I wonder if everyone feels just a bit disappointed every year at the end of the garden season. I know I do. So many things that I had planned to do never actually happened. No time. Not enough energy either.
Last night as I watered I noticed the hostas are starting to fade. Summer has rushed by as though on fast forward. But for the most part we have enjoyed our little garden.
The fuscia is gorgeous now, the grapes are starting to turn and the gooseneck loostrife is the best it’s ever been.
The day lilies, now almost finished and slumping, flower stalks dried out, were beautiful in their prime back in July. The unknown groups of purple flowered plants are now standing sporting only seed pods.
I am of two minds as to what to do about spent plants. On one hand I want to have a tidy garden and cut out or pull out all of this spent plant life. But I have noticed in past years that the birds do enjoy eating these seeds throughout the winter, benefitting from my negligence.
We had plans to find more plants that flowered all the way to September. Unfortunately, only the solitary dahlia survived the winter here, which had us lose quite a few plants, like the hebe. Somehow we never got around to finding all those plants although we did find a few like the maidenhair fern.
But now our inexperience and lack of time have caught up with us.
I know I have to accept the fact that summer is almost over. Plants set seed, die off, they have no regrets. They have done their jobs. But I, not ready for it to end, still wish for a green and flowering garden. Ah well, time to accept reality.
And maybe it’s also time, if we had any, to start thinking ahead to next summer and make some solid plans to get the plants we didn’t get this summer. After all we’ll have all winter to make plans. Or so we hope.
But time, time and energy, those are harder things to get. By the time summer is over I have generally run out of energy. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only people who have those wonderful luxuries of time and energy to spend extravagantly on their gardens don’t have so many other things they also want to do. Like teaching mosaics, making art projects and sculptures, participating in and preparing for art shows, or building a business, not to mention reading, dinner parties with friends, garage sailing, too much to list.
Maybe I should spend some time this winter thinking about how to have a garden that looks green and wonderful all summer without needing so much time and energy. Should I should switch to more bushes? Or more perennials? But I know what we really need are perennials that bloom at different times over the length of summer.
Or maybe I need to think about the fact that energy and time are limited, especially if you want to do other things besides garden. I’m one of those people who wants it all. But the end of the summer in the garden is teaching me that I must prioritize, compromise and reassess what I really need against what I want. Ah, maybe that’s the answer or at least a path to explore.