by Jarad Johnson
I like to think that I appreciate every season for what it is. Spring is lush and abundant and full of excitement, summer is hot and sticky and a time of production, fall is a time of putting things to rest and bringing in the last harvest, and winter is a time of stillness. But, if I’m honest, spring and fall are my favorites. Summer is too hot, and winter is too cold. And if I had to pick between spring and fall? After much hemming and hawing, I’d say spring. Watching all the perennials emerge from the ground, sowing seeds, and planning my gardening year is a delight unlike any other. But there is something magical about the leaves turning, and the world winding down.
Fall is the time when gardeners enjoy the fruits of their labor, and Halloween is my favorite holiday (take that, Christmas! I’m sick to death of hearing Christmas music in September. Stop it!). But truth be told, every season has its pros and cons, and I’d rather have all of them, instead of none. Give me trees and greenery over a concrete jungle of human industry any day.
I’m not one of those people who dreads the end of summer. Are you? Weirdo. I welcome the cooler temperatures, when you actually want to be outside, and don’t have to force yourself. I look forward to the pumpkins and mums and sweaters and cozy days, even though it means that the cycle of the year is nearing its end.
I usually bring some plants in around this time. I’m running out of room this year! I’m afraid that there are far too many plants that I can’t live without. I absolutely need that second aloe, mom! And no, I don’t particularly care if it sits in the middle of the floor. Well, if you didn’t want to trip, perhaps you should pay more attention, hmmmm?
There is a certain amount of sadness that comes with fall though. All the beautiful annuals die, and the perennials retreat into the earth. All that hard work has reached its conclusion, as it does every season. I can’t help but feel bad for all the annuals I planted. Once, I was carrying a tray of plants down some stairs, and my clumsy feet caught on themselves, and down I went. You’d think that any sane person would worry about themselves first, but my first thought was for the plants. Yes, I’m far too sentimental.
I think gardeners receive much more from our trade than we give. Yes, we put in hours of hard work, but we not only receive the joy of watching things grow, we learn so much. The garden teaches us patience, humility, the joy of simplicity, and the virtues of accepting change. The garden is always changing and evolving, and it will never look the same from one year to the next. I think that’s a fair trade, don’t you?
Besides all of those things, which are of course very important, it also teaches us about balance, which honestly is a whole post in and of itself. Of course, I don’t mean the kind of balance that allows a person to walk safely down the stairs with a tray of plants. I’m not sure that’s in the cards for any of us here at Sacred Chickens. I’m talking about the way Nature will always try to balance itself out. Recognizing that and trying to work within it is sometimes a hard lesson for newer gardeners to learn. Sure, we can control superficial things like the color of the rose to plant or what type of petunia to put in that pot. But, once you stick a plant in dirt, you relinquish some control over it. You can’t control where the hollyhock will spread its seed, or whether a plant will live or die, to be honest, although you can try your best to provide it with affable conditions to thrive. It’s nice to see yourself as part of a cycle of nature instead of the master of it.
How do you feel about the seasons? Be sure to let us know what things you’re doing your garden this weekend! We love to chat about plants, nerds that we are.
Jarad recently graduated from college at MTSU, loves tea and coffee, and tries to spend every spare second reading. He has been a fervent gardener for 6 years and is fascinated by all related topics and has spent the last several years writing about this passion. He believes that nature is our greatest teacher. He majored in English with a concentration in literature and plans to pursue and master’s degree in Ecocriticism.