Fall is falling now. The giant lovely maple beside the street is slowly letting go of its near 100,000 leaves. The hosta are curling up and getting brown. But the weather is warm this week, and so I had better do a token hour or two. First time in two or three weeks. Maybe more.
So on Saturday I went to shul and then came home to break the sabbath for two hours. First I pull up the sunflowers. They toppled over some time ago, from the squirrels climbing up to filch their seeds. They get close to the top and their weight is too much for the stalk which then crimps and folds. Sad sight.
Then it is the overgrown parsley which is crowding the rosemary. Various weeds had invaded, so that I barely see the one red leaf lettuce trying to bolt. Thank goodness we planted lots of pansies along the edge, but even they are getting louche and lazy now.
My asparagus is not yet brown, but when it does - off with their heads. Right now they look like a really ratty patch. On the other end of the bed my alpine strawberries are looking decent, but I am not sure I am willing to do all the work required for more than a few berries. But none of my non human neighbors like them, so the small crop I get from indolence is all mine. All I did was plant them. Very cool.
Some days ago a great wind sent dozens of green tennis balls, walnuts I think, from the tree next door. The squirrels have pried them open and left the debris all over the lawn. What slobs! I rake them up, along with the uprooted sunflowers, black eyed susans, milkweeds and other unwanted but eager squatters I have plucked. Then it is time to cut down the woody stalks of the hosta, asiatic lilies. My arms ached from raking them over the the side of the garage.
This morning I fought the ivy that grows through the fence from my neighbor, pulled down some other creeper that is crawling up my garage - AGAIN! Over ripe tomatoes squish underfoot. My two tomato plants keep on growing. They are so thick that fruit hides under the vines. That sounds like a shame, except that I cannot consume them fast enough. I have given away more than half of the crop. What fun that was.
A few more hosta stalks, a hair cut for the vinca and the lemon lily leaves, and I am done. I could do more, but as I said before, this is a relationship with other living things. When cutting the aim is not control but compromise. Holding it like my hair cutter does my own locks, the shears only trim. Trying for presentable not perfection.
When the frost comes the tomato will die back and I'll call the local dump truck guy to haul all of it to the town compost pile. Yes, I should do it myself. But as a lazy gardener that is simply one step too far.