The long, hot weather of summer is ever so slowly releasing its grip on the days of August. It’s barely noticeable at this time of year in a zone 9 garden unless you are very observant or a native, unschooled in the dramatic changes of the seasons. The leaves on the sycamore and elm (pictured here) trees have taken on a soft golden hue, as though they are in need of a dose of fertilizer. Squirrels are busy devouring the green holly berries that are just beginning to take on a slight blush. And while the afternoon temps continue to stretch into the 90’s, there is a different note in the morning air. A subtle coolness that permeates the first air of the day, a lighter feel that is not burdened by the heavy blanket of humidity. A freshness that encourages you to stand a little taller and take a deeper breath. Deep inside a spark of anticipation is ignited at the premise of the long-awaited fall season in the garden.