I have been sitting here listening to the gentle rain that is so necessary and needed tonight. I have been procrastinating removing the last few leaves from my front gardens because I hate to rush when it comes to communing with nature.
When Autumn presents itself to us, we are usually enamored with the changing colors of the leaves. Once we get over the beautiful colors, smell of apples, pumpkin picking and fall festivals……most folks instantly go into strategically planning how they will go about their yearly leaf removal efforts. By mid November, most folks are dreading the weekend leaf wars. I purposely do not have turf for this reason. I look at the ritual of the falling leaves as a signal that it is time to slow down and enjoy change.
I love to see the leaves in the garden. They fall and lay like a multi hued blanket of sorts, tucking in the plants that are slowly going to sleep as the winter chill sets in. Perhaps it is because I am a bit busy……but perhaps it is because the large Oak tree in my front yard holds into it’s leaves until at least the second week in December. I love to stuff them into burlap bags, with the left over leaves going into my slow compost piles. The bagged leaves, I use to protect the plants that just never quite made it into the garden this year. I cover them with remay and make a burlap bag fort to surround them. The elements – rain, snow or sunshine – are able to permeate the remay and the plants have an added season of root growth by the time I get them in the ground in the spring. I should have plenty bags this year…at least ten, if not more.
In the meantime, I am still being treated by the soft pink blooms of the Camellia’s and patiently await the first bloom of the Hellebore’s that also greet me in my front garden. The swollen buds of the Hellebore’s are not hurt by winter’s weather, they just get bigger everyday. I also noticed that the Sarcococca (Sweet box) is looking mighty fine, unscathed by the 100 degree temps of this past summer. I cannot wait til the sweet scent that is emitted from this plant, permeate’s the winter air. Of course it is by a well used pathway, as I am not one to stay inside during the colder months. The scent invites you to walk the path, to see what else lays ahead I brought my Sweet box plants from my Fredericksburg shade garden. I do not regret this as they have proven to be a survivor of adverse conditions. It is quite refreshing to see that they are as happy as I am in my Cottage in the court.
I walk the garden in winter to envision the possibilities, mentally re-arrange/re-design and always to dream that it is the perfect summer day. The kind of perfect day where everything is blooming beautifully, bees are buzzing and the garden is alive!!!
For now, the rain is gently soaking into the earth, for that much needed drink that our gardens need to survive. I will make time to dream of when I will get the chance to read the garden catalogs that should be in the mail in January…a delayed Christmas present. The days should start to stay brighter longer and then it will once again be time to garden outdoors…………………………….I can’t wait.