Putting the Season To Bed

Our first hard frost arrived a couple days ago, coinciding with a break in the rain.  Chilly early mornings with the sun glinting off the ice encrusted plants is beautiful, but for me it also signals the final end to the growing season.  After that frost, watching for new growth and late breaking blooms is pointless.  The plants are bedraggled and clearly ready for a long nap.  But until frost hits and the leaves blacken and wither, there is a little part of me that clings to the summer past, not quite ready to release the green year for the bare winter and admit that another cycle is done.

Now that frost has arrived it is the time to tend to the garden tools, protect plants with thick layers of mulch, and starting dreaming of the spring yet to come.  And all of a sudden, the reluctance to release the prior year gives way to anticipation of the coming.  Seed catalogs arrive and hours are spent pouring over the possibilities.  Drawings and garden journals reappear to be reviewed and updated while the garden sleeps.

For many people the conclusion of the year comes December 31st, or on the winter solstice.  For me, it is that first hard frost.


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