Wow, what a summer. It has been a hot one. Thankfully, the forecast predicts a break in the weather. Next week, school starts for many students marking the end of summer. We now enter the slow acceptance that the garden is starting to prepare for winter. Hard to believe as hot as it is, but that is where we are going. Nonetheless, I always find this time of year a relief. The fast pace of spring and summer ending with the loud cicadas and katydids reaches such a crescendo that I feel I need a nap from it all. The bright colors and blousy flowers, the busy bumblebees, the momma birds busily gathering food, caterpillars chomping, the high-pitched mosquitoes, the weeds that grow overnight to a foot tall, the heat that won’t quit, the gallons of water for the plants and the garden. I just want to say, “Stop! Enough! Slow down! Take a break!’” Then it happens. Just when I think it is all bit too much, I wake up, step out the door, and it is cool, gloriously cool. The air is light and moist. The garden has a silvery sheen from the morning dew. All the colors are deep and rich. The plants look full and satisfied. It is time. It is time for things to slow down. It is not over, but the high-pitch rush has taken a turn. I go out to cut back the exhausted blooms of the perennials allowing the undergrowth fresh air, edge the grass that has crept into the garden, pluck the weeds from the pathways, prune and rake away spent leaves, give the garden a good drink, step back, and watch it revive again. The garden and the gardener say, “Thank you, that is just what was needed.” And so begins the glory days of fall.
Photo above: Eupatorium fistulosum