How could the weather be more perfect than at the week’s beginning? Cool nights turning into sunny fabulous days. It’s times like these that I am eternally grateful to have an outside job. There is nothing better than fall. Aside from the garden harvest, I have much less pressure. Spring is a gearing up time whereas fall shuts it down. I feel hopeful about next year’s garden. I still kid myself into believing I’ll get the tomato stakes set for next spring, have mulch at the ready, repair all the tools, and divide and replant the perennial beds. Dream on!

Some years ago I had a garden account at a property on the North Shore. Craig Kingsbury worked for the previous owners probably in the fifties or sixties. He planted a couple of crape myrtles which were taller than the house when I took over the job. Craig also planted some pillar roses. They were ancient when I came on the scene. I appreciated and cared for them a decade or so. Then, one day, the lawn people pulled them all up. I pictured Craig rolling over in his grave. I went on a search and rescue. After some rummaging in the debris pile, I found the poor things — mangled and practically rootless. I hauled them home, planted them, and promptly forgot about them for at least 10 years.

Wonder of wonders, I cam across them on Sunday, living happily in a neglected overgrown weed patch. Craig, you can roll back over. They are safe with me.

Speaking of roses, my absolute favorite is the Zephirine Drouhin. It is completely thornless, very fragrant, climbs and is a repeat bloomer. What’s not to love? A picture in the paper triggered an other garden memory of the dearly departed. In an article on the new book on our past Congressional Representative Gerry Studds, there was a picture of him speaking to a town meeting. There in the front row was Gratia Harrington. I worked for her in the 1970s. She was heading towards 104 years old. She would wander in her garden, grasp weeds between a hoe and her cane, and toss them over her shoulder. My job was to pick them up. I hope I find someone to do the same for me at that age.

I’m fond of the guara, sedum and lantana combination in the little circle at the Steamship Authority. Lantana really comes into its own in the fall. The seed pods turn into a lovely teal after the bloom.

One fall I purchased some four-inch pots of dark purple asters. They were sold as annuals. They have come back reliably every year and now grow to at least three feet tall. Recently, I noticed them entirely covered with the small Painted Lady butterfly. Spectacular.

Some voles have been burrowing into the top of a retaining wall. We keep filling in the holes every year but the wall itself is beginning to shift and become unstable. My son, Reuben, put some moth balls into each hole and, using a funnel, poured in dry Sakrete. After watering, which set the cement, he added dirt and grass seed. Viola. Problem solved.

What a bunch of cowards are taking tax dollars to work for us in the U.S. Congress. After the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, they claim “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.” Just like three devastating hurricanes in a month or so is not the time to talk about climate change?

I don’t care what the shooters motives were — why did he “legally” get all that firepower.

I fully support the second amendment but, honestly, assault rifles? If Congress did not take a moral stand after the slaughter of little children in Connecticut, there is zero chance they’ll do it now. I grew up in gun country. We had guns everywhere. We shot targets, cans, rats at the town dump, and you name it. We didn’t need automatic weapons. What’s to become of us?