I’m back visiting with my daughter in the east where Fall is happening, if only somewhat. Walking around the surrounding neighborhoods and nearby park, it felt like summer had made a comeback. I wished I’d thought to pull a baseball cap down over my brow, for the sun was beating down relentlessly. Whenever possible I’d wander down tree-lined streets, reveling in the overhead shade. Every now and then, a passing breeze cooled my cheeks. Only then could I gaze about, observing the stately homes that sat in the midst of lush, green lawns, as though they were holding court.
Here and there, chrysanthemum filled planters emblazoned front stoops with autumn hues of reds, golds, oranges. Flower beds were weeded, some sporting dried hay, ready for winter. I felt a momentary sense of dread, as I thought of the overgrown garden awaiting me at home. It’s been in need of some serious TLC for several months.
Right or wrong, I’ve always favored a garden where plants grow in close proximity, like good friends and neighbors. Eventually, weeding is down to a minimum, a great benefit. Bending over to pull bits of unwanted green from the soil is back-breaking work. Regardless of the gizmos and gadgets I’ve invested in through the years, weeding is still a pain, worsening as I’ve aged. Heavy weeding in early spring, means regular visits to my chiropractor for adjustments. I’ve finally heeded her advice to take periodic breaks while working in the garden. No more all day benders.
The disadvantage of growing plants too closely is that my garden eventually resembles a mini jungle. Making my way down the pebbled path that winds its way through the midst of the garden, I often think I should carry a machete to lop off overhanging branches from the Buddleia (butterfly) bush and the pink flowering dogwood tree, and cut back tall stalks of Rudbeckia daisies and overgrown Sedum. But pruning 2 or 3 times during the growing season, more than compensates for weed control throughout. So I’ll gladly keep my mini jungle.
I often think my daughter has the best of both worlds. She lives in an apartment complex with lovely landscaping, cared for by a team of maintenance men. I’d love to supervise my own caretakers. But I’m biding my time, for when my husband retires he promises to tend the garden, leaving me to manage the house. Great! No more weeding. And no more worrying that I’ll come face to face with a bear, as I round the corner of my garage. Until then, I’m still weeding, pruning AND worrying.
autumn, hugs for…hugmamma.