It’s Not Fall, It’s Faded Summer

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Although it’s feeling decidedly autumnal here in Iowa this week, IT. IS. NOT. FALL. No, far from it – for we are right now smack dab in the middle of Faded Summer!

You see, August is a month that starts out slow, and with the realization that the end of a long, lazy summer is on the horizon. It ends in a rush of back-to-school – which has its own special craziness in this, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those who enjoy seasonal home decor, this time of year is always a bit topsy-turvy: many folks are ready for Fall, and of course the stores (and our Instagram feeds) are filled with pumpkins and lattes and those sweaters with the too-long sleeves that stretch romantically over our hands wrapped around our favorite coffee cup.

I swear as soon as I grow my nails out a little better, I’m going to re-stage this familiar photo concept and take the picture with a can of Diet Coke. Photo via Pixabay.

But as much as I love Fall in all its colorful blaze, I am hanging on to Summer for a few more weeks. I’m celebrating my “unofficial Fifth Season,” Faded Summer!

Get your full, free Guide to Faded Summer here!

Generally, I consider Faded Summer to be the months of August and September. It’s that beautiful period between the heat of summer and the chill of Fall, when the garden flowers begin to turn their muted shades as they prepare to go to seed.

Zinnias – one of Summer’s happiest “faces” in the garden, and no less beautiful as their colors begin to fade. And – on the far right – who says Geranium leaves shouldn’t turn Fall Colors?

Yes, I know: September includes the first calendar day of Fall. But there is plenty of warm weather to come this month, so August and September it is – and depending on my mood, I might just extend it into mid-October!

Recognizing Faded Summer is pretty simple: just step outside! The glow of the summer sun, lower in the sky at this time of year, looks just a little bit different. Flowers are fading, days are noticeably shorter, and a denim jacket might be appropriate for flea market early birds!

Perfect for early-birding at the outdoor flea market – a faded denim jacket, or a blush pink corduroy shirt.

Faded Summer is the transition between “Summer Brights” and “Fall Bolds.” It’s the colors found in the garden when the blooms start to shift: the changing hues of dried hydrangeas, of zinnias going to seed, of roses as they hang to dry. Take time to study and appreciate fading blooms if you can – they really teach us that there is stunning beauty at every stage of life.

Drying faded flowers like this – just hanging in bunches upside down on a vintage window frame – makes for a stunning Faded Summer display!

I live in a temperate state, where we are blessed to experience all four traditional seasons. And while I know that Winter is necessary if we are to have Spring, as I get older I really dread and dislike Winter overall in spite of its beauty. For me it therefore seems that if I acknowledge Fall too early, I’m ushering in Winter that much sooner as well.

So, more than anything, Faded Summer is the season of my resistance! It begins in August and ends when I decide to make my annual visit to the pumpkin patch – because at that point, I’m ready for Fall too! It’s the season of colors less bright than Summer but no less beautiful in their faded glory. It allows me – it challenges me – to slow down that headlong rush into back-to-school, falling leaves, pumpkin spice, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas… to see and appreciate the fact that fading colors, fading blooms, and fading seasons all offer in turn their own special beauty that deserves not just our notice, but our careful study and keen appreciation.

Won’t you join me in celebrating this beautiful Fifth Season? It’s not Fall… it’s Faded Summer!

Download the free Guide to Faded Summer here!

In no particular order, some of my favorite Faded Summer colors. Not coincidentally, also pretty much the color palette of my home!

Here’s an image to pin if you’d like to save my invitation to Faded Summer on Pinterest!

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