The sunlight softens the shadows of sunflower stalks and the leaves swirling in the street sing a song of fall.  Oh yeah and I’m not sweating.

Ahhh…Autumn.

Confession #2: I have neglected my garden for the past several months.

Oh, I’ve wandered around my garden paths and spoken to the hummingbirds and bees about the blooms they’ve visited all summer. I’ve made sure my plants had water (I have drips and timers). And I’ve spoken to the phlox and lion’s tail and told them how much I appreciate their late summer flowers. So you can see… it’s not complete neglect.

but…

I haven’t weeded much and that stupid weed that winds itself up and into anything it can and then gets powdery mildew just to spite you is everywhere in my garden. This weed has a stranglehold on my Echinacea, white sage, lavender…you get the picture. You know this weed too? The root goes down to the earth’s magma and so it’s almost impossible to completely eradicate it.

I haven’t deadheaded either. Sometimes I don’t deadhead on purpose so the birds can eat the seeds and also I like it when plants reseed-it saves me time. But as I look around my back yard, I realize my veronica and vervain are begging me to find my clippers. Their blooms are gone and they want me to cut them back so they can rest for the winter. So I’m off to find one of the five pairs of clippers I own. Another confession which I will address at a later date is that I don’t put my tools away and so it takes me a while to locate what I’m looking for. That’s why I like to have five or six of every kind of garden tool I use.

Only ten minutes later and I have my sharpest pair of shears. As I prune the hyssop, I tell her how beautiful she was this summer with her azure flowers and that I know she’ll be even lovelier next year when she’s two. And the bees, I say to her, will visit you all the more.  Flower Floozies give pep talks to our flowers. Regular people might do it too but they may not admit publically to this behavior.

The afternoon feels warm on my skin and as I prune and snip and pull the weeds in my way and around my plants, I apologize  and tell my plants I’ll try and be a more attentive gardener next year.

Flower Floozies are ever hopeful, and we mean to do everything we set out to do and in our minds, not one project goes unfinished.  The new planter beds get built. The trees get pruned to a manageable height, and every single plant that was purchased last year finally gets a new spot in the garden.

And now that it’s Fall…  I will pull every single weed in my garden or pour boiling water on them- my latest attempt to get rid of the weeds that plague my life.  After I make a pot of noodles or steam some veges, I take the strainer outside and empty the pot over a patch of weeds.  I highly suggest this form of weeding for the satisfaction factor.  I love to begin my day by going outside and gloating at the boiled weeds the next morning all brown and withered. It makes me smile.

So now that it’s Fall…  I will prune back all the plants that ask me for a haircut. I’ll harvest my dill and fennel seeds. I’ll gather my lemon grass and lemon verbena for teas this winter. I will do it all or at least in my mind I will.

                In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.

                                                                                          Alice Walker