Goodbye to the Summer Garden

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The basil came out today and when I pulled it clean the last waft of it's summery fragrance came with it. It's a bittersweet feeling, this changing of seasons, but it reminded me that garden updates have been scant these last few months. The last one was late September, when summer was holding on with all of its force. We had the first of our winter weather this week, and a sharper dip in temperature than usual spelled the end for my warm-weather plants.






A lot of changes have been made these past two months as we Texans prepare for our winter-like season. Chief among these was moving the new bed to a spot more blessed by the winter sun. Its daily sinking farther into the southern sky leaves most of the backyard in shade. We moved it, plants and all, just before the weather turned.

These days, parsley and fava beans are thriving but not much else. The radishes are growing slowly in the shade, but a bunch of scallions have suddenly popped up. They have refused to grow in any spot thus far, but they've found the coldest, shadiest corner of the garden and seem happy there. Time will tell.

Things are slowing down here. The rhythmic summer hum of cicadas has been replaced by sounds of birds stopping over on their way south and squirrels burying food for the cold. The grass is gray and slow-growing. The smell of wood smoke hints the air at night. I leave you with the words of Robert Frost, the great writer of American seasons:

"Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."

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