Posted on Sep 10, 2015 4:17 PM
"When the Goldenrod blooms, it'll tell ya two things," she said. "There'll be first frost six weeks from time of th' blooms, and it's time t' start savin' for your wintertime tea."
So today, the Goldenrod blooms. And blooms. And blooms.
"Allus save a spot, for 'em, an' let that spot grow over, 'cause no matter what grows there in Spring or in Summer, if ya leave it alone for Fall an' don't mess with Nature, them Goldenrods'll allus find it. An' Goldenrods'll give you a show and th' butterflies and bees they'll have a last fling, and th' birds'll have a little shelter, too. So jus' let it grow."
"Jus' save you some leaves and a few of th' blooms and let 'em all dry together. When you get a cold or get to sneezin', or if your throat gets sore, then simmer you some o' them dried leaves 'n blooms in a pot of water, let it set awhile, strain it into a cup and add a little honey. That'll stop a cold or sore throat right in its tracks and th' dried leaves'll keep all Winter long. Don't be forgettin' what I'm tellin' you, Chile, don't be forgettin."
Aunt Bett taught me to stand still, listen and look up, too, for signs of Fall above me. She said the leaves would change in the blink of an eye, and the sky would change too. The leaves will chatter and rustle and dance in the breeze, she told me, and the sky is dark blue and light blue all at the same time, "them's th' signs of Fall." I reckon she was right about that too. I listened today as I stood still and the cottonwood was loudest, but then it's oldest and biggest, so I guess that's just the hierarchy of trees and maybe people too. I fell a little short of that I reckon, except maybe the loud part.
There are a few other blooms as well, the Sedum is happy, so is the Rose of Sharon, the one that has an identity problem.
This Summer was off to a rough start; I couldn't garden the way I usually do. Couldn't fight the weeds. Couldn't control the mint. Lost a bunch of roses. The yard guys chopped down a new Hydrangea, not to mention my favorite Hosta and a few Ferns. My Magnolia died a slow death. The Raintree didn't even bother to make an attempt to survive. It was depressing.
But I have to remember the Irises were gorgeous just as the Daylilies were, and the trees that Winter didn't bother have grown and grown and grown. In the midst of all the grumbling, I've had time to remember little things. Things about the Goldenrod, things about the sky color.
And the Caladiums, oh my what a gorgeous show they've given me. And looking at the new Black Diamond Crimson Red Crepe Myrtle that sits beside one beautiful mixed pot of Caladiums, I can see the ever changing color of the sky seems to reflect in all that grows beneath it. Notice the look of blue. I think I just needed to slow down for awhile, to look up, to listen, to glance down . . . and to remember.
I want to remember this date. Aunt Bett said there will be frost 6 weeks from the full bloom of the Goldenrods. Let's wait and see.