You travel, and when you return you’re surprised by how much has changed. Today I realized that summer is nearly finished. Oh, there will be many more days of heat and humidity, but the gardens—those emblems of summer—are fading. On an early morning walk, I passed neighborhood gardens to see flowers dying back, thinning out, going to seed.
Summer gardens hold so much promise. We know what we’ve planted and what it will look like: we know that tomatoes will grow here and the roses will bloom over there, and the catmint will tumble over the wall. Still there is anticipation for the flowers and vegetables that will entertain and sustain us for months. I didn’t get to see the gardens at the height of summer beauty, a trade-off for spending time in a different place. But the trade was more than fair, n'est ce pas?
I haven’t forgotten Laura Joliet’s list, and for weeks I’ve been thinking about my own. Honestly, though I’ve added a few things, I don’t think I can improve on hers. So this morning I cut the last of the yellow coreopsis, the fading crape myrtle blossoms, and the lariope spikes, gathered them into a beautiful bunch, and placed them in a white pitcher as a reminder to embrace the seasons, and that the simple and ordinary is beautiful.
Sometime today, take a look around your own yard, try to see it with fresh eyes, take some cuttings and place them in a simple vase. You'll see what I mean.