celebrating life

Remember Capturing Beauty, the website whose rainbow challenge occupied nearly all of September?  Well, Pip’s come up with a new challenge for November:  Celebrating Life.

I probably won’t follow along every day, although in a way one could make the case that every photo of a garden is inherently a celebration of life.  But this tiny little leaf, which I first noticed the plant had put forth yesterday evening before the frost warning, seems to be particularly apropos.

Believe it or not, this is Ipomoea batatas ‘Black Heart,’ which I have pictured for you a couple of times now on the blog.  One of my favorite details about the plant is that new leaves are a bright spring green, opening out to reveal contrasting, deep red veins, and the whole leaf then fades to a lovely bronze color as it grows, finally ending up the rich purple/burgundy color at maturity which most garden catalogs identify as “black.”

And now the mature leaves are slowly being leached of their darkest, purply tones, leaving behind an irregular, splotchy pattern of magenta with truly black veins.

Lots of variation on one vigorous, attractive plant.  Which is presently in the process of dying.  (Insert resigned sigh here.)  But it had a good run here in the Victory Garden, still producing new growth in the first week of November.  And that’s life — and a new leaf — worth celebrating.

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