Monday, August 26, 2013

When Decline Is a Blessing

Last Wednesday, as Turfman was watching the local weather report, I overheard the weatherman say something that gave me such relief. He said that historically, 21 August was, on average, the hottest day of the year, and that we would soon begin the slow decline in temperatures. It seemed he uttered it as a lament, but I was overjoyed. That sentiment signaled that I have survived yet another Florida summer, and I can look forward to my favorite season (in the South) of fall.

Summer in Florida, to me, is a time of great stress. I don't mean that it creates anxiety for me. Rather, I mean that my body feels almost perpetually taxed by the extreme heat. I do not like to rise early, which means that I have little to no time in which I can exercise. I can see the effects the heat has on my garden, too. My plants have been enduring a significant amount of stress. Everything seems as if its clinging desperately to life. But as the temperatures begin to cool, the plants really do seem to be relaxing, exhaling in relief just as I do. Some, however, are simply coming to an end.

The chlorophyll is slowly leaking out
from top to bottom

The Kew Red Lavender is dying, so I took emergency
 cuttings in the hopes of having new plants for next year
The cooler days spell hope for me, just as the warmer days in Michigan assured me that I had survived another winter. I do not enjoy living in extremes.

In this season of decline, I can now look forward to spending full days out in the garden, rather than limiting myself to the early morning half hour in summer. Even in that short amount of time, I was drenched in sweat and felt light-headed. Full days of work are coming. Full days of exercise.

The tall branches of the Mexican sage are thinning,
but new shoots are emerging below.
I get to look forward to something else as the summer draws to a close. I get another chance to try and realize my dream of a truly productive garden. I get to wipe the slate clean and begin again. I can apply the lessons I learned from all the gardening mistakes I've made in the past. I have new seed varieties to try. It's all on the verge of beginning.

As far as I can see, this decline is all about redemption and rebirth.

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