The flowers of summer are in full bloom, here and there, thought not everywhere. A garden is never perfection. It is an idea, a picture in one’s mind. As the flowers bloom in their designated succession, the picture changes.  Add something here. Prune something there.  Seasons come and go.  A garden is always a work in progress.

But not now.  Not in August.  Now is the time to savor what’s there, and enjoy.  Ideally in a hammock with a drink in hand.  A bird chirps, a cloud moves, a dog barks.  Time slows.  Garden time.

It’s a relief from the click-click-click and  push-push-push and ring-ring-ring, those speeding sounds of the cellphone, the i-pad,  the electronic age.  It’s amazing how fast ideas go viral and how people communicate, instantly, whatever is on their mind. Their mood. Their mode of action. However inane these might be.  (But keep it short.  No introspection.  No contemplation.  Just quick!)

Instead, in these balmy days of summer, go for some relaxing slow time.  Watch a leaf or a petal fall slowly to the ground, or tree branches quiver, and shimmer in the sunlight.  Sometimes, when a storm is coming, they shake and scowl as if to proclaim their mastery of the landscape and the forest.

Weeding, pruning, planting, working will have its time another day.  But in August, just enjoy.

I have a whole bunch of petunias that self seed all about, especially between the bluestone pavers on my terrace.  They surprise me in strange places about this time of year. The rotten rabbits eat some.  The deer have not found them yet.  The petunias’ colors vary as is the wont of their genes. Some are white, some different shades of pink, but they all have mysterious dark purple centers.  Their little faces smile at me as I just savor my perfect August day.

Ruth S. Foster is a landscape consultant and arborist.  More gardening information can be found on her website: