Fall is usually when most gardeners are busy pulling spent annuals or cutting back plants that have outgrown their space in the garden. I want to encourage gardeners to stop, pause, or even procrastinate while in the garden. In our minds, there is so much to do. My question is, why? Why does Fall make some people fall out of love with their gardens?
Research has shown that leaving something for overwintering beneficial insects is a terrific idea. As a gardener, simply stopping and observing allows one to really see what’s happening in the garden. All is not ‘dead’, and the garden is not done. In fact, as the garden begins to rest, plant roots snuggle in to grow quietly uninterrupted.
When we pause, it allows us to reconfigure our green spaces. Perhaps add a new bed or extend an existing bed. Limb up a tree, allowing a more diverse bed to evolve from additional light. Maybe decide on placing a summer blooming shrub or a shrub with winter color that can be enjoyed from a window. Pausing, simply put, allows us to look at the garden as a complete sentence. A sentence waiting for colorful edits of plant material or even hardscaping.
Procrastination often gets a bad rap. Consider this scenario. You totally clean up the garden on a fall weekend. Bags are lined up at the curb, football is on, and the task is finished, right? WRONG. Consider leaving that crossing branch until mid-winter before pruning. Maybe stack a few twigs towards the back of the garden, providing protection for wildlife throughout the winter. Don’t do everything all at once. Take your time. Experiencing the fall garden can become a great excuse to just breathe in some crisp air and reimagine your garden.
Witnessing Camellia buds swelling, evergreens shedding their fruit, and listening to leaves dancing in the street… are all signs of this wonderful season.
In my mind, procrastination has its virtue in all seasons, especially in the fall. It’s easy for me to fall in love with fall. How about you?
Simply taking time to fall in love with fall…
Teri, Cottage in the Courtby