I love summer. I love running outside in bare feet and summer dresses. I love going to the beach and the pool and soaking in the sunshine. I love lemonade and mojitos. I love dinners of fresh fruit and yogurt. However, I am beginning to realize that I am learning to welcome the change of seasons too and that I enjoy living seasonally.
At the first signs of spring I rush out to the garden and prepare it for summer- pruning, planting, planning. For the first few months of summer I am an avid, bordering on compulsive, weeder. I spend hours tending and caring for the garden and it looks beautiful and neat and tidy. Then, as the summer progresses, my enthusiasm wanes a bit. The days are hot and I am not quite as excited to spend hours nurturing our garden. I’d rather sit in the shade and knit and enjoy the garden in its glory. Every so often I go on a weeding rampage but for the most part I just leave it alone. By the time fall comes, I’ve completely given up on it, and what I’ve realized is that is when the garden is most glorious. All the summer annuals that we set are big and mature and still full of blossoms. The fall flowers- sedum, holly, and mums, are starting to show their colors too. The flowers and plant have gotten big enough that they out compete the weeds. It still looks well-kept, but has a kind of wildness to it that I love.
I have been trying to make the most of these weeks of early fall by letting the kids play outside as much as possible, even if that means cutting into a little bit of the school day. We will have plenty of long winter months when we are forced inside to make up any work that I feel like we have missed. The leaves are just starting to change and I don’t want to miss out on that. Too many years I’ve mourned the end of summer and completely missed the beauty of the fall. I don’t want that to happen this year.
In the coming weeks, after the hard frosts arrive, we will have to bed the garden down for winter. I will split and cut back the peonies, pull out the dead plants, take down the fence around the vegetable garden, harvest the last of the potatoes and swill chard, and rake and rake and rake. I look forward to that too.
We went around and picked some flowers to bring inside. The little roses are blooming for a second time this summer- I suppose all that pruning in July paid off. We also picked some for pressing so on those cold and dreary winter days, when we’ve forgotten what summer is like, we can pull them out and remember and look forward to next summer.