It was a strange summer. This was the year when New England gardeners learned that no amount of expertise or hard work could overcome the weeks of constant rain and too cool temperatures that began in early June and continued on until the end of August.
Then we reached the first week of September and the cold and rain we had become so resigned to abruptly came to an end. Suddenly every day was warm and sunny… and we had week after week of absolutely perfect weather without any rain at all. It was like being handed two unexpected gifts… the long-hoped-for gorgeous weather and extra outdoor time.
We have been spending as much time as possible outside, and we have been working… HARD. All the gardens have been weeded, uninvited perennial “volunteers” have been moved, seed heads have been cut off, whatever needed to be trimmed has been trimmed, and a layer of bark mulch has been spread on all the garden paths. One thing that especially pleases me is that we have even had time to create another large garden for all the hosta seedlings that will need to be transplanted next spring and mulch it heavily with a thick layer of leaf mold. This garden is something I have wanted (and needed) for a very long time.
We had thought we would have to wait until next year to paint the shutters and the porch, but that job is also now done. We replaced gutters and the window glass that cracked during our last violent thunderstorm. We built a small “shed” for the recyclables and collected small pieces of pine for kindling. We have been insulating and weatherstripping and stocking up on hay for the goat and shavings for the animals’ bedding. We have moved the bird feeder to its winter location. My husband has fixed a snowblower he thought was beyond repair, and I have planted tulips and daffodils and brought in the herbs I want to keep growing inside this winter.
Despite the weather, we still had a nice summer… but we have had an absolutely amazing fall. Today the sky is a bright blue, the sun is shining, and the trees are colored so vividly, they look like they are on fire. It is colder today… actually the air feels quite crisp… but it is just the perfect weather for the pot of soup that is simmering away on the wood stove!