There are so many things I love about gardening. Getting out in the cool early spring to prepare the soil and sow seeds. Watching the glowing green sprouts emerge in stark contrast with the black fertile soil. Biting into the first juicy lemon cucumber.
Obviously no one can deny the pleasure and sense of accomplishment that comes in high summer. The time of year when the produce basket overflows on the way to the kitchen, when departing friends' arms are filled with extra zucchini, sun-ripened tomatoes, and bundles of kale. And the time when meals become a creative adventure using only things on hand and trips to the market are few and far between.
There is also something to be said about the end-of-summer garden. Leaning trellises from the weight of ripe produce and overgrown plants, long runner bean pods blowing in the wind, dry from the hot sun. Dying pumpkin vines that have creeped out of their beds and into every unclaimed inch of space and slowly lower their leaves. Some people (obviously not gardeners) think it looks messy; I think it looks calming. Like the empty plates and wine glasses left at a table after a delicious dinner party or the rainbow after a much needed rainstorm, this garden is a reminder of all the wonderful, soul satisfying activity that has transpired through the season and has left our minds, bodies, and souls feeling satisfied, full, and content.