September Unfolding
The Cat's Away. . .

Instrument of Grace

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.  Gardening is an instrument of grace."
                                                                        --- May Sarton


Gardening is so easy in the spring.  Everything is exploding into green and foliage and colorful blooms.  It's exciting and fresh and new . . . everywhere you look.

In the fall, it's a bit harder.  Enthusiasm wanes.  The garden is tired, dying back, preparing for the dormant season.


I love my bedraggled, heading-into-dormancy late summer garden, though.  It has a skeletal beauty that can only come from age and wisdom.  Successful young flowers turn into future-thinking seedheads.  Dead stalks shelter overwintering insects.  Spent foliage and grasses become cover for birds and rabbits and other woodland creatures.

Slow circles of nature.


A garden . . . as an instrument of grace.



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That caterpillar... wow! I am eager to get out there and work to help put things to bed, but this heat is a huge deterrent! I think our heat wave breaks tomorrow though! Yay!


Your garden came full circle this year! I told a friend yesterday how the zinnias in our garden pop against the fading leaves of the tomato plants. The garden is putting itself to bed, not as elegantly or as generously as your garden, but dutifully, nonetheless.


Beautiful pictures. I was just thinking of May Sarton last so many of her journals and poetry books decades ago.


I miss the days when we hatched a monarch. Always a wonderful event.

kim in oregon

You still have quite a bit of beauty going on!


I'm bemoaning some of my plants fading away right now - the zinnias got decimated by a rabbit and the coleus is dying back - but I think your approach is perfect and I'm going to try and look at it this way. I still think summer should last longer, though!


Your fading garden does have its own kind of beauty, especially with that monarch caterpillar! I also enjoy the fall garden, with its interesting seedheads and reminder that the season of bursting blooms is winding down slowly. To all things there is a season ...


Your garden is a gift in so many ways. I'm sure May Sarton never quite imagined how we would be enjoying those gifts vicariously in the 21st century, but I think she would approve!


And can't the world use all the grace we can muster right now. Years ago I read most of Sarton's journals and they inspired me to write. Maybe it is time to revisit some of them.

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