On first read, I disagreed with Meghan Shinn, opining in this month's Horticulture Magazine that it was time for the gardening season to end. The young and beautiful Ms. Shinn said she was tired of it all and that the garden had run its course. I disagreed initially because I wasn't sure I was ready yet for the end of the roses, for the finish line of the grasses and asters.
But Meghan's editorial did come during a week of 100+ temperatures here in Kansas. And the drought is back in full force and I'm beginning to think about carrying water to young plants and I just don't want to do it. I'm not young and energetic like the fresh-faced Ms. Shinn, I'm old and achy, tired of summer and tired of weeds and tired of endless cantaloupe that need picking.
Well, maybe I'm not quite that washed up, but as I mowed yesterday, I did decide that I should welcome the wisdom of Horticulture's current editor, not question it. Perhaps it was dusty, drought-stressed grass, unmowed for two weeks and sprouting unsightly seedheads as the single lure for me to the mower. Perchance it was the sight of yet another rain cloud passing around me to the North, my dessicated and weary soul fruitlessly begging for relief. Maybe it was the incredible harvest of crabgrass thumbing its nose at me from the edges of all my garden beds. Perhaps it was the skinny, unattractive legs of some of the less-blackspot-resistant members of the rose troupe that were spoiling my mood. The hordes of grasshoppers didn't help, hopping madly on me in the thousands as I mowed, and their efforts to advance my discomfort were aided by biting flies and large nearly-invisible spider webs. Maybe it was just the heat.
After reflection, I think Ms. Shinn is right. I'm not built for a California or Hawaii climate, with year round weeds and flowers. I'm a child of the four-seasoned Midwest, always ready to move along with the flow of the seasons. I'm ready for the first frosts to bring on the end of mowing the relentless prairie grass. I'm ready for the leaves to turn and drop, ready for the rush to gather the last perfect roses before they are covered by snow. I'm ready again to dream of those first tender green sprouts of Spring, the world borne anew and damp and fresh.