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E-Garden Almanac: The Teasing Autumn

E-Garden Almanac

The E-Garden Almanac is the push-button, real human journal of Kelly D. Norris. All errors, grammatic grievances, and opinions are that of the author. Kelly is a freelance writer and Master Gardener from southwest Iowa. His passion and obsession with horticulture, plants, and gardening embodies nearly every function of his life. The E-Garden Almanac serves as the web extension of his columns, articles, and lectures.
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Location: Iowa

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Teasing Autumn

Cold fronts and weathermen on all channels have blessed us in recent weeks with mild, seasonal weather and even occasional spells of much needed rain. The once hard concrete of my garden has mellowed again to look more like the Iowa loam it is. But with all of these blessings comes fleeting hints of finality, the drawing close of a growing season that I never look forward to but anticipate with readiness.

It's about this time of year that my thoughts involuntarily shift beyond garden chores. School has started, seeds from summer breeding work need sown, and calls start coming in for lecture engagements aside from my other writing projects and ever persistent work in the nursery office. Sometimes I wonder if time is really my own, when it rightfully should be! I've let more weeds come on too than I should and have gradually let deadheading give way to computer work. I've pared back my plant ordering this fall too (unorthodox and potentially blasphemous for this plantsman) in anticipation of trial specimens I'll bring home from the upcoming Garden Writers convention in Portland, Oregon.

But aside from the normal shifting of seasons, and the reprioritizing of my gardening life in seasons not conducive to much gardening, I seem to be teased by autumn. I love fall colors, leaves and fruits. I enjoy the pace, no slower but with a different beat. But autumn also brings a sense of nervousness in me, a rush I feel only when I'm caught between two things. In this case I suppose it's winter and summer. I'd rather plant, weed, and stroll about than bundle up and trudge. It's all done in fearlessness though, for gardening is endowed with an unwavering promise of another season; perhaps only cynically dimmed by the outlook of the farmer's almanac.

Incidentally, the farmer's almanac is predicting a warmer October than average for Iowa. Just another element of a teasing autumn!


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