I’m not going to sugarcoat it, the garden is fading fast.  Sure, there’s crisp fall air to appreciate if you must.  Autumn is my favorite season, and particularly this year I’m excited about an upcoming trip to London and Scotland.  But this year summer ended abruptly with two events changing the backyard paradise I worked all spring for.

The first affront to summer was having the roof done.  A new roof is a lovely thing indeed, but the damage done to the summer garden was catastrophic.  Some of it was my own doing of course – strategic weed wacker work through the faded bee balm and daisies to carve a path for the inevitable tarps and plywood needed to catch the roof debris.  But alas, a few prized perennials caught errant shingles as well.  The garden will rebound next year, but it may hold a grudge.

Second, the pool is covered over for winter weeks earlier than normal.  I can hear the condensation drips splashing into the pool now, saying “What happened to the sky?” while frogs circle the perimeter wondering where the trendy amphibious nightclub went.  I expect I’ve ruined a lot of frog dates closing shop so early.  Sorry frogs.  Not seeing the water hurts me too, but not as much as watching acorns ricochet off the deck, bounce across the patio and splash into the pool to serve as beach balls for coy frog daters.  Autumn is called fall for a reason, and we’ve got some serious fall happening.  Something had to give and this year it was pool season.

So what we’re left with is a few survivors dancing in the garden, faded potted tropicals wondering where they went wrong in life, and the extraordinary Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ standing proudly amongst the destruction in the garden; a miracle of color in an otherwise sad garden.  Even the roofers seemed to be rooting for it, and I appreciate their protective efforts as so many of her neighbors fell.

So here we are.  Autumn in New Hampshire.  A bit different this year, but autumn nonetheless. September eases you into it, with apples and pumpkins and outdoor evening fires.  October will bring the foliage and then the leaves grudgingly join the acorns scattered throughout the yard (there’s no walking barefoot at night in September when you have oak trees).  Autumn joy indeed.