In ‘Second Summer‘ I showed a few fine blooming garden beds still in excellent shape in late October. A freak snowstorm occurred on Tuesday, October 28th. However, we continued to enjoy a long, beautiful, cool autumn here at Fordhook. Summer’s “second number” is almost 10 weeks long. The only big differences are the poignancy of the shortening days and the sweater or coat needed. I spend more time in the fall gardens than in the summer ones.
Everyone says that their gardens are “done” around Labor Day, and begin speaking of them in the past tense. I do, too, after a career spent with annuals, most of which are of tropical origin and sputter out by early September in Illinois. Also, while folks are clearing out and closing up their gardens, they’re planning for spring and planting bulbs. In other words, living outside the moment. Of course, chores are essential in fall, as weeding and watering in July and August. But fall is a complete garden season, as loaded with interesting growth as spring or summer. With planning, autumn can be full of flowers from staggered and late sowings and plantings, and one can have much to enjoy while pulling, raking and covering.