The day is very sunny and warm...it's the day I have been waiting for. After doing some things in the house (I'm getting tired already) I head for the garage and get my supplies. I really want to get this done, so I don't take the camera with me. There are enough pictures on blogs of what things look like right now. I sort of dread this job every year...I know that I will be dog tired when I finally come in. I will probably have some aches and pains and will need ice or a heating pad, but if I want to keep gardening...I have to do this job each fall. It's just a part of gardening..so I may as well head out. Once I get out there...I find that it's not so bad after all. I work around the house and just tug at the hosta leaves and they "give" easily. I decide to leave the lilies on the side of the house. They are all tucked in with leaves and looked so neat and tidy. The leaves will mulch them and they will be easy to clean up in the spring. My lawn cart is filled and I need to go to the compost pile in the woods. As I trug along, things start falling out of the barrow. I take off my striped denim jacket and toss it over the heap. This jacket serves several purposes in my gardening day. Now it is used for a tarp. As I was coming back up to the house, I was thinking that just 7 months ago...I was planning and planting. Things were green and perky and starting to bloom. Here we are in Nov. and everything is in shades of brown and limp on the ground. I used to think that this part of gardening was the least attractive, but now when reading blogs and seeing beautiful pictures, I see that there is beauty in the decaying garden. It is something for me to look for right now...beauty. I pick up a few things for my art projects this winter. My big pockets are getting full. The denim jacket has deep pockets. When I wash it at the end of a season...I'm often surprised at what I have collected and forgotten about. Bits of twine, plant labels, seeds, dried leaves, a nail,a gum wrapper etc. A jacket like this is a "simple pleasure" I leave the job before it is done and come in to drink some herb tea and write this post. I made the tea...raspberry zinger...and put it in an insulated cup to take outside. I left it by the sink and decided to drink cold water instead. Here it was waiting for me, so I filled the big cup with ice and now I am drinking iced raspberry zinger. Yum! I guess I will sit and rest a bit, before going out and doing some more work. I only have the front Mary's garden left to do. I cut down the beautiful purple aster that lives on the corner of my front garden. I feel sad doing this. It was so beautiful this year and now just green leaves topping the brown stalks. They snap off easily and fill the barrow again. I think that I will post a picture of the purple beauty one more time. I have been anticipating cold weather and wondering what Mother Nature has in store for us this year. Always a surprise. Isn't that the coolest thing...getting a surprise each day...the weather. I just love the four seasons.Just yesterday I ordered some bulbs for forcing and a little vase to hold narcissus and paper whites. At first I thought that I wouldn't do that this year...then the old gardening bug got me and I ordered a few. Just writing about this makes me anxious to get started. Gardeners are always on the lookout for a project to do. Winter will not hinder us. I plan to have something blooming in my house until April. My Christmas cactus is blooming right now...in the basement.