We had gone to bed in summer
and we awoke in autumn;
for summer passes into autumn
in some imaginable point of time,
like the turning of a leaf.
– Henry David Thoreau
It's been just like that. One day I'm sweating in a tank top, the next I'm reaching for the sweatshirt. Not that it's a bad thing, for I dearly love the crisp, cool nights of fall and the deep blue cloudless afternoon skies. As I work in the garden or walk down the road, I take a moment and close my eyes so I can focus on how good the sun feels on my skin. I want to etch it in my memory for later recall, when winter's blustery winds are cutting through me.
The chores in the garden have switched gears. I no longer worry about deadheading spent blooms. I now watch as they fade and turn crispy brown, then collect their seeds for planting next spring, or leave them as food for the birds. The roses have been pruned just enough so that winter winds don't whip them about. Seasoned compost has been spread over the vegetable garden and annuals that have lived good summer lives have been added to the compost bin for next year's use.
There are many other tasks to be completed in the coming weeks, as first frost looms near:
- pot up the brugmansias and bougainvilleas for bringing inside
- dig up tender bulbs for winter storage
- plant garlic and bulbs for spring
- more seed collecting
I like to look back on the summer's garden at this time, measuring the successes and learning from the failures. As always, the spring and summer seasons passed so quickly, but we are fortunate to have cameras to capture the beauty that is now just a memory...
It was a good year.