This week we pay final tribute to the summer garden by showcasing its beauty and vibrancy through everlasting flowers and the fresh taste of herbal vinegars. As the season draws to a close, the spirit of goodness and harvest remains with us. Here is an ode to the gardens of summer.
A restful reprieve returns to the garden. Late season hydrangea, blue salvia, and chrysanthemum flowers turn russet brown. Crickets barely muster up their song in the chilly air. To those with keen eyes, the hiding praying mantis and walking stick are now exposed on stark branches while the humble wooly worm, in its coat-of-many-colors, scurries along the stone pathway.
After planting this year's last bulb of garlic, the garden is tucked away for a long winter's nap. For me, it is an experience similar to saying goodbye to a good friend with the anticipation of meeting again soon. Perhaps you have heard it said "that the one who grows does not grow old" as there is always something to look forward to in the future. Elizabeth Barrett Browning makes reference to a gardener's heart in this poem written in 1833.
"Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart."
If you would be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.
It yields bushels of contentment and grows bouquets of kind thoughts and flowers.
As colder weather arrives, let us enjoy the garden's sweet reprieve,