Garden Life

A garden lives a lifetime in just a year.

There’s nothing quite like the bleakness of a garden in winter. The remains of dead plants and bare earth, a dreary combination of brown and gray. Bare trees trace stark lines across the sky.

But the rebirth of spring brings green shoots and seedlings, emerging, breaking through the upper crust of soil. Bulbs bloom early color. Trees and bushes leaf out, while lilacs waft fragrance in the air.

Through summer the green explodes to cover the natural world. Apple tree blossoms have fallen, leaving swollen bulbs that promise fruit and seeds. Strawberries and asparagus give early rewards. Vegetables form thick bushes and vines in preparation for the heavy bounty to come. Corn plants shoot higher and tomatoes begin their chameleon transformation from green to red.

But autumn is the reward. Just before the dormant death of recurring winter, come the sweetest apples, the juiciest tomatoes, the squash, the last of peppers and cucumbers. Picking the last of the harvest is a game of roulette, trying to guess the first killing frost.

As autumn color fades and brown winter returns, the garden withers and dies.

To be part of a garden is to have a taste of reincarnation, as winter again lies in wait for the spring.

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