Gardening doesn’t stop with the end of the growing season. I can’t seem to say goodbye to the season’s final flowers because gardening is therapy for me.
It’s mid-November, the end of the growing season.
The steady freezing temperatures at night will be here any moment. We’ve already had one or two below-32-degree nights.
I know this.
But my heart truly doesn’t want to see the flowers go and the leaves fall off the trees and shrubs.
I don’t want to dig up the Geraniums until the last petal is finished blooming.
For some reason this year, I have resisted my usual methodical gardening cleanup.
It’s because I’m still finding beauty everywhere I look. And I don’t want to disturb a thing.
Like this single bloom left on a Geranium Rozanne:
This purple-blue flower makes me happy. All around it are leaves from the Pinky Winky Hydrangeas and our Crepe Myrtle tree.
And when I look skyward at the Crepe Myrtle, I’m in awe of the beautiful leaf colors.
While this tree didn’t bloom much at all this year — that’s Mother Nature for you — it is providing us with the best Fall foliage ever.
Meanwhile, our Red Tip Photinia — such a dependable broad-leaf evergreen — is oblivious to the falling leaves. Its own leaves remain a beautiful green:
There is still new growth happening too, in a vibrant red color which pops up here and there well into December.
And I smile while I meander around the yard. I don’t want to pick up even one leaf just yet.
Look at this patch of Lantana, for instance.
Lantana has such a long blooming season, especially as our Fall has been pretty mild. The small grasses are already done for the year but not the Lantana. Makes me want to plant it everywhere next year. I wish it was a perennial for us, but alas it is not.
Nearby is one of our Orange Rocket Barberry shrubs. The Fall color is stunning.
Little red berries are mixed in with that pretty leaf color and the birds have been happy. Again, I smile.
Looking down from the second floor of our house, I see how wonderful the Little Lime Hydrangeas look. They are half-pink and half-tan right now, as the flower heads continue drying on the shrubs. My heart is content.
At the bottom of the picture are some of the Knock Out Roses.
The roses did so well this year, as they do every year.
And these roses — which are dotted throughout our front yard landscaping — make me pause every time I think I should prune them down for the season.
While most gardeners have been pruning and doing Fall cleanup chores, I’ve been continuing to deadhead these roses, encouraging them to bloom just a little while longer.
First I willed them to bloom through Halloween. Then I kept on deadheading.
Why don’t I want them to stop blooming this year?
Why can’t I say goodbye to the season’s final flowers?
Gardening has always been a form of therapy for me. Gardening is therapy for me.
My head becomes completely empty of all worries and issues and deadlines. I’m always amazed how that happens, even if I’m just weeding. And that’s one of the main reasons I don’t mind weeding.
When I’m gardening, my head and heart just relax and wander. I take in and enjoy every single flower, every pretty color, and before I know it, I’ve been out there for four hours straight.
Gardening doesn’t stop with the end of the growing season.
I know this.
In fact, I still have 100 crocus bulbs to plant, let alone all the other tidying up I usually have completed by now.
I have depression. This isn’t anything new, but not something I have ever talked about here on Pet Scribbles.
And this year, gardening has helped me so damn much. I can’t even fully put it into words.
Just being outside. From the early Spring gardening chores to the unbearable heat and humidity of the Summer, to our wonderfully mild and enjoyable Fall — gardening has helped me. Tremendously.
I’m so grateful, and maybe that’s why I don’t yet want to say goodbye to the roses.
But another look tells me it’s time.
And yet even these dying roses look so beautiful to me. So perfect in their imperfect way.
I’ll let them linger a little longer.
But then I look to the left and see that our Kramer’s Red Winter Heath is just beginning to bloom, which it will do in spectacular fashion through April of next year.
Admiring these pretty buds and tiny flowers on the Heath reminds me that the gardening seasons don’t end. Instead, they transition into new seasons.
Yes, the growing season is done. But the transition to the Winter season has just begun. And there’s so much to appreciate and be thankful for, like this Heath shrub just beginning its very own season.
I think I’ll prune those Knock Out Roses now.