Fall, the time of year when it’s finally cool enough to venture outside and take account of what has survived the most horrific summer on record. A gentle cool breeze dances across my skin as I slowly stroll through the gardens.
Taking notes, I pen which plants or trees need removed and which ones made the “hero” list. Noting the early leaf color changes of the ‘Autumn Blaze’ and ‘October Glory’ Maples, I smile; until a closer inspection show bag worms remain on my most valued deciduous trees. Those will have to go, so I furiously scratch a To Do note to myself on my notebook and move on with a scowl.
My attention deficit disorder will get the best of me if I can’t stay on track so I make a list of things to accomplish and move out with military-like efficiency. First, I prioritize what needs immediate attention then return later to do the manual labor. It’s a fall ritual of mine. Okay, so I like to make lists, but this one is important. The spring, summer and winter lists are too, but fall is a crucial plant, prune and plan time. Consider incorporating list-making into your fall schedule as well. It will remind you what to do and remind you of what you have accomplished. I usually put a single line through an item when I have completed it. If I am feeling braggadocios I will include the date and how much time was needed to get the job done.
Today I scribble the words, “seed collecting, round up and pruning.” I’ll get to those eventually. Oh! Look at the pretty butterflies! See, I told you. Distractions! The monarchs are making their annual pilgrimage to Mexico and I’ll admit, I wish I could go along. Instead, I’ll take several photos of the intricately designed little creatures as they linger on my ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum. I love butterflies; they are so delicate and graceful, flittering around me as if they know I’m only here to admire them. Competing with them for nectar are the bumble bees, honey bees, red wasps and something that looks like a yellow jacket. One of those hateful little fliers stung me today while I was doing some general clean up in the flower beds. I don’t know which one, but sakes alive, it hurt!
Okay, enough side-tracking; back to recording copious garden chore notes. I put my game face on and round the corner of the house only to be assaulted by the most glorious antique rose scent. Heavenly! I pause to dip my nose into the deep red petals and inhale. Ah! How I adore the re-blooming roses; almost as much as I do the precocious pineapple salvia or the clamoring-for-attention crapemyrtles. I toss my notebook aside. Some days are just meant to be enjoyed not over-analyzed, criticized or categorized. Fall is glorious in Oklahoma, enjoy it while it lasts!