It’s that time of the year when all of a sudden you realize that summer is coming to an end.
I was sitting in the garden last night when all of a sudden the familiar sound of geese was heard. Looking up into the sky, I saw that all telling V-formation of birds heading south. Now if that is not a wake up call to get a move on in the garden, nothing is.
It was like an alarm clock that was making itself known far too early in the day/season. But, ignore it at your own peril and the peril of everything growing in your garden.
So what is it that needs to be done?
Well if you ask a gardener, they will have a list a mile long of chores that need to be done before the first snows of winter make themselves known.
Personally I have a list that is now in full swing. Those geese were my alarm clock and now I am in full blown “Autumn Mode” driving onwards.
My list includes doing these things:
- Getting rid of all the weeds that are now coming into full bloom. Especially things like golden rod and milkweeds. Ask anyone who suffers from hayfever and they will tell you it’s high season for these weeds.
- Dead heading any perennials in the hopes of getting one more flush of flowers before the first frost makes them toast.
- Getting all my vegetables picked and used as often as possible in their freshest state and canning, pickling, baking, or preserving whatever can’t be eaten in due time.
- Removing whatever annuals that have done their growing and are now spent.
- Collecting seeds from the annuals that produce them or that I want in my garden next year. The poppies, marigolds, snapdragons, moss roses and such.
- Preparing my seed envelopes and seed box so that in the spring I will know exactly where they are.
Now these are just a few of the chores that I am called to start doing. It’s only the last quarter of August, so there will still be time to enjoy the garden.
What amazes me though is that up until the 15th of the month, days seem to go by nice and easy. Once the 16th rolls around, it seems that August is like a freight train on the down slope. It moves faster than any other month of the year.
Could it be that it’s just me that feels this way? I really don’t think so. Even my fish seem to have noticed that the days are changing. My other half and I would sit outside after dinner just enjoying the sounds of the birds and watching butterflies flitting around. Now, when 8:30 rolls around it is already starting to get dark. The fish that just a few weeks ago were swimming around like crazy, chasing each other around, are now moving slower and heading to the deepest parts of the pond to nap! That signals us to get up and head indoors and before the door is shut, it’s dark.
Oh well, life is like that and I have work to do in the garden and all is right with the world. As August gives way to September, there will be more to do. For right now, I am pleased to save my seeds, prepare their paper envelopes and store them carefully until the spring of 2017 when life in the garden will be on the upswing instead of the downturn.
Gardeners are the most optimistic people in the world.