The seasons in Colorado don’t have a neat beginning or end. On the calendar it’s been fall for 5 weeks. But fall in Colorado can mean summer-like warmth (yesterday was 74 degrees) or snow and cold (today hovered around freezing with some drips of sleet). Because of these up-and-down temperatures, it’s hard to know when the last of the summer flowers will bloom.
When I left Colorado for a 2-week trip on October 4, I figured that I had seen the end of summer flowers. There was one bud left on one of my rose bushes, but I didn’t expect to see it flower. And if it did flower while I was gone, I figured the pesky Japanese beetles would eat it.
On my return, I had forgotten about that rose and set about raking leaves and more leaves. Then one day as I was raking the back yard, I noticed that the rose had opened in my absence, and rather than wilting or being eaten, it was freeze-dried from a cold snap. A few days later, the weather warmed even more, and the freeze-dried rose continued to open. A surprising finish to the summer season, with one brave flourish of delicate petals.
Sometimes I feel a sense of regret at the end of the summer blooms, because I know that even though fall is full of color, the dark and gray of winter are not far behind. But I took a brisk walk in the cold air today, deciding I must venture outside so that I don’t start a pattern of staying inside in cold weather. I need to live fully in the current season, rather than clinging to a freeze-dried semblance of the past season.
When I returned from my walk, I purposely walked around the garden, noticing the distinct fall flowers – the interesting color and texture of the Autumn Joy Sedum (what a great name for a plant!), the mix of yellow, gold and reddish mums in the midst of fallen leaves, and the last snapdragon (a volunteer) right by my back steps.
Summer is certainly over in the garden. But I can embrace the now rather than regretting what is past. Truth to live out in the seasons of my garden and my life.