It feels like the pendulum has paused exactly mid-swing, balanced between seasons, temperature extremes, and in the high blue sky between dewy mornings and golden afternoons. Right here, right now, everything, except maybe my raging allergies, feels like bliss.

In time with the Autumnal equinox, we too are poised right at the edge of thinking about fall and all of that season’s associated to-dos. There’s always a list of plants to move from one garden to another. — We call it “musical perennials” and do much more of that in the spring, but have already started reorganizing a couple of particularly challenging areas down in the Rock Garden. We have been doing a lot of thinking and planning for next year’s gardens and have filled the cutting bench with rows of tips from tender perennials we want to reuse next year. We’re also getting ready to start thinking about moving back into the greenhouse — nights this week dipped a couple of times into the 40s and we took our chances leaving some of the more fragile tropicals out. (They’re fine.) But before we can move in, we have to let go of the 4 o’clocks and globe amaranth that seeded themselves in the floor and do some grooming of container plants — always much easier to do outside than in, unless of course it’s raining.

And in the meantime, in this perfect moment between seasons, we are holding all of those thoughts and spending plenty of time soaking in the moment and enjoying it all. In between keeping the gardens groomed and paths open we have been captivated by just how beautiful the gardens are. This, truly, is a perfect time to visit. Birds have been very noisy lately and are in and out of the gardens – there are still hummingbirds (I say that every week) and we have been watching flocks of little skippers, as difficult to capture in pictures as the hummingbirds, bouncing from flower to flower. Their hilarity almost makes up for all of the other butterflies we haven’t seen as much of lately. (Wait – are skippers moths or butterflies?) And maybe I’m looking forward to Halloween because I have been particularly enjoying the candy scents of Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos astrosanguineus) and Cimicifuga ‘Hillside Black Beauty’, which after 2 years in the North Garden is finally becoming established enough to flower. (It smells just like Skittles to me. Or is it more like Sweetarts?…)

How are you spending your Autumnal equinox? Does it feel perfectly, blissfully balanced to you too?


One thought on “Equanimity

  1. I look at your beautiful gardens and see your orderly list of tasks already begun in preparation for next year’s garden and I sigh. I just came in from feeding the chickens – too old to produce – and wonder if I am slipping into their category. No! I say to myself, but I haven’t been producing much in the way of order these past weeks. I visited a preview of the new Monks Garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston a few days ago. The garden is magical, a meditative glade, and while I am enjoying its mystery and romance there is a niggling little thought at the back of my mind saying I wish I were in a position to take a space and just start from scratch and have it all finished in 6 months. It is designed by Michael Van Valkenburg in a sustainable way so that the groundcovers will cover the ground with blossoms, allowing only taller blossoms to come through. Don’t you think any weeds would be too embarrassed to show up in such august company?

    Pat, That garden definitely sounds too divine for weeds. We public gardeners are so fortunate to be able to start fresh now and again. And for what it’s worth, when it comes to list making and following through it helps to be part of a team all egging each other on. I don’t have a team at home and it shows… but I still love it. I know you love yours too! -kris

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