The Sweet Relief of September

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

The roaring heat of summer sends its last hot breaths into the early September garden only to retreat as cooler air and shorter days bring the return of a garden’s freshness. This freshness is not like the new innocence of a spring bloom and planting. September gardens have a deeper fresh. They are full, fleshed out and mature after having grown through the long hot summer months. There may be signs that the searing sun beat down day after day in August and July, but as fall begins, the deep colers of blossoms return replacing the washed out summer hues. Foliage becomes more vibrant with the greens, purples, pinks, reds, yellows and oranges lighting up vegetable and flower beds. The cool air revives our gardening spirits and lets us enjoy our gardens anew.

The enjoyment of fall gardens begins in September. This joy is a combination of contentment, acceptance and hope for next year’s gardens. What has grown, has grown. There has been success and disappointment. Yet no matter what the outcome this year, as we sit back and survey our land we can explore these gifts of contentment, acceptance and hope.

There is always the contentment that something beautiful has grown in our garden. It may not have been part of the garden plan, but even a lowly weed in the crack of the sidewalk has beauty of form, color and surprise. Close examination of any plant brings awe and wonder, perhaps the greatest reward of all our gardening efforts. Acceptance is a gift of non-judgement which always opens our hearts. Our bodies, minds and spirits relax when we accept what has happened. Part of acceptance is a place of beginner’s mind, where we see, feel, taste, smell, and hear something as if we never experienced it before. This fall take some time to really be present in your garden and accept it for what it is. Give thanks for all the life that lives there from the life within the soil to the birds that fly way about the trees. And only after days, if not weeks, of grounding yourself in the contentment and the acceptance of your garden, then begin to plant the seeds of hope for next year’s gardens. Always keep those feelings of contentment and acceptance as the foundation of new dreams and plans for future growing spaces.

Those new plans can begin to take root in September with the planting of trees, shrubs and perennials. The ground is warm enough for the plants to establish roots, yet cool enough to thrive before winter’s cold. Just make sure you plant the seeds of contentment, acceptance and hope along with those plants you actually put in the ground.

Linda is a mandala artist, garden designer and garden writer who uses the wisdom of many traditions in her work. Visit her website: www.gardensforthesoul.com or (314) 504-4266.