November 20, 2004

Bringing Down The Curtain And Setting The Stage For The Next Act

A cool, quiet, misty day here in Your Nation's Capital. I took a stroll around my garden this morning that did a great deal to restore my equanimity after last evening's fiasco with the garage door. (BTW, our handyman was out this morning and we believe we can fix the problem between us without having to call in a specialist.)

As I reported earlier this week , we have not yet had a killing frost in this area, so a few of the heartier plants soldier on. There are still a few blooms on the salvia and the shastas. The buddleia, columbine and hollyhock are still green and leafy. But you can tell that the time is getting close. The peonies have all gone brown and the joe-pye are headed that way. The oak hydrangia leaves are turning purple. The butterfly weeds are mere skeletons of themselves. I expect that within the next two weeks or so, the curtain will finally come down with a resounding thump.

My main task over the winter will be one of general clean-up. For one thing, there is the job of what might be called the strengthening of the Circuit of the Ramas. I have to take down all the ad-hoc protection I threw up this past year against Bambi the Balrog and Sauron's Wraith Rabbits and replace it with something neater and more permanent. Another thing I want to do is put in an arbor over the gate. And then there are the weeds. Somehow or other, they keep managing to come up no matter how cold it gets.

I also am already looking forward to next spring. As I may have mentioned before, I let everything go to seed this year and am agog with anticipation to see how well the self-sowing turns out. Indeed, I even went so far as to help nature out by scattering various seeds about in places they might not have reached on their own. Also, a number of plants I started from seed this year - most notably the columbine and hollyhock - did not get a chance to bloom. I am eager to see their contribution next time around. Finally, I have a pile of about a dozen seed catalogs in my study and anticipate many happy hours thumbing through them and planning for further additions to my little cast of characters. I had rigged an indoor nursery in my workshop last year and it worked out pretty well. With some minor modifications, I think it will be even more productive this year.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with the way things turned out this past year, the true First Act in my garden. Act Two promises to be even better.

Posted by Robert at November 20, 2004 10:46 AM | TrackBack

I'm obviously late to the gardening thread. Over ten years ago I bought an 1840's home in the winter and found the remnants of an old garden appear in Spring - some peonies, daffodils, interesting shrubs. I spent the next three years building a huge garden from seed, selects, cuttings, hauling river rock each day after work in my trunk, etc. There was hardly a finer experience than taking my morning coffee while strolling, hand-weeding, visually and tactilely enjoying my garden. Great stuff. A note on self seeding,pardon if you know and already referenced this - be careful as many of today's strains revert to the non-hybrid generic form in future generations.

Posted by: Dan at November 20, 2004 01:11 PM

My friend, there is no such thing as coming late to the thread! ALL gratuitous comments are appreciated! I hear you re nurturing what you have found already. I had mentioned earlier that the previous owner of this house had a vegetable garden. Since moving in, I have worked on changing most of it to a flower garden. However, I have maintained his asperagus, raspberries and blueberries.

As for the homing characteristic of some hybrids, I hope I won't have that problem this year. Most of the plants involved are pretty basic.

But keep me posted on how your garden grows. I am ALWAYS interested in these things.

Posted by: Robet the LB at November 20, 2004 11:24 PM
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