The End of Flowers

We left our house this weekend for a fall tradition – returning to our alma mater for a football game – the fall and summer landscaping rivaled each other for beauty, and when we returned the whispered frost of fall had choked the annuals.  They had shrunk in size.  The vibrant green leaves, now dark, almost black.  The bright blooms were shriveled and colorless.

Last spring, my husband and I dug, planned, and planted new landscaping.  Beyond many people’s doubts, the landscaping turned out wonderfully.  It looked according the way I had hope, and it was a pleasure to pull up to our house each day.  As summer progressed, the annual flowers which made the new border flourished.  They doubled in size.  They grew bigger than the perennial hosta plants they surrounded.  They tripled in size.  They extended above the paver stone edge.  The bushes started to grow in size.  The neighbors started to notice.  We were were so happy as we watered and pulled weeds and cared for the flowers each day.

Then, the end of summer approached. The time to enjoy the flowers and spend time with the flowers went away, and the calendar marked the end of summer.  Being who I am, I pulled out the fall decoration boxes.  I was excited to put up the glittered pumpkins and the leaf wreath and garland.  Yet the temperature remained summer-like and the flowers grew even larger.  I found some time and made mums adorn the front porch and wrapped corn stalks around the pillars.  Eventually, the lighted pumpkins and scarecrow joined the vibrant pink annuals in our front yard. Now, as we pull up to our house, a small smile appears on my face and a soft giggle escapes.  My landscaping is now two-seasons of specialty.  The maroon, orange, and yellow of fall with the hot pinks, bright pinks, and purples of summer.

We pulled in after our fall weekend and suddenly fall looked less appealing.  The cornstalks no longer glowed with warmth, standing as protection over the diminutive annuals.  The flowers withered, and now I wanted the flowers.  I cared for the flowers, I enjoyed the flowers, but then I wished the flowers gone.  Only now, I dig, and they leave and I’m sad as the leaves surround me and the cold air gathers around my neck.