“Nuclear summer,” I called the hot, dry fall of Southern California. I claimed, we only have two seasons: 7 months of spring and five months of summer that get worse before finally relenting in late November.
My perspective has shifted of late, and I no longer experience fall as a burden to be endured, but as a magical time to be savored. The light is more golden as the days wane, and the stars twinkle more brightly. Energy and creativity replace the lazy, languid pace of summer. Hot days evaporate into wonderfully cool mornings, and one can get away with wearing layered “fall” clothing - a personal favorite!
For many California natives, this is a time of dormancy and rest before the rebirth of the renewed growing season in October - a “second spring”. I've even heard rumors that the California lilac and redbud bloom again, but I haven't found evidence of it yet! I daydream about further growing the garden. How to squeeze in must-haves and impulse buys. Editing what didn’t work in the past year, and filling the beds with the known and new, and experimenting with seeds and seedlings.
I like to think of nature taking care of her children. Providing a bounty of harvest goods for humans and wildlife alike and then preserving them with daily 8 hour blasts of kiln-like heat.
It's fascinating to observe the eternal tug of war of the seasons as the intense heat is interrupted by brief periods of wet and cool that eventually turn over into Southern California’s winter/spring.
It’s a great time to take lovely hikes under the shade of live oaks and draw in the splendor of living in Southern California! Happy savoring and experimenting, fellow gardeners!
MLHMGT Board Member