I was born in fall, after the seemingly endless vibrance of summer and before the barren frigidity of winter. In October, a transition time, when the days shorten and the nights cool, signaling to all things living that the cold dormant period is coming and we should prepare for that. I’ve always liked having a birthday in October when little else is in the way of my or anyone else’s schedule.
I’d like to say I take stock of my yearly accomplishments around my birthday but the truth is I don’t. Rather I usually think about what I have yet to do before the Northwest rains come. Last fall, my husband and I removed a row of overgrown sarcococca lining the north side of our house. This year, I cleared one side of a border lining the front south side of our house. I did redesign and plant that front border but I failed to renovate both borders lining either side of the entrance. I didn’t want to have an odd situation where I had a mature border on one side and a newly planted young border on the other, but now I will until at least March. That’s simply how things shook out this year.
Still, I need to be grateful for what I did fully accomplish this year. Two new mixed border areas, a small bed lining a brick pathway, edits and additions in the sunny perennial bed, a new veggie garden area. And of course weeding, weeding, weeding. October is also the time when I realize that the growing season has ended and I’ve barely actually enjoyed my garden. I’ve spent every sunny day taking advantage of the dry weather in the name of work. Luckily, October still offers enough mild days to actually enjoy the lushness of the yard, sometimes I can even sit outside and admire the salvia, sedums, and other late blooming plants. On these rare days, I mostly just stare at the sky, taking a mental snapshot of the warm blueness that I know will cheer me during the gray days of November and beyond.