gwg: fall part one

GWG Prompt #12: Describe fall in your garden in 5 to 10 words.

Didn’t take off as planned but flourished in unexpected ways.


It’s been a while since I felt like writing and I have a lot to wrap up. It’s good to look back on what’s happened all season now that it’s coming to an end, and I’m already starting to think about next season. I felt the need to compare my last two yards and the past few seasons throughout this GWG experience because both were so different. I learned a lot from this new space.

I haven’t posted on the last few GWG prompts, but that’s not because I wasn’t into them or that I didn’t have anything to write about. I just haven’t been in the mood for blogging and have been waiting until it felt right. I’ve been spending my afternoons gardening and writing in my seasonal record, a paper gardening journal, and I’ve been waiting to share. So while I was planning on posting a few separate, specific posts these just all came out at once. They sort of blend into each other and I think it works better than trying to cut them up. I did split them into a few parts because it was a lot to read in one sitting. This post begins to address the prompt for GWG #13 along with some of my own agenda. There’s even a bit of #11, which I get into more in Part 2. The garden will almost come to a complete stop by the end of the month. I hope this fills that void for you before it picks back up in the spring. I will continue to write and post pictures, especially because I have so much I didn’t share from this past season. In other words, keep tuning in.

2012-10-20 15.04.05

I love fall. It’s always been my favorite season and it’s particularly beautiful in the Kettle Moraine of Wisconsin. Still, the winters come fast and hard, stunting the beauty too quickly. We basically have September and October, and maybe some of November if we are lucky. Winters here are harsh and often feel never ending when you’re in the thick of it. They generally last from November to February, with a few rear ups in March. Last year was rough. I started worrying about winter early and was dreading it. The spring was cold and wet, and barely warmed at all until June. This year I feel much lighter about it. I’m enjoying fall and while hoping it will last (especially because of how long it took before the warmth of spring broke) I’m not dreading winter as much as I have in the past. Some of this contentment may be because I had a pretty successful growing season and though I didn’t get all I was hoping for I felt like I did a lot, and I did my best.

The previous late spring and early summer I had my wedding and honeymoon, and those took priority over gardening. In spite of this I started quite a bit of seed, even with a DIY intensive Memorial Day wedding. I tried to maintain it before leaving for our honeymoon but most of the tiny seedlings got too cold from being set out early or grew mold/became too lanky from being damp and the darkness of our old place. We were gone for most of June and suddenly a major heat wave set in. Though I had someone watching the garden for me it was just too hot and dry for much to do well. I felt like it was squeezed out before it ever got a chance.  Then, as quickly as the heat wave broke, it was time to start moving.

This year was different. I had a new yard, a ton of space, a handful of healthy perennials already in place, and a solid beginning on seeds inside in early spring. Plus there was plenty of southern light from the skylights, giving it all a healthy head start. When I was gone for another month after our anniversary I lost a lot, including all of my salad greens. Even though a new person was watching the garden for me they had completely forgotten about the balcony, which had a lot of water-hungry plants including all of my cucumbers. I was able to recover quite a bit and still had many succulents that thrived in the dryness. Luckily the plants in the yard were doing pretty well in spite of the lack of water and full sun. There wasn’t a heat wave then, not like last year and not like the few spurts we had after we got home.

This season it feels less like an end and more like a redirection. Now I’m moving toward what I can keep going inside and understand that I need to let a lot go in the yard. It’s just a new phase rather than a complete ending. I know cycles need an end in order to begin again, and thinking negatively about this inevitability will frustrate me for nothing. Instead I like to be hopeful for what will happen next time around.


Click here to continue on to GWG: Fall Part Two


One comment

  1. […] Part Two of the Fall GWG piece (started here). This continues my response to prompt #13 and some of #11. When the harvest prompt came out I was […]

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