Aside from the rigours of international travel, missing a couple of weeks from the garden can bring about a sense of discombobulation. I am pretty much in my garden every day all year long, give or take weekends off with the kids or being drawn into the city for a meeting. Even if it is only for a moment to snatch up some parsley or for hours as I toil in the soil, I know my garden and all the nuances that go with it.
I know that I have a couple of days up my sleeve before I really should pull out the weeds before they turn from tender to stubborn. I know where all the beneficial spiders live, and try not to disturb their webs. I know how long I can wait after rain before watering the garden again to encourage deep rooted plants and save me the trouble of moving my hose. I know when to start watching the melons with impatience for signs of readiness. I understand what is going on.
But an absence of a mere couple of weeks can create an ever so discernible disconnect. Things aren’t what they were when I left. And with the change of the seasons from summer to autumn while I was gone have shown me just how fast paced this time of year actually is. I normally try so hard to turn a blind eye to the demise of my once healthy plants and do my best to coax the last flourish from tired crops.
So I was surprized to see in such a short amount of time how quickly the season change to cooler times drags my garden with it. Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t cold yet. And the calendar change is almost unperceivable as a climatic change. But it does show how tired the garden is. The passing of time shows no mercy to a garden that is cared for, but not lavished upon with a doting passion.
Don’t get me wrong, Hubby the Un-Gardener did a great job and nothing died in his care, but there are things that could have been done that he didn’t know to do. Tying in a tendril that without the support was battered by wind, or a battle lost to powdery mildew that could have been prolonged with a spray. Emerging flowers nipped out of the top of the basil would have given a few more weeks of fat tender leaves and old leaves removed from the tomatoes would vastly improve the airflow around the ripening fruit.
So I have to gather myself together and not dwell upon the loss, but look to the new season for opportunities to celebrate the lingering harvest and the new life that can be found amongst the decay that is creeping in. Things still grow in autumn, there are still crops to harvest. And it could be worse. It could be winter and it could be cold.
Come again soon – I have cover crops to plant where summer crops once stood.
Sarah the Gardener : o )
Come with me into the garden to see what I mean…