Late Summer Rush

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The end of summer is calling. Last-minute trips, squeezing in all the warm weather memories. An entirely different hustle and bustle as relaxing garden nights shift into “the last one is a rotten egg” race towards the evening activity. Events have been strung together one after another like daisies on a chain. 

The pressure to get in every last drop of summer is reaching all members of my family, especially those of us who have the impending doom of school hanging over our heads. With school as our approaching deadline, my family has packed up and taken off to Eastern Oregon for some last chance bonding before we all drift off to our designated jobs and education. I have been “working remote” this past week from our family vacation. 

Working remote, of course, looks a little different for everyone. My version of working remotely is rising just a little earlier (technically later, just earlier than everyone else in the house) and completing online work before the rest of the party rises. Believe it or not, we have already begun thinking about The Garden Corner’s idea for next summer. 

There are some similarities to working in the store. I am still typing away side by side with my father as he edits next week’s video, and we are both situated outside with the morning rays. The key similarity is we both have our designated cups of energy, mine coffee and his hot chocolate, the main essentials for survival. 

The most noticeable difference is our view. Wispy aspen trees flutter in the wind, and a scatter of twiggy tree debris coats the ground like a soft blanket. It carries a strong feeling of living in the wild without having to give up any of life’s luxuries. Rather than sharing our coffee with our fellow garden rebels, we find ourselves distracted by the local wildlife, a combination of the deer and my sister with her bedhead. 

I find myself admiring the raw nature of this space, so different from my garden at home. The “wild” I experience at home is a battle with weeds and watering schedules with a rare sighting of a neighborhood cat for wildlife. The house we are staying at happens to be the only one with any hint of landscaping in the area. 

I say landscaping, but there are simply a few extra plants added around the house. Beautiful tall Karl Foerster, or ​​Calamagrostis acutiflora, to be exact, and Shasta daisies border the front porch, simultaneously providing a fresh view as well as a hint of privacy. These blooms fit the personality of the long wood porch and frame the bright red door with an artistic touch.

 This combination of purposeful planting and natural beauty is noticeable and provides a distinguishing yard and a refreshing change of view. It is the balance I strive for in my future yard plans. 

With this inspiration in mind, I return home with a new sense of purpose. I watch out the window as we travel through many different versions of wilderness – the blues and reds of the desert blend into deeper green and brown hues. Eventually, additional colors are added as pinks, yellows, and purples are speckled into the landscapes. When we reached home, all of the colors felt so bright. The same plants look different. There is a younger, greener feel to our part of the woods. 

My garden has shifted from green produce to various yellows, oranges, and reds. Despite my prior despair, my tomatoes have finally decided to push through and provide a bountiful crop. All of this joy and refreshing welcome is also a reminder. If your garden has not informed you, summer days are wrapping up, and fall is starting to blow in. I know it feels as if the sunny season just started, but this is your last chance to fit in all those fun summer activities. Your yard is not quite ready for fall, and I know some of your local stores may think otherwise. Take this opportunity to complete those last summer checklist items, and wait patiently for fall to arrive on its schedule.