Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! Close bosom-friend of the maturing son.
Nature never did betray The heart that loved her; 't is her privilege Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy.
OUR season's labor draws to its close, and with it comes a pe-riod of rest and reflection, as we turn our thoughts back through this pleasant summer of work and hope.
The charm of a long autumn is very great, but seldom permitted by our capricious climate, which is apt to spoil the garden in September, and then make the misfortune the more apparent by a succession of mild October days, when flowers and green leaves would suit the soft warm weather.
This year, which has made eccentric shifts of all the months in turn, giving us a dry April and a cold July, bestowed upon us a most enchanting autumn, mild and free from storms, so that vegetation remained perfect till late October, and the harvest-time was most propitious.
No early frost blighted the cornfield, or marred the golden pumpkin's fairness. No rain made the apple and pear gathering a disappointment and a sorrow. Late flowers lined the garden-walks in un-chilled splendor until mid-October, while the soft September haze and the mellow glow of the suceeding month showed Maples in full green leaf, and Oaks with only a touch of ripened crimson.
When the autumn comes thus slowly to maturity, a tinge of russet and gold creeps softly into the landscape. Here and there is the accent of a red leaf or branch, like the note of a trumpet in an orchestra. Soft browns steal into the meadows, and form a shade on northern slopes. Dead are the Goldenrods and Asters, faded the roadside flowers. The Rose-hips make ruddy gleams in the bushes, and a few belated Barberries cling to their thorny stems in wizened splendor, while other berries, purple and black, cluster by the fences, and the nut-trees hang out their smooth or prickly burrs, promising a harvest of brown fruit.
This is the green old age of the year, cheery and fruitful, bountiful and rich. Gone are the hurry of spring and the burden of summer, the slow harvest has been gathered, and repose has come to the teeming earth. Now must the gardener look forward and plan for the coming season, and set his bulbs for spring blooming, and clear away the rubbish of dead stems from the flower-beds, and transplant perennials that they may blossom freely the following summer.
It is well in planting a garden to arrange for this season, which is so pleasing, by having a profusion of hardy plants that are not easily disheartened by a chill, and make a brave show as the year wanes. This is a care often neglected by public gardeners, who stock their parterres with ephemeral blooms that the first cold breath destroys, leaving but a dreary group of dry sticks behind.