Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page.
By Julie Sherman
My garden is feeing anxious. The hydrangeas are protesting with powdery mildew on her large leaves. The yellow stargazers are shrinking back into themselves refusing to open. The last of the white roses are reluctantly peeling back one petal at a time, objecting to the assault of cold temperatures after having owned a sunny resort for the past 4 months. The plumbago has given up altogether, and the sweet peas are trying their best to climb the trellis. The last few pink ballerinas are hanging precariously to their brittle fuchsia branches before folding in their tutus, turning brown, and falling to the ground. Only the chrysanthemums are welcoming the morning chill and pale gray skies.
The veteran plants know what’s coming and are bracing themselves, feeling tough enough to survive. They look to me for protection and comfort, knowing I will gently shroud them in netted mesh when it dips below 40.
Some of my beauties will not last. The nasturtium and alyssum will die, but their seeds will stubbornly stay hidden below the rocks and dirt until spring, then surprise me by showing up in different corners around my house. I never know where those flowery renegades will appear, but they always do.
The hummers, so brazen and audacious, are beginning to retreat. The six feeders filled every Sunday due to the hummers’ gluttony have been full for the last 10 days, only an occasional daring flutterer visiting while the others huddle together for warmth in the tree across the street.
Fall. My favorite time, my garden’s fearful time. We shift the balance and she tries to hang on another day, waiting for warmth and light to come, only to concede and brace for months of brisk, biting temperatures and darkness to come three full hours sooner than just a month ago.
I move my sleeveless cotton tops to the back of the closet pulling forward my sweatshirts, long-sleeved tops and jeans. Like my garden, I pull in, nestle, protect, and try to keep my tutu from falling to the ground.
Julie Sherman is a native San Franciscan and long-time resident of Petaluma, California. Raised in a family of readers, writers, performers, musicians and political activists, Julie followed her dream of singing professionally.
While working on “The Love Boat” for Princess Cruises, she met her husband, bassist Jeff Sherman. After a 20-year career as a professional singer, Julie worked in education and technology.
Now retired, Julie enjoys writing, baking, gardening and worldwide travel, most recently having visited Viet Nam, Ireland, and Thailand. She is the mother of twin girls, opera singer Camille Sherman and music producer Emily Sherman. Julie resides in a little house with her husband, a dog and two cats while enjoying reading, writing, eating well, and tending to her garden.