First comes cooler temperatures and before the leaves get time to change colour, the Swallows are gone. The garden also slows down, seeming to settle into a quiet period of thought, as if planning the grand spring show, planning reassuring delights after winter's short but harsh reign.
I join my garden in pondering the next season, taking on a few cleaning-up jobs. This was once a White Karee that stood tall and its big shady canopy provided wonderful shade in the garden, but for the past several years it has struggled to put out any leaves. This week, with a few cuts of the chainsaw, it met with an end.