The smell of wood smoke hung heavy in the country air this weekend. In the mornings, especially, the sweet smoky fragrance drifted by on the gentle breeze, reminding everyone that it was time to stock up on firewood if we intend to keep warm this winter. Thirty-eight degrees at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning when I first awoke was actually a welcome respite from the 80’s that we experienced earlier in the week. I did have the good sense to go back to bed, mind you.

The chill in the air really makes me want to get out and garden! I know that probably seems backwards to some, but it’s time to finish (or start!) all of those tasks that it has just been too damned hot to do for the past several months–like getting into that corner of the garden that “got away” this year and is now 5-feet-high in things that have seeded in, taken over and are threatening to strangle a few very desirable plants. Out, cosmos! Out, zinnias! OUT, cleome! And even the Verbena bonariensis has become a cotton-pickin’ pest! Out, out, out!

It will all reseed and be back next year with renewed vigor, anyway.

Next year, though, I’m starting early. No feeling sorry for little seedlings that appear in unwanted locales. They’re out, desirable or not. A weed is simply a plant that is growing in the wrong place, right? Famous last words.

For now, though, this cooler weather has my gardening gears turning at full speed. Time to get plants in the ground, trees and shrubs, especially. And heaven knows all of these poor little plants that I have, who have so patiently waited for 4 years for a permanent home, deserve to finally have their roots in real soil! Oh, it won’t all happen at once. As with any garden, this one will be a work in progress. But these nice cool, sunny days sure do make it easier to get out there and really go at it full bore and not feel like you’re going to pass out 30 minutes into the task.

There are a lot of weeds yet to pull, garden spaces to clear, paths to lay, soil to condition, holes to dig and visions to turn into reality, but isn’t that always the way of the garden? It has been for me. I have an impatient friend who asks, “When is the garden going to be finished?” My reply? “Never, if I’m lucky!”

Happy gardening, my friends, until next time.