If I was forced at gunpoint to pick an all time favorite season I suppose I would say spring. I love feeling the heating sun after the cold of winter and watching the flowers bloom. It is all about the temperate clime, the blaze of colors, and the pleasure of getting outside and working in my garden. Therefore, autumn comes in as a close second. The brilliant colors of autumn have no equal, the air is fresh and crisp, and the gradual cooling in the evenings is blissful.
My third book, The Darcys at Year’s End, covers the months of late summer and autumn, ending on the cusp of winter. As always I confiscated and stared at photographs of England as I wrote, aiding me in visualizing a place I have never been. Here are a few of my favorite pictures followed by a short snippet from the book.
With the family thus settled, the last weeks of September glided by with happy serenity felt all around. The weather held clement and sunlit during the day with a slight chilling come sundown. The gradual metamorphosis about the extensive grounds began as autumn colors invaded, leaves burnished with golds and reds. The emergence of the multihued dahlia, purple toad lily, marguerite daisy, calendula, nasturtium, rosemary, and salvias provided a fresh plethora of vibrant color and fragrance to the summer-fading blooms. The numerous bushes with variegated foliage accented the already dazzling displays. The gardeners were especially busy preparing the vast gardens for the winter freeze and spring flowering, bulbs arriving by the wagon loads.
Lizzy watched the digging for several days before gathering the nerve to ask Mr. Clark if she could assist with the care of the private garden to the east of the manor. If he was shocked or dismayed in any way by her request, it did not show. Thus it was that Lizzy could be found most days on her knees in the soft turf with two gardeners named Robert and Harry aiding nearby. Naturally the modest garden was already faultless, and Lizzy had no desire to radically transform anything. She merely wished to plant a few of her favorite plants and to fulfill a long-standing pleasure to work with soil and flora, gardening having always been a pastime she enjoyed.
Now it is your turn to share your favorite season with us.