Then there were none. It happens around this time every year, but it is always something of a surprise, and it is never any easier to handle.
In November, I whisper greetings to the last rose buds of the season in the garden. I touch them gently and tell them to be of good cheer, ask them to persevere for a day or two longer until they come into their sweet, fragrant fullness.
Then a morning comes when every leaf and bud wears frost, and everything sparkles from the ground up. As I protect the roses for the long hard winter to come, I say thanks and promise to remember them as they were on a sunny morning in July. They are no less perfect now than they were then, simply older and a little different.