September's Soft Seduction & Gifts from the Garden
gifts for the garden
Today is the first day of autumn, and I don’t recall ever enjoying this transition from one season to the next quite as much. Perhaps it’s because the garden is out-performing expectations this year. Perhaps it’s because I’ve learned to relax a bit more and to appreciate the beauty of nature evolving around me, partaking of the garden’s habitat, food and shelter. The “slow art” as some call it…
My never-ending quest to push the garden’s boundaries, and to achieve “More Wonder, For Longer” reached new heights this year. Long days of tweaking, editing, thinning, moving, replacing and pruning over the past few months have all paid off. But still, there’s more that needs doing.
Unlike some, I don’t view these activities as chores, but instead as essential investments. Investments in the garden, yes, but also in myself, my family and in the natural world. As a result, the rewards abound. In lovelier plant combinations, textures and colors, in more abundant blossoms, in more places to relax with loved ones, in a deeper understanding of life around me, and in an astounding array of creatures that grace the garden twenty-four hours a day.
Of course, I know better than to rely on faulty memory. My 2018 garden diary and Google Photos both confirm that from mid-August to mid-September, this year’s weather and plant performance have been stellar as compared to the same period last year. Warm, sunny days giving way to cool nights and gentle rains help plants retain their beauty and extend their life giving nectar. Their slow decline seems softer, more graceful, more poetic this year…
The Garden Gives Back
I wonder, is it possible to “possess” a butterfly? I choose to believe that yes, it is, if just for a short while.“Our” monarch butterflies have hung around since emerging from their chrysalides last weekend. They flit from one garden bed to the next, each moment more beautiful than the last.
They seem to know we are watching as they launch brief aerial voyages to the tall pines, swirling around and around on a breeze, and then drifting down again to luxuriate in the nectar of the phlox. No fear of bird or prey. Garden life is good, and these Monarchs truly epitomize “living in the moment”. I am envious and in awe.
It gives me immense pleasure to provide both habitat and easy sustenance to help them gather strength for their 2600 mile journey from New Hampshire to Mexico. Sadly they will soon be on their way. I will choose to believe that “our 3 kids” fulfilled their long journey, will spend the winter frolicking in Mexico’s warmth and sun, and that their great-grandchildren will return to grace the garden next summer.
let’s put off today what we can do tomorrow
What’s the hurry to “put the garden to bed”? For me, these shortening days only serve as motivation to savor every magical moment remaining and to give thanks for the Wonder of the garden. So, for now at least, let’s put the chores on hold, and immerse ourselves in the garden, celebrating the “wins”, accepting the “losses” and promising even stronger, deeper connections with Nature next year.