A Gardener's Year

Time spirals in the garden; the cycle of seasons never brings us back to precisely the same spot. One pleasure of gardening is marking the change in the seasons and anticipating the fruits of each.

Southern Seasons

People new to the south often complain that we don't have four seasons. I understand their confusion. I once lived in Japan, a land of four distinct seasons and strict timetables. When a season began there, it did not vary from its course. But in Austin the seasonal markers are a little hazy. It can be 80 degrees in January, 20 degrees 3 weeks later, and then 99 degrees before March. The temperature can drop 50 degrees in a week. Summer becomes winter overnight. In other years, winter never comes at all.

The southern gardening year starts in the fall, not the spring. And the season where everything turns brown and the gardener retreats indoors is summer, not winter. A terribly hot, humid summer is the one season you can count on.

The Four Seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer

Click on a photo to learn more about each season.

fall  winter  spring  summer