(c) 2012 Trina Lambert

This year’s unusually long, dry growing season is coming to an end—yet I’m not ready to let go of the colors. Despite the early start to summer—that I could not believe in enough to plant early—and despite the rain that rarely fell, I managed to keep the color going all season long, even if our lawn’s color could not properly survive so well with such low moisture.

(c) 2012 Trina Lambert

Even though Mother Nature helped so much more during the past three summers, I could not sustain the color quite so well. Last year my body was in too much pain for me to put much care into my flowers and the two summers before I was distracted by care for my mother. My view was so inward that I was lucky to water my plants, let alone fertilize the low maintenance plants I seek out.

Even with the best of summer conditions, I am not anyone’s careful gardener. However, with just a little focus on watering, fertilizing, and pruning, the plants I choose can and do thrive—and that’s just how I maintained this summer’s riot of colors.

(c) 2012 Trina Lambert

When last week’s forecasts of snow and/or hard freezes came, I was too greedy for color to let Jack Frost take my flowering containers just yet. Knowing I’d probably lose all the flowers outside in the ground and that the covered flowers in the beds, though protected, would still lose much of their original vim and vigor, I brought inside numerous hanging planters for a little respite from our, no doubt temporary, cold temperatures.

After the sun came out again, I brought those containers back to places of outdoor prominence. And, the flowering vines that had suffered from the cold? I tore them down so as to let the color that remained not be marred by those tangled and dying vines’ proof of the looming end for summer growth.

(c) 2012 Trina Lambert

Oh, I will not miss the overly hot summer we had this year with its fires and droughts, but I will miss the colors intensified by the light from all that sunshine we received.

Even though fall is my favorite season, I hate saying goodbye to my glorious flowers. Can you blame me for prolonging their days just a little longer?