Bring the Sky Inside

It's November's last day, but I still have a bit of summer in my kitchen. 
When my stubborn, spoiled morning glory vines wouldn't bloom, 
I searched for answers. 
One helpful gardener noted that she cut almost-blooming 
vines to bring indoors. Contained in a vase and 
positioned in a sunny window--they bloomed.

Of course, I had to try this. 
  From my pile of Heavenly Blue vines, I trimmed a long tangle
covered with buds still tight and tiny. They fit easily in a 
glass vase and hung happily from a cup hook in the window sill. 
In no time at all, pointed swirls of bloom emerged and finally opened. 

Every morning, newly vibrant blooms greet me. 
It's been the highlight of a fairly dismal gardening season.

The Heavenly Blues are almost finished now. 

It's time for Christmas colors to take center stage.



Closed for Winter

We closed the gardens this weekend, ending a weird 2020 growing season.
Plants were given away to gardener friends,
"You're more than welcome--Enjoy!"
and others were simply mowed down.
"There. We don't have to worry about those anymore."

Supermarket lavender endured freakish, late-spring freezes to return 
as small bushes, while old standby garden 
staples like peonies and hydrangeas barely ducked in to say hello. 

The deer used our side garden bed as their favorite midnight
buffet, preventing a single Fried Bananas hosta bloom, 
but the hummingbirds and zinnias were constant summertime companions.

And now ... tulips.
Little bundles of hope, drop-shaped packages of potential,
half-priced harbingers of better days on the way.
The garden beds may look bare and unpopulated, but 
three varieties of hopeful tulips have only just begun their work. 
By Easter 2021, there will be some beautiful surprises!

Purple and white ornamental kale paired with sap-sticky pinecones 
will see my container gardens through the winter. 

And my four hooligans perched on the picnic table will witness 
fall's decline as winter creeps in.

These couldn't be cuter--I wonder why the deer 
didn't gobble these tasty appetizers.



Hurry Along

Pumpkins and gourds appeared around here early this year. 
I've been hurrying around seasonal corners, trying to finish 2020 early. 
It's similar to pushing an entire helping of 
spinach/succotash/peas into your mouth at once 
so you'll be allowed to go to recess.

 The side benefit of buying early was surprisingly simple--selection.
Summer clingers like me don't usually enjoy this advantage. 
Pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, colors, and sizes were still 
sitting pretty in the supermarket bins. 

 And they all still had stems. 
It was a cheap grocery-store thrill, the perfect way to hurry 2020 along. 

I planted a whole packet of heavenly blue morning glories this spring and 
pampered them all summer with regular watering and fertilizing. 
I made sure they were in high-quality soil with leaf mulch 
topdressing to retain moisture. 
It's past mid-October with one frost already 
on the books ... but not a single sky-blue bloom. 
Yards and yards of vine sporting tiny bud sets--and no blooms. 
This isn't the first time it's happened, but it was the most disappointing. 
My eyes couldn't have been more eager for those heavenly blues to show. 
Because ... 2020.

Garden Lesson: 
Turns out, pampering the vines is the downfall of blooms. 
The plant is so blissfully comfortable that it produces lush foliage instead of 
beautiful blooms. And there will be no fruit to produce seeds, the result 
of a pollinated blossom. 
That, friends, is worth pondering, especially if 
you're a comfort-seeking soul like me. It's my takeaway 
lesson for the 2020 growing season. 
Ponder further here