I thought about sharing photos of the harvest over at the other garden: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins. And some of the new growing things in our home garden. But I’ve really been feeling the fading of the summer garden. That slow (in our climate) switch into cooler weather gardening. I like dead-heading all the summer flowers and trimming all the herb stalks that have died back until next year. I like the yellowed seed heads and the oak leaves starting to fall and a general sense of fading and rest that overtakes so much of our garden this time of year. We never get snow, the ground doesn’t freeze solid. The nights get frosty occasionally but for the most part the garden remains. Yet there is this ebb and flow within it. Some things grow and bloom and set fruit and seed during the warm summer, other things wait until the rains return to sprout and flourish.
And there are signs everywhere that the switch is occurring.
So often we only see photos of the vibrant, growing, well-tended summer garden in magazines or online. But I think the transition and the fading and the returning to rest are just as beautiful, if a bit more wistful and nostalgic. I’d probably feel differently if I lived somewhere with 10 feet of snow every winter. I’d probably mourn and cry and feel abandoned by all the green growing things. But here in Napa, I feel a sense of peace and of place and time. The dying back, the going dormant, the switching over to winter plants and winter growth and the return of all my beloved weedy greens. All these signs of transition make me feel happy.
I think the autumn garden is beautiful.