Clear blue skies and a mere whisper of a breeze allowed me to finally put my garden to bed today. Pots were emptied, their contents sent to compost, the soil spread around shrubs and worked into other beds. Some pots found their way to the garbage receptacle, brittle from years of sun bathing. I planted a few spring bulbs in a large container and hope that they’ll winter well. I even nipped a few straggly branches off the forsythia. So, for as much as there is for a balcony gardener to do at season’s end, it’s done, and I’m thrilled to have a slightly different view of the deck.
There is something almost melancholy about coaxing the garden to sleep, though when you think of it, it’s not so much an ending as it is the first step in the start of next year’s garden. Or, perhaps I just comfort myself with that, knowing that Winter’s icy breath is just around the corner.
“Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden…. It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne