-book collection by entering the number on the back of your Sterling Morton Library card.