August is a very rewarding time in my garden. The tomatoes, yellow squash, cosmos, and zinnias are rolling in, the weeds have slowed down, and the little pumpkins that seemed so reluctant to emerge are finally showing themselves.
Diseases have been dealt with, win or lose, and by the end of the month – now – anything that wants to die can go right ahead. Too late to agonize. I really never understood the “we made it!” joy of harvest festivals until I started growing food.
We had a big, windy storm a few days ago, which knocked my tall flowers over. Sunny days followed, and the cosmos needed only one day’s sunshine to right themselves to a jaunty angle. They nod gracefully in my flower arrangements.
The cosmos and zinnias are beautiful in the garden, but the reason I grow them is to make my flower arrangements.
There’s a Dutch tradition of flower paintings in which the brief lives of blossoms are meant as a reminder of mortality.
But to me zinnias and cosmos in September, budding even to the last morning before frost, are signposts of strength and beauty persisting into age. Fear not, and persevere.