I have sadly neglected the garden. I’d like to blame it on work and family obligations, but the real reason is that I find the autumn clean-up far less satisfying than the spring clean-up. In the spring, when I gather up the detritus from winter, I am delighted to see tiny new shoots pushing through the earth underneath. I love seeing new buds unfurling. The atmosphere in the garden is of one of eager anticipation. The prep work then is like priming a canvas before painting in order to set the stage for a masterpiece to emerge. It is a fantasy, I admit–but in June, when viewed at just the right angle in just the right light by someone who is squinting slightly, the garden does look somewhat like an Impressionist work of art.
In the autumn, the garden is a much sorrier sight (well, my garden is). And the clean-up then feels more like chore than delight. But there is no camouflage in the winter, so if anything, making sure the garden looks neat and tidy is even more important. So what did I do today? Did I spend hours pruning, deadheading, weeding, or transplanting? No, I procrastinated–I took photos of the few remaining spots of color and bits of interest, telling myself tomorrow is another day.
Here are a few autumnal troopers: Echinacea ‘Southern Belle,’ a Montauk Daisy featuring a slightly lethargic bee, and Hidcote Lavender. Plus, something to look forward to: buds on Witch Hazel ‘Birgit,’ ready to burst forth very early next year for some welcome late-winter color.