I love fall, but it is a little hard for me to say goodbye to summer this year since I enjoyed it so much thanks to cultivating my first flower-cutting garden.
Here are a few things I am doing for the equinox — inspired by nature, nurture and nesting — to get into the sweater-weather swing:
Chopping down my sunflower bed. I did this yesterday. I cut down all of my sunflower stalks and used them for mulch on top of the bed in preparation for next year’s bed. I will continue adding organic matter to the bed over the next month or so and then top it off with cardboard, newspaper and brown paper so it can restore the soil without chemicals. Do you have things to chop down, dispose of or eliminate? Now is the time.
Setting intentions. Pull out a journal or a piece of paper and a writing implement. Without overthinking, jot down your top goals for the next three months. Aim for ten, but however many is good enough. You can either keep this list or let it go by burning it or tearing it up and flushing it. I will keep my list in my journal. Here is the pad I use for my written journal. I like that the back is stiff so I can write anywhere and I like to flip my pages over the top of the pad rather than flipping pages to the side. Do you have a journal on hand? Choose the one that works for you.
Listening to George Winston’s Autumn. I never listen to George Winston’s music out of season, so it always feels like fall when I turn this album on. Check Spotify or whatever music app you use to sample it or check out the album here.
Putting away summer items. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, this does not apply to clothing just yet. But there are plenty of items around the house I can switch out to put away summer and prepare for fall: kitchen linens, hand soaps, room sprays, candles and decor. It’s time to put the sunscreen away and get out the umbrellas!
Enjoying seasonal foods and drinks. Apple cider. Oregon Chai tea. Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can even make your own! Giant apples. Apple crisp. Pomegranates. Persimmons. Grapes. Figs. Casseroles. Soups. Stews. Squash. Curries. Pumpkin-flavored everything — like Burgerville’s Pumpkin Shake (in October) and whatever Salt & Straw has going. Pie!
Planting hardy annuals. The easiest way to create a spring flower-cutting garden is to plant hardy annual flowers now. I like to use seeds from Botanical Interests but you can use whatever seed supplier you like. Here’s what I’m planting: Bachelor Buttons, Columbine, Cosmos, Calendula, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupine, Milkweed, Poppies, Rudbeckia, Violas / Pansies. This is also a good time to plant perennials that will strut their stuff next year. Plant this collection of seeds if you want to give a spring cutting garden a whirl for a low investment. Use a garden bed you already have or create a new bed just for cutting flowers. Check out this Cool Flowers book on planting hardy annuals, if you want to learn more.
Decorating indoors and out. I love to create seasonal displays on the hutch that is facing our front door. Chinese Lanterns are usually the star of my indoor fall decor (and you can find them in my Etsy shop). I also hang baskets of gourds on the porch and purchase inexpensive pumpkins at Al’s Garden Center.
Noticing change. Sometimes the best way to celebrate a shift in seasons is simply to notice the sensory changes as they happen. Mornings are cooler. Days are more wet. Evenings are spookier. It’s all part of the process. When we remember that nature is a cycle, it reminds us that we are part of the greater whole, as well.
We are nature. Take a moment to pause, notice the changes, and let the moment center you.
See ya, summer. I love fall.