Just beyond my open window, fall is granting me another beautiful day for gardening pleasures. The day sparkles on the shiny Magnolia leaves and the air is crisp and thin. The humidity of last week is gone, and the rain has left behind its gift of softer, easier-to-dig dirt. I love fall.
The morning is beckoning me outside to play, just as it has our little Scottish Terrier. Unfortunately, Cosmo enjoys the garden as much as me. Even now, while I sit here and write, Cosmo is likely kicking up her heels for a bit of uncommisoned garden work. No doubt about it — for this is no mere dishing of dirt — terriers are scary garden terrorists. Whenever I’m not looking, Cosmo excavates some precious plant, then often decides to trim the root ball for a good chew. When she comes inside with roots hanging out of her teeth, my husband and I know its time for damage control. Usually, the uprooted victims survive as we are on constant lookout for plants sitting on the driveway.
Of course, our little terrier is only living up to her name. The word terrier derives from the Latin word terra which means “earth”; a terrier dog equals earth dog equals garden mass destruction. So in Cosmo’s defense, terriers were bred to pursue their quarry (especially badgers) all the way into their prey’s burrow. I guess she’s just practicising on my plants until a stray badger happens along.
Today I’ll be thinning the garden as well, especially all that sweet potato vine that has aggressively taken over. What was I thinking when I invited these space hogs into my tiny cottage garden? Next year I’ll know better. I will not plant sweet potato vine. And as I write these words, it reminds me of past writing of “I will not’s…” on the school blackboard. In many ways, the garden is a school as its teaches many lessons — especially in those hardest-to-learn virtues — in patience and humility.
I’ve had no need for either virtue at the fall garden close-out sales however. I’m enjoying the best fun shopping and then buying perennials at Lowes. Even Knock-Out Roses ($10 each!) and other shrubs are now half-price. Everything is reduced but trees and fall flowers. What gardener can resist such a bargain? I bought mostly for the ugly step-sister duplex next door — and today, I plan to begin excavating grass for the two new flower beds I’m installing over there. I’m so excited about this front yard makeover and all the creative play that awaits me.
I love all the gardening and fresh air and the good tired soreness that comes from working and playing hard outside all day. I love fall.