Fall is certainly a bitter sweet season for me. I see all the flowers of summer fading away. As the last of the garden crop is picked and canned my thought drift towards the dull dreary days of the upcoming winter months. In just a few weeks though the leaves of the trees will change into a technicolor explosion in the last blaze of glory for this year. Walking on a cool brisk afternoon enjoying that amazing display of nature is one of the things that lifts my spirits as I taken the colorful fall leaves. While certainly in the back of my mind I know that I will shortly be raking all those leaves, it is still amazing in how much color the fading year is painted with as it moves towards it’s winter slumber.
I realize of course that winter is a very important part of the garden life cycle. The plants all need a rest so that they can repair themselves and build up for next years display I just wish that winter was not so black and white. Fortunately there are still amazing color combination’s in the winter time that would not come about if it were not for the fall leaf drop. Red and yellow twig dogwood shrubs are a striking site after a new layer of fresh fallen snow. The branches of the yellow cork screw willow or the papery peeling bark of a paper bark elm shows a whole new dimension to the trees that can not be seen at their best until they have shed their summer coats. Yet I still long for the days of spring and summer when winter does finally take over.
The fall garden harvest is a great reminder when a jar of zesty home made salsa is opened on a cold winter day to enjoy with friends and family that might stop by. When that savory tomatoes sauce you canned is used for a nice spaghetti dinner that warms your body from the winters cold it seems like fall is not all in vain. Yes it is true that fall feels like the end of your gardening experiences for another year. But is just the beginning of a new time in the garden.
As I ponder the end of the gardening season for me there are still many ways that the garden in winter will bring you a sense of well being and give you quiet tranquility. Even though the flowers are gone along with the leaves the garden is still home to the birds , squirrels, and rabbits that could use a hand with some food. You will be rewarded as you watch these garden visitors gathering up the goodies that you leave out for them. Their antics can be quit amusing and draw you in for a little quiet time in the winter garden. The trees and shrubs in their bare bones appearance can also be an interesting feature and maybe make you think about other interesting things that can be planted next year to complement your garden in winter.
Yes while fall brings a lot of work and a bit of melancholy over the fading garden it does bring you time to recharge as well during those winter days. Most important if there were no winter days when would you ever find time to look through all those garden catalogs?