This is the time of year when I am frequently torn by opposing emotions. Concerning the garden, I mean. Let’s not even think about getting into all the other areas. Those 50 degree nights? They make me think about frost. It’s coming. Soon. Four weeks? Six weeks? And it makes me crazy. Everything is looking so nice.
I get to the point that I’m either begging for frost to come and take out the garden or begging for one more day above freezing so there won’t be any damage. Gardening schizophrenia. It doesn’t happen so much with things here at the IMA, but at home ….. well, that’s another story.
As if the gardening I normally do at my quaint little domicile isn’t sufficient to fill many of my waking hours, this year I decided to plant the entire backyard. Down went cardboard, paperboard, and paper feed bags followed by my special rabbit and chicken manure mulch.
Poof! The grass was gone. Unfortunately the dandelions, violets, and bind weed were not as cooperative and they accounted for at least half of my “turf”. But really the only serious weeding I had to do in these new areas was the bindweed. Next year there will be plenty of glyphosate sprayed on the beast. Because I’m going to have so much more free time? Who the hell am I kidding? Whatever. Hopefully I will manage to get a good spray program going because pulling the damn things does not work.
Perhaps the truly scary part of all this is the fact I was able to fill nearly all that space.
It’s hard to believe I once thought it was too much area. Not true. Not true at all. By the end of August, I was searching for more open ground. By early September I finally kind of gave up, though I am sure I will put a few more things in the ground about ten minutes before frost hits. I really am crazy! Why didn’t you people tell me?
Overall, I have been pretty-well pleased with the results. My new dahlias grew and bloomed beautifully.
My tomatoes went in late, but got huge.
My favorite is the variegated one that Gwyn gave me. That’s a feral petunia with it. They just show up every so often.
Even the fruit is variegated.
The Colocasia ‘Thai Giant Strain’ got fairly gigantic, almost six feet tall, but I know I can get it bigger.
And it has a lovely bloom.
I didn’t feel there was quite enough color, so I enhanced some Paulownia stems with paint (Mango Madness).
Then to give everything a little sparkle, a scattering of wine bottles, blue mostly.
Anyway, soon I will be having to answer the question that we all must face this time of year when the all-knowing weather forecasters say temperatures are dropping near freezing – Do I cover everything with sheets?
“The forecast says 34.”
“That’s not actually freezing.”
“But it’s only 2 degrees off.”
“Is it cloudy?”
“Any wind? Wind helps.”
“Unless it blows the sheets off and it drops to 31!”
“Aw crap! Because you know, you just know. After this one frost it’s going to be 70 for the next three weeks. “
“But I just want to get it over with. Let it die.”
“But if I cover it this one night I might have dahlias til Thanksgiving.”
If you haven’t lived it, well then, you just can’t understand it.
And if all that isn’t enough, when one finally decides it is time to give the garden over to Jack Frost and his evil sister Wanda Winter, one then must decide whom to save whom to leave to die. Gardening is not for the weak or the meek. But bi-polars do very well.
Filed under: Horticulture