Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It’s my annual “where did summer go?”post…

There are many people who consider Labor Day the end of summer. For the technically minded summer “officially” ended last Friday, the 23rd. But just like all good things I try to stretch it out as long as possible…sure I’ve seen the sweaters in the stores (I’ve even fondled a couple of them), noticed the leaves starting to turn (it’s amazing what a couple of cool nights can do). And there is no denying the fact that the daylight hours are rapidly shrinking. But the big ol’ fall slap in the face for me is the changing of the calendar. While September can still sound vaguely summer-ish October is full on fall. Summer is over; even I have to admit it. Where did it go? It was literally just yesterday that we were taking down the cover on the shade pavilion/”greenhouse,” now it’s almost time to put it back up again and haul the tender plants into the house. No more sunny afternoons spent lounging in the garden. No more stepping out the back door to grab ingredients for dinner. And no more dinner on the patio. Why are June, July, August and September the shortest months? Why does the single month of January seem twice as long? When talking about our climate and I hear people say “we can garden year round!” I find myself stifling a laugh. Sure October is still fine weather for being outdoors. And come March I’m out there ever second I can be (usually soaked to the bone). But who in their right mind wants to garden in Portland in January? Not me. Subsequent dreaded milestones include the end of Daylight Savings Time (November 6th) and the killing frost (hopefully to occur AFTER the end of DST). Oh and I’m hearing talk of another cold wet winter, joy. I’ve already got the February dates of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and the Yard Garden & Patio Show on my calendar. Maybe we can just skip January this year?


  1. I soooo understand! I have had an unreal amount of anxiety. I find myself randomly with outbursts of defeat, "I just can't do it!" The worst is when the summer haters start rejoicing over the return of fall. If fall was it, then I would be okay. It's the knowledge of winter lurking in the distance and as you said, the dread january!! (I literally just heard twighlight zone tower of terror music in my head). If it makes you feel any better I choose not to believe in any la nina cold winter predictions. I'm going for complete denial!

    That being said, your garden looks amazing!!!!! its bitter sweet that way at this time of year

  2. Hello,

    I have been reading you blog for the last couple of weeks and really admire the quality of your plants/design/blogging.

    As for "where did summer go?" well over here in Scotland summer finishes at the end of July/beginning of August in my opinion!



  3. Too bad you don't own "Danger Hydrologic Engineering". You could at least get rich in the gloom, while selling us water down here and esp Texas.

    I'm glad we can enjoy others' gardens and weather. For your weekly sunlight requirements, keep watching down here!

  4. I just wonder how much lounging you actually do. Not much I bet. You may lament summer's passing but we would be happy for it to go away . As I didn't follow your blog until this year it will be interesting to see it in another season.

  5. hey negative nelly.

    winter is way better for hardscaping. heavy lifting. hauling. trimming trees. rocks and paths. and obviously, moving plants... well fall and spring for that.

    if you have been doing that in the summer. oh boy. you are crazy.

    also, oregano. kale. beets. cabbage. mustard greens. broccoli, onion greens. etc etc. you can eat all winter in portland most years.

  6. NOOO! It's not true. Even though it may be 38 degrees here tonight (brr,) it can't be! Have to admit that I enjoy autumn but, like you and Louis, dread the January - March business. Have we moved to a warmer climate yet?

  7. I cheer myself up , by thinking of Hacquetia blooming for the first time in spring...

  8. I feel your pain... I've been watching autumn creep in for the last couple days. Today's morning air felt like autumns brother, winter.. To think the entire garden will be sleeping in only 30 days. Everything is so lush and full right now, I'm giving it two weeks and then all the tenders are getting tucked in. Best of luck with the autumn garden shutdown...

  9. Lots of work ahead for you keeping those plants alive through the winter...I do sympathize.

    Here winter is the prime garden season for working, (not looking). Summer is strictly for watering and staying out of the sun.

  10. Summer always seems to fly away so quick, and as you said lo and behold it's time to haul tender plants under cover again.

    At least you only saw some sweaters for sale already, in here I've seen a couple of shops putting christmas decoration already (no that's annoying!). I think you can still dine out for a little while more before the cold sets in.

    The garden still looks fab btw, and in peak :)

  11. Our coldest months are January and February, typically. I do not like very cold temps either. You have some amazing foliage photos you can drool over during the colder months.

  12. Oh, Loree, you're singing my theme song but phrasing it much more attractively than my whining self. Today is gorgeous, and as I look out on the Tetrapanax and the Meliathus major in full glory, I shudder to think what that spot will look like by the end of October - let alone during the dreaded month of January.

  13. Ironically, it is February that seems longest to me. I plan to revisit this post mid-Feb to cheer myself up.

  14. Louis, exactly...fall itself is actually sort of enjoyable, but it's what comes next that is the real downer! I wish I were able to separate the two.

    Adam D, thank you...and I'm sorry! That sounds horrible. Does it start early?

    DD, I would be rich! And I plan on partaking of lots of garden voyeurism over the next several months.

    Lancashire Rose, actually I do a fair amount of lounging...not always on the lounge chair but I'm frequently at the table, often with the laptop but still enjoying the garden. And of course there are lots of hours spent at the table with friends...the best garden lounging there is! As for you wishing away summer...if I had to endure what you've been putting up with I think I would too!

    eeldip, okay...I deserved that! I understand about "hardscaping. heavy lifting. hauling. trimming trees. rocks and paths. and obviously, moving plants"...but I'm not planning on doing any of that. I just want to be outside, enjoying my garden! Perhaps I'll investigate a winter crop, maybe it's just want the doctor ordered.

    Peter, 38 degrees!!!!!!!!!! WHAT? That's horrible!

    Linda, okay I'll take your example and try and find my happy get me through.

    Nat, and good luck to you too!

    Hoover, I look forward to lots of your wonderful sunny posts to help get me through the cold wet months.

    Mark and Gaz, today, Thursday, it's 82, sunny and other words heaven! But next week the forecast is for highs in the low 60's and rain and wind. Not my kind of dining outside weather...perhaps there's another sunny dry day or three to be had, but not in the current forecast :(

    Darla, truth be told I thought about that as I was taking the pictures...being able to look back and see it was once lush and sunny. It's so hard sometimes to remember that!

    MulchMaid, oh god we do think alike...I've been paying both of those plants extra attention lately!

    ricki, I think because February has the two garden shows it helps me cheer up. January on the other hand...nothing!

  15. We're on opposite schedules, Loree. As Rock Rose pointed out, we're panting with eagerness (and heat exhaustion) for summer to end down here in Texas. I well know your seasonal dread; mine occurs in May, with the approach of summer. Hang in there! And plan a visit down south for March.


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