I am one of the lucky people living in a temperate zone, where the tree leaves turn every shade of fall. I remember a time when the fall used to come in September, when the leaves started to turn. I had plenty of time to watch them getting yellow, red and brown, then falling down and making a beautiful carpet of leaves. But lately I barely have time to see the colorful leaves, before everything gets white and freezing. Is it that I don't have time anymore or is fall hurrying to do its number and leave before winter comes? I think both!
As much as I would like summer to last all year long, fall will still come sooner or later. However, in the last few years, fall has come increasingly later, which is good for the garden, especially for the vegetables, giving them more time to grow and ripen. But less time makes me hurry to finish all the gardening fall work and at the same time, it prevents me from having time to admire the stunning view of the trees turning.
This fall, more than any other before, I had lots of vegetables in the garden ripening all the way up until late October. That would have been unbelievable just a few years ago! But yes, it was October 28th when I harvested the last of the vegetables from my garden. First frost was on November 1, very unusual for us! But the most unusual aspect was the high temperatures we had in October - too high for this time of year - which allowed more of my tomatoes and peppers to grow and ripe. I had already harvested and canned a batch of green tomatoes when the temperatures started to drop. I was thinking that it was the end of the season, but I was wrong. Lots of small green tomatoes and peppers that I left in the garden to grow and ripen - just in case -, actually did grow and ripen until the first frost. I have been watching the news everyday to see when would be the best time to pick up everything from the garden and did that a day before the first frost. I'm happy I was careful because otherwise I would have lost some good vegetables for which I worked very hard all summer.
November came with foggy mornings and the long-awaited moisture, which we all missed all this hot summer long. Even if the temperatures rose up again during the day, nights were very cold, telling me that winter was close. Since I was done with canning the vegetables, I started to clean the garden and dig. Snow is forecasted for the end of November, so I had better hurry if I want to have the garden ready for sowing in spring. In the meantime, while driving to work and back home and waiting for the traffic lights, I realized that the trees were starting to turn. Yellow at first - mostly the lindens -, then after a week I saw that oaks and maples had red and orange leaves. After a few days, on one rainy day with strong wind, the linden leaves were falling - already? I didn't have time to go for a walk in the park to see the colored leaves, but maybe a trip to the supermarket would have been just as good. They have lots of maples, oaks, cotoneasters, firethorns, gold flame spireas, planted along the driveways and parking lots. I didn't notice them until last year, (maybe because they were still young and not so noticeable) when the colorful view of the trees turning caught my eye. They were astonishing!
I secretly planned a special photo-session while going grocery shopping, but I had to go alone - you know men aren't too excited when they have to wait for us, especially when shopping and taking pictures! Opportunity came up soon and I had a blast, both shopping and taking pictures. It took me more than three hours, but it was worth it. I came home with no money and a dead battery on my camera, but happy that I had a grand tour of the wonderful fall show from the supermarket. Had I been one day late, the leaves wouldn't have been there anymore.
A year from now, I will find myself in the same situation, on the run, with no time to admire fall's beauty. Fall, can you please slow down a bit?
About Adina Dosan
I'm a Romanian plants and pets addicted, always happy to share my experience.