August 13, 2018
I wandered listlessly around the garden the other day, occasionally stopping to pull weeds and deadhead a plant. My get up-and-go gardening energy has gone.
It’s early August. For a brief, welcome respite from the heat, we had a few days of 80 degree temperatures. The cool breeze that accompanied the milder weather hinted that Autumn is knocking at the gate. In the park where I regularly play pickleball, leaves were dropping and carpeting the still green grass. Even the smoke in the air from nearby wildfires made it seem fall-ish.
I’m not certain what comes first:
Do I become naturally apathetic towards gardening chores by the time August rolls around?
Does a hint of Autumn put the brakes on my gardening enthusiasm?
What seasons provide us, if you’re fortunate enough to live among four changing ones, are starts and stops to human activity. Spring starts us up to prune, weed and plant. Summer (at least here in Boise, Idaho) stops us from planting and moves us into maintenance and cleanup mode. Autumn starts us up to plant cool temperature veggies and, of course, rake leaves. Winter stops us from gardening chores all together—at least it does for me. It starts us up to move or cover fragile plants and shut off the sprinklers.
Before I hit this wall of gardening ennui, I managed to make some plans for my garden this Autumn. I’ll be adding a crabapple to my backyard to provide some much needed shade. It always seems so much hotter in my back garden because it has full sun exposure.
I’ll be depriving some gophers of their plant buffet by removing and donating some large plants. In that section of garden will go some gravel to a depth of about a foot, perhaps. We’ll see how much that involves after I start digging (it's exhausting work). On top of the gravel I’ll place a raised bed for future strawberry plants. I miss having them. Often my dessert consisted of fresh-picked strawberries that I used to grow along with my lettuces.
And I’ll do some research to find some very drought-tolerant plants that like to live in pots. I wasn’t altogether very successful with some of my choices this year.
I walked through my sister's and my own garden and took some photos to show how various plants feel about this time of year. Some plants seem to take no notice of the heat, managing to look darned perky and vibrant in spite of the temperatures. Others... not so much.
We’ve got more 100+ temperatures on the way. Mornings are for doing whatever gardening chores I can muster up energy for. The rest of the day, I’m indoors puttering around, cleaning, fixing stuff and designing new wildflower patterns. I’ve got painting plans, too.
I’m grateful for the seasons here. After all, if I wanted to garden year round, I’d live somewhere else. But a break is welcome.
Are you a bit relieved when summer is over? Or do you keep gardening until the snow falls on your shoulders?
I wasn't so apathetic that I couldn't enjoy the Echinacea I saw in my sister's garden. I created an outdoor pillow and a headband because I was so inspired.
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