The light is different, reflecting off of yellows, oranges, purples, and reds that seem to appear over night. The grey skies are a perfect backdrop for the warm tones. Crisp mornings remind us that winter is on its way. As things change, a topic like death gains a new perspective. We loose the joyful carefree moments of Summer, watching seeds set and plants die back. They leave but not without preparation for the next generation. The seasons make a complete cycle. Now, we are slowing down and entering a new part of the journey.
Collect seeds of zinnia, cosmos, dahlia, celosia, verbena, nasturtium, sweet alyssum, hyacinth bean vine, sunflower, aster, goldenrod, black eyed Susan, and echinacea. Be mindful to leave some for our bird friends to have throughout winter. All of nature depends on these cycles to continue in harmony.
With chilly mornings and temperate afternoons, ephemeral fog embodies the cooling landscape around us. Fall is quite the magical, transitional scene.
Reflect on what was important the previous summer season in your garden space.
-What design elements worked and what elements do you dream of for the following season?
-What did you learn this past season?
Taking notes of the growing season’s triumphs and tests can help you improve next year. Winter is your time to contemplate.
Collect fallen limbs and diseased material to burn. Using fire at this time of year is its own rebirth. The dead and diseased are consumed by fire to make wood ash and biochar that, when combined with compost, nourish next year’s garden.
Closing down is about cleaning up and making things cozy for winter. Composting healthy, yet finished, plant material and covering beds with a blanket of leaves prepare the garden for the stillness of winter. A thick layer of leaves will protect the soil from winter heave.
Take this time in the garden as meditation. The change from growth to rest. Breathe in the crisp moodiness of the season and accept this seasonal decay and death.