Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 22, 2004
Closing Down My Garden
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 22, 2004 – I had lunch with my friend Peter today, and when I got home I realized that it was time to shut off my water fountain, store away my garden ornaments and put the tarps over my outdoor furniture. Even though the first frost hasn’t hit, the potted plants are well past their prime and the ferns are brown.
My beautiful Dogwood has dropped more than half its leaves and the Sparrows now like to sit on one its bare branches and wait their turn at the feeder. Trouble, the black squirrel, and his two grey cousins were on the fence early in the morning to wait for the birds to drop seeds on the ground below. Sparrows are messy eaters. For every seed they eat they drop two. The squirrels will soon be fat for the winter. It’s time to bring in the garden umbrella and sweep up the first round of leaves that are covering the deck and the stone patio.
The Lush Green Of Summer Gives Way To The Darker Days Of Fall
The garden hoses needs to be drained and packed away for the cold weather and the big clay pots that have been home to summer blooms all season need to be washed and wrapped in plastic for the winter. I need to drag the ladder up from the basement to take down the hanging plants and pack away their wrought-iron holders. This is the annual ritual of saying good-bye to the summer. The garden closes down and takes a deep breath in anticipation of the blanket of snow that will descend for the winter.
The Dogwood and the Hornbeam will stand like sentries over the yard. This year the pergola, which covers the lower deck will interrupt the snowfall and help to break the wind. The garden looks quite beautiful after a heavy snowfall and Augie takes great pleasure in leaping off the upper deck and tunnelling down the length of the garden to the back gate. He loves to dive into the drifts and take big mouthfuls of cold snow. Then he shakes his head in disbelief and lick his chops when he realizes just how cold the snow really is. Every winter is the same. Augie has to learn anew. Snow = cold.
Arthur, Roger and Duncan – the garden gargoyles will remain in the yard for the winter. Arthur and Roger on their perches and Duncan atop the concrete bench on the patio. Last winter, Arthur was irresistible wearing the snow bonnet that covered his little stone noggin after a winter storm. This year Roger and Duncan can expect the same treatment from Mother Nature. It should be quite the fashion show with the three gargoyles competing for attention. The wrought iron flowers will stay outside as perches for the Sparrows. This year the garden will be home to my fine feathered friends, as I plan to feed the birds all winter.
The front garden doesn’t need as much attention. I just need to wrap the clay pots and put the hose away. The wrought iron furniture stays on the front verandah. Only the antique porch rocker comes inside. I’m going to take advantage of a mild day tomorrow to get this outside work completed. In past years I’ve waited until mid-November to tackle this task and by then it’s not remotely enjoyable.
It’s time for my gardens to rest in anticipation of the renewal that Spring will bring. That truly is the wonder of Canada’s seasons. The birth of Spring – the growth of Summer – the harvest of Autumn and the slumber of Winter. The cycles of Nature – beautiful to behold and magical to experience. God’s gift to us for the taking – all we need to do is open our eyes to see the wonder that each season brings. Why not start with your own garden? If you haven’t noticed before, you’ll be amazed at the beauty that is present every day of the year.