July became August when it was but two weeks old. Geese, one heard geese then, probing the air tentatively, like first skaters on a newly frozen pond. The growing year, half a month premature at its advent, has neither slowed nor retreated, remaining precocious.
August very definitely arrived last month. Because quite adequately wet, as yet it shows not the slightest signs of aging. Lawns exhibit not a bit of their expected brown tarnish. Down near the outskirts of Hampton Bays enormous swathes of the highway margins are blizzarded in Queen Anne’s lace, a garden sufficient unto itself. I could imagine an English ride with nothing but Queen Anne’s lace growing before carriage or car arrived at the castle. Perhaps blues for reinforcement and we have been having them in great abundance, early and continually, chicory, lobelia syphilitica, eryngium, globe thistle. Boneset might complete the bouquet and gentian andrewsii for a further blue should be in every garden and in more sunlight than less, although it will perform under a dark cloud of green.
The poached egg tree, Stewartia, laid its blooms on the lawn with great profusion, but, it seemed to me, with heightened order, all of them with yolk up. Garlic, curiously, ripened late and were harvested only recently and are not yet sorted, largest cloves to be planted this autumn, cloves I would be oh so proud to flaunt in the kitchen, emblematic of Madoo’s great soil. Of course, Daikon radish are ready. But too many all at once. Ditto broccoli. Dandelion refused to perform narrowly up but squatted, growing thick and inedible and have been dug out and reseeding done, thickly, so that the seedlings have nowhere else but up, dammit, up!
Just like the lawn showing no signs of seasonal fatigue, the general quality of all foliage remains vibrant with none of the usual shadows of looming maturity the month generally exhibits. The shadings of russet or crimson blacks are nowheres present and yet rose hips swell and burst as if autumn was truly here. When will they really color, these leaves? When will they abscess and fall? When will the gingkoes do their unparalleled golden set, falling richly cadmium yellow all at once, in a single moment of a single day, seriously, momently Persian?
As if in anticipation, I roam bulb catalogs wondering when, our winters getting milder, we may have to pre-chill tulips to get them to bloom. And sowings of saladings, perhaps, continue late, later than ever in the autumn, with a bit of hay around them to, like kale, grow through the winter.
We may have snowdrops come December. Without snow.
There will be no last rose of summer but buds throughout. Without snow.
We’ll need a new name for the season.
I thought “recess.” But . . . and “interval.”