We had a drought this summer, our well didn’t go dry, but others’ did. I held my breath as I sparingly doled out drops of water for the tomatoes, and the watermelons. Fall rallied and gave us rain, enough to give the garden a renaissance. It seemed as though everything that shut down or died during the summer, wanted one last kick at the can, given the opportunity. Buffalo beans, daisies, rhubarb and raspberries all made an admirable showing. Morning Glories took off, and the tomatoes kept a steady stream of shapes and colours. Not until a recent frost has most of the garden been shades of green, echinacea purple and cone flower yellow. I’m not sure if the plants were as dumbfounded as I was. Or perhaps they knew.
They did indeed give us a great, intense and brief show, making us almost forget the long hot days of summer, monotonous, not broken by a late day storm, or an early morning shower. It was a summer of heat and dry and more heat, and cracked raised beds, and dust and weeds dying and grasses flourishing in the vegetable garden, but dying on the lawn. It was weird and complicated.
No one expected the fall would be one of the most intense, long lasting and colourful. I thought, with no water the leaves would surely turn brown and drop off the trees and we would be into winter with little fanfare. But this autumn has been one of the most colourful and long lasting. The colours are intense, moist, shimmering, vibrant and downright healthy.
I suppose we all want to have a chance to show our best, show what we are capable of, given the right conditions, regardless of age, wear and tear and history. These opportunities may or may not come along. Nature had its moment this year, and most importantly, it had an appreciative audience.