Friday, September 1, 2017

When to Stop Watering a Garden in Fall

The first day of September hardly registers as fall by any official calendar. In New England, however, an early morning walk on a day like today is able to surprise. A long-sleeve shirt can feel not quite enough when the walk goes past a first half hour.

The sidewalk in front of more than one house was still wet from early sprinklers this morning. No high arcs of water to walk around and avoid at seven o’clock, I was able to slow down near borders of perennials. The open faces of the newest blossoms reached up, still wet.

The trees on either side of the street were summer-full, thick and leafy. The air beneath where their branches met was shadowy and moist.

There was no doubting that summer had done well by the gardens down this street. No doubting, either, that the seasons were moving forward. Such walks a month or two down the line might require a first donning of flannel and corduroy. The borders of perennials will start wearing winey hues.

At some point homeowners down this street will discontinue the early morning sprinklers. We will all of us resort to an alternate wisdom about what growth requires. We will grow into that wisdom.

When do we do things differently?

How will we know when to stop watering our gardens in the fall?

When do we start living differently?

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