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Labor Days of Love in the Garden

September 5, 2011

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By Bernadine Chapman-Cruz

Labor Day signals both happy endings and new beginnings. A final picnic or day at the beach, one last camping trip and skipping stones across the lake mark the end of summertime fun. As warm summer days wane, outdoor activities spur a farewell rally. Last, but not least, the labor put into tending a garden also takes a different path.

Come September, gardens look toward a new season. Say goodbye to vine ripened tomatoes, berry picking, fresh peaches and pears. Asparagus and corn have seen their glory. Pumpkins will soon be peeking out from under twisted sticky vines and a nip is in the air.

In the flowerbed, colorful hydrangeas, verbena, calendula and sweet alyssum have given up all their splendor. Gone, but not forgotten, are the red, white, blue, purple and pink blossoms. The beginning of fall paves the way for the winter greens adorning fields and hillsides.

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. The working man’s holiday is designed to kick back, relax and take a well-earned day off. The same is true for the gardener. Put down your hoe, let the watering can sit, take off your gloves and enjoy a day of rest. You have spent all spring and summer working the soil, sowing seed, watering and weeding. The effort put in to tending a flower garden or a vegetable patch is complete. Feast in the rewards of the harvest. Relish in the joys derived from your labor of love. Delight in the array of homegrown vegetables that found their way to your table. Recall the refreshing taste of salad, made with lettuce picked with the morning dew. Savor the memories of juicy tomatoes, green onions and cucumbers kissed with a drizzle of dressing.

The joy of getting one’s hands dirty and smelling the fresh earth are labors of love that enhance the bounty Mother Nature provides. Enjoy a day of rest, tomorrow fall planting begins.   Copyright 2011 Bernadine Chapman-Cruz  

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