Sedum and Fallen Leaf

My Rituals

My fall rituals have begun; first a trip to the grocery to create a big pot of chili. First sign of frost or falling temperatures demands the tummy-warmth and coziness of a bowl or two with celery sticks and pimento cheese. We end up having that pot spread out over three or more days eating lunch and dinner.

While the chili is simmering on the back of the stove winter clothing comes down from the attic, gets into the dryer for a fluffing while summer weight is folded and finds its way back up the steps.

Container at Julia’s Garden

Fall Tea Time

Afternoon tea in winter calls for home baked apple cake warmed in the microwave. Gads! The aroma of tart Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Throw in a bourbon/butter with deep brown sugar sauce not drizzled but spooned upon. Well, about a close as you can get to heaven without passing away.

Still Hope

There will still be days of clear brisk weather to play in the garden before it gets put to bed. I still have some perennials I want to transplant, a design or two began that needs completing. The biggest task around here is picking up falling leaves and shredding them with the lawn and garden tractor. Chopped leaves are pure brown gold for the garden.

We (mostly my wife now) run over the falling foliage and vacuum them up into baskets. When filled those baskets are carried up the hillside one basket at a time and spread over cleared garden beds. The brown gold will form a blanket tucking in the roots of plants, helping to keep them sleeping peacefully and later, as they decompose, provide nutrients and humus. This task usually takes all of October and most of November, but has already begun with our dry September weather.

How About Your Fall

What will you be doing with your time normally spent in the garden? If I may make a suggestion, why not remember those shut in by self-quarantine? This coming winter is going to be rough, even more so than the past months. There is already those months of isolation demanded by those with age and health problems. Add on more months to come in dreary months of winter and the threat not only of COVID-19, but also the danger of a double whammy of flu. Dangerous times, indeed, for your elderly garden buddies.

Visiting inside closed areas will be difficult, but there are cell phones and bit of time to share. May even help you pass your days of gray, perhaps help you feel a bit better?

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it could help you feel better.