I'm no longer trying to get the best out of my garden, whatever that might be. It's given its all, through the chill, soggy spring that dragged on into July. And it kept going through the next-to-longest dry spell ever, and this lingering spell of September sunshine.
The hydrangeas bloomed bounteously, the strawberries and peapods produced over many weeks, the wisteria rebloomed, and the begonias and sweet peas carried on valiantly. The gunnera (left) is slowly, sensually collapsing.
I admire my neighbors ripening pears, freshly mown lawn, and tidy rows of corn and chard. But right now, I'm simply watching my garden mellow into the cooler nights, the shorter days, the effects of all these days without rain.
There will be plenty of time to cut things back and clean up once the sun no longer warms the chaise enough to read outdoors, the sweet, ripe raspberries are gone, and the frogs have left off singing away the afternoons.
The concept of wabi sabi comes from Zen Buddhism, so in its very essence is undefinable. But as autumn approaches, if we can just slow down and appreciate the garden as it is, we can feel the spirit of wabi sabi all around us. It's a love of imperfection, an acknowledgement that decline and senescence are as beautiful in their way as the flush of springtime. It's about humbleness and the rhythms of nature. It's as much about feeling and mood as about aesthetics....
A wabi sabi flower arrangment in a rough raku vase made by Whidbey artist Al Tennant. Past-their-prime artichokes, a rodgersia flower that dried on the plant, sea oat grass (Chasmanthium latifolium), and a burgundy, fluffy plume or two of pennisetum bring the ambience of autumn indoors.