As we move into the darker parts of the year, do you find yourself wishing for those "seasons in the sun"? It can be hard to embrace the dark and cold of the coming winter. After all, Autumn is the season of dying things. Some might feel that they didn't accomplish all the things they wanted this growing season, or that the untimely weather patterns dashed their garden dreams. I can relate!
Here at Sweet Pea Gardens, we had a summertime infrastructure emergency and had to dig up the back plot to make way for a new septic system. The garden area ended up not needing excavation but heavy machinery compacted it as the crew performed their amazing earth moving feat. It was difficult to watch as my specialty mint bed and lovely full grown jasmine was crushed, but I lifted many of the plants beforehand and made a sweet little nursery bed for them. And the soil amendments I had added years ago are finally breaking down and got a chance to be tilled in, creating a healthier and more integrated medium for plants!
The Alpine Strawberry bed was right in the path of the bulldozer, and I just knew this was a GOOD thing because when I created this bed I had no idea how much everyone would love strawberry flavored teas! And as you strawberry gardeners know, a healthy patch will make lots of babies! So it's time to divide and replant. Although the fall is not the time I would choose to dig up all the mother plants, I had to realize once again that sometimes things happen "out of season". Sometimes we have to improvise in the garden and in life. Whether we have lost something (or someone) before we are ready to let go, or we have missed the right time for an opportunity, we have to try to go forward salvaging whatever we can. And it's been that kind of year for me and many people. I want to offer up that it's been hard but we are learning the lessons we need for another year of vision and fruitfulness.
Here on the north coast of California we are having cold nights and sometimes very sunny warm days. We just ate the last of the heirloom tomatoes from our friends out in Willow Creek when usually they are finished for the year in early September. So I'm soaking up this unseasonable glow even as I wonder what it means for the plants exactly. The still-warm soil is ripe for tilling because the rains haven't come in full yet. But they are close and then its mud city until the spring, most likely. So I have to scramble to put the lifted plants in before then...or will I? Maybe I'll keep them in the nursery zone, cover with remay cloth, and sip on tea while listening to music about life and death. What do you think?