There’s a forecast for snow tomorrow, and in this little slice of near-suburbia things are absolutely not ready. The gardener has been in more of a Netflix mood rather than a slaving out in the elements mood and as a result things are more behind than usual. ‘No big deal’ he says as he dips his hand in yet another vat of overly buttered popcorn, and that pretty much sums up the last few days… except for the weekend. It was sunny yet cold, and after weeks of gloom the sun was a nice change.
In between re-acquainting myself with a rain-free garden and doing all the fall cleanup in just two days I did a little poking around and tried to find a few things of interest in an otherwise dying garden.
There are a few last flowers, but many didn’t hold up well to the relentless rain. The chrysanthemums are mostly washed out with the exception of a single stray seedling which snuggles up against the porch. I tolerate its sloppiness all year and then finally reap the rewards in November when its flowers open to signal the end of the season.
Out along the street the front border got a clearing out so that the earliest spring flowers can have an open stage for whenever the first warm spell hits. Of course that’s code for ‘I planted more snowdrops here’, but snowdrop season comes on fast and I want to be sure I’m prepared for that at least!
Although I did do some clearing out, the bulk of my fall cleanup is just removing anything which looks overly messy, and then running the leaves over with the mower and tossing the shreddings into select beds. Whatever is left I can just refer to as winter interest and eventually get it come springtime.
Honestly if I had the opportunity I would want about double the amount of leaves that I collect each fall off the lawns. Some would go into the compost, but most just gets thrown back as a winter blanket for empty vegetable beds and sleeping perennial plantings. As it is I still end up volunteering to clean out my Bil’s backyard and then robbing the woods for whatever’s been dumped back there. It’s sad how I covet my neighbor’s fallen leaves.
It’s not all about dead leaves though. Snowdrop talk will come up more and more now that the weather is turning cold. This season I am eagerly awaiting the opening of my new snowdrop walk, and based on all the buzz already surrounding it I’m sure it will be an excellent new springtime adventure.
In the meantime, a few hardy cyclamen line the snowdrop walk. Cyclamen hederifolium is sending up its winter foliage now and the last flowers look even better against the beautifully patterned leaves.
With the snowdrop walk all prepped and waiting, it’s time to turn towards the next on again off again project.
You may remember that my MiL lives next door, and that a few years back I was able to get a bunch of fill dumped behind her house. In the years since, I’ve managed to level and plant the half closest to her fence, but the other half still needs grading and moving. After losing all hope of someone coming and doing the job in a day or two with all the right machinery, I’ve finally decided it will be me who digs and grades and moves all the dirt that remains. My guess is that the rest of my life will be spent digging back here, but I already have a shovel and the dirt is free, so what have I got to lose?
I’ll be using the dirt to fill in some of the low spots in my own yard. It’s terrible soil and a ridiculous amount of work but I find I can only watch Netflix for so long before boredom sets in, and I do like earthmoving projects. S we’ll see how it goes. Maybe I can just rename this part of the yard ‘the gym’ and spend all the saved money on other more exciting things. Now what would that be…. snowdrops perhaps? 😉