We have had such a splendid fall. Warm days, with just the right amount of rain, have extended the life of my backyard paradise. I have taken advantage of the unseasonably mild weather, enjoying cups of tea, reading and coloring on the brickio. A cold dip a couple of nights ago signaled the oncoming winter and the long slumber ahead for my perennials. The golden afternoon drew me into the garden today to further the tidying up process.
Although that bite of cold ended the growing season for some plants, everywhere I looked, I found life still, and beauty.
I trimmed back herbs, inhaling the scent of basil, mint, oregano and thyme. Lavender and lemon balm were yet green and equally fragrant.
And I gathered fresh eucalyptus for the first time, from my own plant, as I trimmed it back as well. Sprigs are now hanging in my kitchen to dry. I’m looking forward to using it in my Christmas decorating.
The irises were cut back. My friend Beth and I did a garden exchange. She gave me white irises to add to my Japanese garden and I gave her seeds I collected from my pink and yellow firework plants. I’d love to participate in more such exchanges with other gardeners this spring!
The letters spelling B E Y O N D came down, seat cushions were gathered up, cuttings and a paper cup that had blown into the yard disposed of. Tools were put away and clay pots emptied and stored. Last of all I transplanted the Scottish thistle plants into pots, in preparation for moving them indoors. I don’t know how the plants will do in a warm, dry environment, which is the opposite of their native Scotland. I’m willing to baby them and try!
I thought I might experience sadness, as I worked in the garden today. But there was only quiet joy. I have so loved being in this backyard garden this year. The growth and beauty far exceeded my expectations for its second summer. I am content here. I am at peace. I am restored. I am grateful. Goodnight my paradise. Slumber through the winter little, and not so little, plants. I will greet you as you awaken next spring!