Our back yard is a mess.

The mums on the porch are dead, brittle stalks with blossoms that have withered to black. The mum in the dirt is still alive, has only just bloomed. I hope it lasts through Halloween. The wildflowers will surely die before then.

The sunflowers are gone. Something ate all of the seeds before I had a chance to collect them. I suspect the squirrels. But the plants did so well that I’ll be planting more in the spring, big sunny faces.

The grapevine has taken over, though its leaves have already started to yellow. Pruning it is going to be a chore, clippers clenched in a cold fist as I trim away the branches and leave only the main vine. I wonder how big it will get next summer. I hope it leaves space for the other two vines we plants. Wine grapes, though I don’t know a thing about growing wine.

We have a rogue tomato plant that sprouted up in spring, unprompted, but very much welcome. That plant is our healthiest. It’s over eight feet tall, has draped itself over the vine trellis and hangs, still trailing green tomatoes and yellow flowers. Those blossoms will never have time to fruit before the frost does them in. There’s an unexplainable sadness for those that will never become tomatoes.

I am already missing summer.


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