Archive for November 30th, 2009

Last night we had a hard freeze with lots of frost.  When I looked out the window in the early dawn this morning, I almost thought it had snowed, everything was so white.

I’m glad to see the weather chilling down a bit.   Maybe that will put the kibosh on all the bulb activity that has already started here.

In the front garden, the dutch iris bulbs have sent up their foliage, way too early.   Back in the rose garden where I put the mini daffodils, there are sprouts as well.  I keep telling them they are going to get their noses nipped, but they aren’t listening.

Like I said.  It’s too early.   I have ajuga still blooming, which is making the path it adorns quite charming.  I call these the Ajuga sisters.   Sounds like a country rock and roll band name, doesn’t it?

Right near there is where the Knockout rose is still going strong.   I liked this shot of it against the lowering November sky yesterday.   The last rose of summer:

Just to the left of this is where the Dragon’s Teeth are.   That is what we have decided to call the group of rocks in the Rain Garden area.   Notice that the yarrow has decided to rebloom for the cool autumn.

Directly to my right from where I was standing to take that picture s the little gravel area where I have planted my hen and chicks.   Now, I thought I could draw the line at collecting daffodil varieties and hosta varieties with a side of day lily varieties, but I detoured far away from the plan when I discovered the myriad varieties of Hen and chicks that are available out there.   I had no idea, really.   Then I went to the Planting Festival at Baker’s Creek one year and met the couple that collect varieties of this plant from all over the world.   Hardy, drought tolerant, pest resistant — oh, and CUTE!   Notice that in the following picture, that thing in the upper left corner is the index finger of my work glove.

Did I mention CUTE?   I just love these guys.   Their immediate neighbors up the hill in the rock garden, the sedums, have retreated into dormancy.   The dianthus varieties I have up there have put on a small fall flush of blossoms.

Out in the kitchen herb garden, most everything has settled into making leaves until they all get frosted back.   But the thyme I have planted there is really going to town.

The vegetable garden seems to be in stasis.   Even though we have a couple of really cold nights and some heavy frosts, the it is still producing massive quantities of greens, more than a two-person household can conveniently eat.   This is a typical salad, as seen daily at The Havens’ dinner table.

I’ve been sharing with friends, and fortunately we had Thanksgiving dinner to supply so that sort of put a dent in the things that are outside the cold frames.   The following is a shot of the area where I planted my salad garden for last spring and summer.   These are the  plants that made it through the heat of August and have resurged in the cool fall weather.  They were joined by young plants that grew from seeds shed by the mesclun mix that we didn’t quite get eaten before it bolted.   Once that happened, the pollinators were so enthralled with all those blossoms I couldn’t bear to pull them out.  “Here there be” radicchio, endive, chard, arugula, mizuna, mustard, oak leaf lettuce, parsley, bok choy, kale, and several other things, all still resplendent.

I’m thinking that putting all those flagstones in the paths out in the veggie garden may have created a heat sink that helps prolong the season into the winter.   It doesn’t hurt that we put that nice fence around it either; it is a wonderful wind break.   We surely made some good decisions out there, most of which were driven by the desire to stop having to beat back the bermuda grass from our raised beds.

I have evidence of a recent error in judgment, though.   About a month and a half ago I was rejoicing because I found a hidden lode of compost under the “To Be Ground” pile.   I needed mulch badly right then, so even though I had questions in my mind about whether that particular compost pile had ever gotten hot enough to slow down all the seeds in it, I used it gladly.

That shot is of the area between my two cold frames, where I put mulch because the bed needed feeding.  I  wanted to make sure the bottom of the cold frames was insulated from the “outdoors,” so I spread the mulch particularly thickly between them.   I believe if you look carefully in that area, which is only about eight inches wide, you will be able to locate just about every darn thing that has ever gone to seed on the place in the past two years and then got thrown on the “To Be Ground” pile:   sweet cicely, cilantro, parsley, mustard, lettuce, chicory, bluets, violets, zinnias, marigolds, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.    I am paying for my error in judgment by getting to do a whole bunch of weeding right now.   At least it keeps me from getting bored.

I close this Missive to the Universe (via the Wonderful World Wide Web) with a portrait of the bouquet I picked yesterday.

Even though we had a big frost last night, I could pick the same bouquet today if I cared to.

I guess my garden is in the pink.

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