10.24.2013

Frost Warning


It's hard to believe that the gardening season is almost over.
Our temps are supposed to dip below freezing for three of the next four nights.
Whatever is growing out there will be dead and dying, all crisped with frost.

A part of me would like to do the happy dance about that.
We'll * work through the gardens once more and take out any stray weeds, mulch with
leaf shreds, cut off anything that needs it, and declare the gardens "Put To Bed" for 
the year. By the time the Christmas lights go up **, I do NOT want
to be thinking about the gardens at all and certainly not again until March.
OK, I'll start scouting for new life out there by February. Snowdrops!
And (gasp) Polar Pansies! I just put them in - will they return in the early spring??? 

 I had a massive and pretty daggone *** awesome morning glory
teepee out in the front garden this year. I plant one every year and almost every year, it collapses. 
To keep me humble, probably. Windstorms have done it in the past, so this year I had the legs
buried nice and deep, thinking I could combat the elements and win. I planted a Heavenly Blue vine 
on two legs and a Moonflower vine on the third for blooms in the day and at night too. 
In the spring, the vines always look like they're not going to climb. Like it's not going to
be a big teepee year. But then, around midsummer, WATCH OUT! 
If you're standing near the teepee, the vines will reach out and grab you. 
Then it's time to start twining the thin vine tips around the teepee top, topiary style, while waiting for blooms. 
Lots and lots of twining and tucking, keeping the vines from running along the ground and 
taking over everything. And sometimes you have to just go out there and snip them off with shears. ****
 This year, after months of twining, tucking and snipping, I gave up and let them take over the rose, 
the hibiscus and the hydrangeas. It was glorious.  And secretly, I hoped that would
make the whole structure a little sturdier, more anchored, when the fall weather finally set in.
 It wasn't a windstorm that got them this year, it was rain that weakened the ground around the legs and
caused the whole teepee to fall to the ground. It's still blooming out there, even lying on the ground, but it will be all finished tomorrow morning. 

* We = My Wonderful Husband and I, and any Son I can drag into helping.
Girlfriends start to look like garden workers around this time of year. At least to me, they do.

** If we have a warm Saturday in November then the lights will go up early. But
it has happened that they don't go up until a couple of weeks before Christmas. 
They must, must go up for it to be a complete celebration, though.

*** My Grandpa used to say this word. He also often used dagum
He would hate that I'm growing any daggone morning glories, since he considered
them to be a dagum weed!

**** Morning glory vines don't start really blooming until they're finished stretching out as far as possible. 
Once the searching vine tips find that they've reached their limit, the growing stops, mostly, and
then the beautiful blooming begins! Oh, I could certainly take a lesson from this plant! Sometimes it seems
like I spend most of my energy trying to run ahead, peek around corners, take on new challenges.
What sort of blooms would I produce if I could just rest in where I am and what I'm already doing
Something to ponder as I weed/mulch/prune ...


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