Who would have thought but this autumn continues to be a somewhat pleasant experience (pandemics notwithstanding), and we are enjoying a fairly warm October. Warmth in October is nice. People like warm fall days. I on the other hand wouldn’t mind a little more cold.
Dried leaves and dead stalks, with pollen and fluff and dust blowing all over are not doing my sinuses any favors so my latest excuse for sleepy laziness is my allergies. Even with a congested head and squinty eyes though, out in the garden is where I’d like to be and in spite of it all I did manage to get a few things done. First of all I power washed. When I told my mom how I’d power washed the birch trees, at first she couldn’t make sense of what I was saying, so I explained how they were looking a little dingy and algae-coated and in need of a wash but that didn’t help. ” I think I could have thought of better things to do” was her response, so I told her I washed the car afterwards and left out how I first cleaned the stone sides of the new coldframe and then we moved on to other topics.
That took a lot out of me so I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting around enjoying the glow of the fall foliage.
The next few days didn’t see much more in the way of questionable productivity. I’ve been obsessing about chrysanthemums after all, and how can you think of overwintering potted porch plants when there are mums in full autumnal splendor!?
I don’t care about mums in May, but fortunately this year I still managed to plant these out and even added in a few seedlings which survived my springtime neglect.
The seedlings are fun, but the staking and fussing that went into caring for my last surviving football mum has really paid off. All I do is stare at it and wish I had more.
‘Cheerleader’ is about 3 or four feet tall even after an early spring pinching. She requires strong wooden stakes and I even went as far as to disbud a few stems to see if the main flower would turn out nicer. I think they did. Hopefully next year I can repeat this.
While I contemplate a new career in raising fancy show chrysanthemums, and consider a roadtrip down to the Longwood chrysanthemum show (which goes until Nov 22), I do want to point out a small project I did manage to finish up this week. It’s a new raised bed, one made out of cement blocks and hopefully one which outlasts the wooden ones.
Honestly I should have just stuck with the wooden theme, but I had an idea and that idea might be worth a try if it meant not having to replace every last bed in a dozen years. In the meantime I just hope no one looks too closely at my credit card receipts and questions just how much was spent on a 1/2″ steel strapping kit. Let’s run a quick distraction with some nice photos of wonderful fall bulbs.
Just the fact the Bessera is alive is amazing and that it’s still sending up a bloom or two after flowering earlier in the summer is also a shock since I had given them up for dead months ago. Actually it wasn’t so much giving up than it was throwing them into the furnace room back in the fall of 2018 and then just being too lazy to pull them out the next spring. So they sat. Bone dry. For six months. Then ten…. then twelve… then sixteen… Finally a year and a half later I went back there looking for emergency potting soil and found the pot. I was shocked (and a little annoyed, since I really needed more potting soil) to find a pot full of perfectly healthy corms, no worse than the day I put them back there. Out onto the sidewalk they went, and one April shower later they were all sprouting.
The bessera is a summer bulb, but autumn snowdrops represent a new season, and by that I mean winter. I love seeing them coming up and from now until next March it’s snowdrop season. Sure it slows down a bit in January, but for the last few years that slowdown is only a few days and not the usual months long lockdown of cold and ice that we used to endure. I guess a global climate disaster can have a bright side if you look hard enough.
Did I mention how much I paid for the latest snowdrops? Of course not, and I won’t. By now I know better than to put things like snowdrops on anything which produces a receipt. Explaining away a 1/2″ steel strapping kit produces a bored look but when I try to justify the excitement over an expensive little bulb, all I get is that judgemental eye roll.
Have a great weekend, and for those who are curious I followed some tips for finding a backdoor to the old WordPress editor, and it’s made my blogging life tolerable once again.