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?