Planting Hope

Today is the first really cool day we’ve had for months, cool enough to make me realize that fall really is coming. When the outside temperature is in the nineties (Fahrenheit), it’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end, so it seems rather silly to be preparing the ground for fall planting. We’ll be getting back into the nineties, at least for a few days now and again, but I am beginning to feel a bit of urgency.

The season really is changing. And if fall is coming (five more days!), that means winter is only three months away.

It will be strange, after all this time of working outside, to have a hiatus in the winter, but it will be good to give my poor old knees a rest. I’m just hoping they will hold up for all the planting I’m going to be doing this fall — a few magnus echinacea (a purplish pink coneflower), a bunch of lily trees (despite the name, they are not trees, just very tall lilies), a couple of hundred tulip bulbs, and a pound of wildflowers. I also need to transplant the New England asters because the clump is getting rather dense.

If I can’t get the wildflower area completely dug up and the old Bermuda grass roots removed, I’ll just hoe what’s left and hope for the best, but there’s no way to cut corners on the rest of the planting.

So much work! In the long run, I hope it will be worth it — I would certainly enjoy a beautiful yard. Mostly, though, it’s the doing, not necessarily the done, that intrigues me. And the not giving up.

Previously, whenever I started a garden of some sort and the plants didn’t do well, I shrugged it off as my not having a green thumb. (Which I don’t have, but I’m hoping that experience and research and luck will offset my lack of native ability.)

The last time I planted anything, the failure truly wasn’t my fault. The grasshoppers were voracious that year and they ate everything down to the ground — including a six-foot tree. Because of that, I now panic whenever I see one of those hideous brown hoppers, but so far, they are keeping their destruction to a minimum. If they get too bad, I might borrow the neighbor’s chickens and let them feast, though some of the hoppers seem almost as big as those chickens, so I’m not sure he’d want to take the risk.

Looking at what I’ve written today, I can see that I’ve used a whole lot of words to say what I came here to say: that the cooler temperature is a harbinger of the fall that will show up next week.

I’m not really sad to see gardening season end, nor am I glad. It’s all part of the cycle of life. And after the fall preparation and the winter hiatus, spring will come and all the hope I’ve been planting might come to fruition.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

3 Responses to “Planting Hope”

  1. TheEmptyNestHomesteader Says:

    Those flowers are beautiful. I love the change of every single season and I’m like you, I feel like it’s just the cycle of life and we should embrace it. 🙂

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    Beautiful flowers.
    Pat as a enthusiastic beginner gardener you are doing well. It needs time and experience to get to know your garden soil and your garden climate. Please beware of catalogs temptations. If you really want have flowers in winter you can try. I have one.
    Winter Jasmine
    This medium-sized shrub has long, arching branches and bright yellow flowers. It’s not fragrant, but it is striking in the otherwise dull landscape of late winter.
    It is easy to look after and resistant. (To test please put in a separate place it can spread fast).
    Even I have preferences for spring and autumn with my wife I have loved all seasons. The coming months will help to have some physical rest as far as you are an active person you can think better and read and write more.
    In my life I have a logical approche. When there is a problem there is a solution. It is not always easy to find solutions. But with patient, perseverance and determination you can find for your gardening.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I like your approach that where there is a problem there is a solution. Winter jasmine might even grow here! Some winter flowers will tolerate the winters but the summers are way too hot for the poor things. Right now, I’m taking a long approach to my yard — doing the major things, filling up the various brown garden spots as best as I can. Later, I will specialize, finding the perfect plant for the perfect spot.

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