Infinite Variety/Creative Choice

Infinite. Abundant. Words that have both spiritual and material connotations. One of my favorite writers, Annie Dillard, speaks of the fecundity of nature in her first book of prose, Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek:

"A big elm in a single season might make as many as six million leaves, wholly intricate,without budging an inch; I couldn't make one.a tree stands there, accumulating deadwood, mute and rigid as an obelisk, but secretly it seethes, it splits, sucks and stretches; it heaves up tons and hurls them out in a green, fringed fling."

And I worry sometimes about having too many ideas. You may worry about having too few, but my experience with artists is that's its always too many. I suggest that for today, just today, you and I take a page (a leaf?) from the elm and just make what needs making, at whatever stage that is, for whatever purpose, and if the caterpillers come, or the shoot withers, or the bud never opens. Well, there are at least 5,999,999 more to come just this season.

The photo that sparked this thought  (and, now my desire to reread Dillard's classic narrative of her year on Tinker Creek) were taken on a campus walk with friend Susan on the Rutgers campus. This little garden must have a horticulture department at its source -- the variety of late summer pods, and blooms and leaves, colors and shapes and textures, is enough for a lifetime body of work. Surface design, indeed.

Does anyone know what any of these flowers are? They were all unfamiliar to me. And If that spiny leafed plant will grow in my climate, I want it. Surely that would be deer resistant!