Lay Down Your Weary Trowel

Peach Chairs

Aaah. Summer’s end. Time for that final dip in the pool, walk on the beach, drink on the deck. Bittersweet, perhaps, but there’s something pleasurable about reaching the end of the row, the turn in the road, the fresh new page.

Labor Day is a freestyle holiday, relatively new as holidays go. Its traditions were never set in stone. It’s more of a do-your-own-thing kind of affair, which seems quintessentially American to me.

While the original concept back in the 1880s seems to have been grounded in some sort of political maneuvering to keep restless workers and labor movements from getting out of control, the modern holiday has succumbed to the default state of so many of our so-called holidays. It’s another marketing opportunity.

However, for those of us who garden, Labor Day marks the beginning of the end and the end of some beginnings. Autumn labors are of a different stripe than the joyful, optimism of spring planting or the fretful battles of summer against bugs, blights and drought. The harvest season looms.

This year I said goodbye to my garden in Seattle. As yet I don’t know where my next garden will be. But in the interim I have found peace and pleasure admiring the gardens in D.C. It’s an international community here, and that’s reflected in the gardens.

Whether they grow vegetables or flowers or herbs or fruits, all gardeners speak the same language. They get it.

Earth comes first. Always has, always will. If we take care of it, it will take care of us.

Garden Talisman