It’s cloudy, drizzly and 50 degrees out today. I love working outside in this weather, especially in the fall. What’s not to like about damp fall weather like this? Days like today remind us that one function of an ageless garden is contemplation and a pause for the pleasure a garden gives us.
The vertical lines in the pergola posts, tree trunks, and porch columns say, “Look upward.”
As leaves stop clutching the trees, the canopy opens.
Colors are softer, whispering to catch your attention, rather than shouting. The silvery greys, green-greys, and blue-greys of woody lilies like agaves and drought-adapted shrubs are subtly striking components of the day against the sky. The garden provided a sense of enclosure all summer, and it’s now departing. The wild blue yonder is hazy today, not azure, but the sky is almost touchable.
With the leaves gone, the rust-colored branches of the Mexican plum in my garden are clear. It’s easy to visualize what the new shape of the tree should be and how the branches will arch and spread in contrast to earth's ceiling. Small projects like this – a bit of clean-up where the mesquite stump is re-sprouting, a bit of bone meal fertilizer spread for the Spanish bluebells – can be done in humble blocks of time, what my mother called “puttering.”
When the weather encourages you to accomplish a task more slowly, you can stop to warm up with a cup of tea and allow yourself an interlude of daydreaming. Why not daydream about the sky on a day like today?
Memories of other places and their views of the sky
Maybe you have some memories similar to the ones shown in this week’s blog photos. These memories are perfect for contemplation.
What do you remember about the sense of sky in those places?
- An open vista to hills or mountains that encourages your eyes to rise
- Land’s edge, where the higher contrast of earth and sky becomes the indistinct connection of water with the atmosphere
- A precious glimpse of the heavens preserved by trim rooflines
Ask yourself how you might add aspects of those places to your garden. As you think about those places, your brain is engaged in the task of building new neural pathways and strengthening the existing ones. These cloudy, misty days in whatever season spent in your Elderyarding(R) garden can release stress, support enjoyment, and, yes, keep your brain healthy.
Ready for help to add memories to your garden? Second Summer can help. Call or email me.