With the beginning of fall about 30 days behind us and winter about 60 days ahead, gardening activities are winding down.
Just a few weeks from now, I know that sitting in my chair with a blanket and a good book will sound pretty attractive. Until then, I find myself railing against that image. I sneer at the thought of the old Byrds’ song Turn Turn Turn. Even the approach of the “hap-happiest season of all” doesn’t thrill me.
Why can’t I gladly ease into the rest that the seasons naturally provide?
The garden knows it’s time to rest. The roses stopped producing new blooms and the foliage is turning dull and crispy. The trees know it. Their leaves are gold and rust and starting to drop. Even the grass knows it. It no longer needs mowing and is showing signs of slumber.
But I love my garden. And I love being in it. Turning the soil, putting down fertilizer, pruning and trimming, pulling weeds, planting something new. All those tasks simultaneously delight and relax me.
In my youth I hated it when my parents handed me the shears and pointed to the ivy creeping over the curb and into the street. Years later, as a young homeowner, I still wasn’t enthusiastic about tending the flower beds. Now I’m like a skier who hates to see the snow melt or, on the other side of the calendar, a mountain biker who hates to see the trails blanketed in white.
Yet, I have to ask myself. If I could be in the garden all year, would I love it just as much or would I tire of the endless upkeep? Would the promise of roses 12 months a year keep me going or would I yearn for a long vacation like I did when I was working?
I like to think the garden would never wear me out. As it is, I don’t have to find out. The bone-chilling winters in the high desert make it impossible to garden year-round – at least not without a greenhouse.
What will I do during the cold season when I’m shut indoors? I suppose curling up in a blanket and reading a good book is in the cards. But I also plan to organize family photos going back to around 1992. And guess what? There are about 10 years and thousands of rose photos included in that task.
Ha-ha! Fooled you, Mother Nature. I’ll rest. But I’ll still enjoy my garden.