Spent Friday afternoon at the garden gathering calendula to dry for making calendula oil, clipping lavender, digging the last of the potatoes (late!), and rounding up the few pumpkins and squash still in the field.
I also took time to just look at the flowers, knowing a killing frost was on its way later that night. As I looked around, I felt deep appreciation for the great season with my garden and for all of the beauty that came out of it.
The first killing frost brings such a mix of emotions. I felt some sadness that afternoon looking at the buds of flowers that would never open. Returning the next day to survey the damage, I was especially startled by the contrast in the dahlia row. What were sturdy, lush, green plants the day before were limp, mushy, and blackened by frost. I knew it would happen that way, but somehow the change still surprised me.
Part of me misses these cheerful faces already! The rest of me feels relief, though. No more flowers to harvest, no more orders to fill. It is time to shift into cleanup mode, much later in the fall than I was expecting to do this work. Still, almost right away, I began thinking of next season; looking forward to trying new varieties, improving my growing techniques, and abundant harvests.
For now, I'm really savoring the first two back to back days of down time I've had in months and am looking forward to more as this fall turns into winter.