The endless gloom of this year’s weather cycle has finally started to get to me. Even in a good year I’m not the most enthusiastic garden worker, but when the overcast and rainy days come one after another, and the ground is in a constant state of squish, I really don’t feel like much of anything. Good thing it’s finally the natural time of fading decay that others fondly refer to as autumn. I guess I can let it all slide without a guilty conscience and then hope that the winter winds do my cleanup for me 🙂
A lack of life giving sunshine and constant moisture must favor a colorful death process because whatever the endless rain hasn’t moulded up is showing a wonderful range of pinks and purples. Usually the hydrangeas go straight to brown, but this year even ‘Limelight’ has taken on a bright pink hue.
Frost has taken down the bright annuals out front, but asters, grasses and plenty of yellow foliage remain.
All the tropicals which earned a spot indoors have come into the garage, but my one potted candlestick bush (Senna alata) still gets dragged outside for warmer spells. It’s managed to put out a few weak flowers and of course I’m thrilled to get it this far. Maybe I can cut it back and overwinter the plant indoors, but I’ve killed enough plants over the years that I don’t have all that much hope of pulling that off.
While we’re over by the garage I can’t help but think that the ‘Green Giant’ thuja is going to need some attention one of these winters. It’s a big tree and I’ve got it planted ten feet from the garage and maybe four feet from the walk. When I planted it ten years ago the plan was for a quick screen from the house next door, and it’s done a great job, but trimming is not something I want to deal with every year. Even with a ladder I can only safely reach about halfway up so I’m considering either leaving them go for the next five or ten years, or topping them and giving them one harsh trim and see what happens. A review of previous experience leans heavily towards doing nothing for the next ten years and then suddenly cutting them to the ground one morning when I need a spot to plant my latest, newest, most amazing plant. We’ll see.
Following the confession of poor planting decisions here are a few autumn colors to distract.
Following this weekend’s rain I’m sure leaf cleanup will need to begin. I know I claimed to be considering waiting for the winter winds to take care of them all, but I’m far to greedy to give up the leaf mulch. A few rounds with the lawnmower should get me enough to mulch some of my most special plantings.
More fall color to distract.
Not to change the subject too much, but just as my wonderful teepee of spanish flag vine (Mina aka Ipomoea lobata) was finally coming into bloom, the temperatures dropped just enough to frost the bulk of it, so here’s a single sad photo of all that’s left, rather than a ten foot high pyramid of celabratory oranges and reds. Fortunately some snapdragon vine (Asarina scandens) held up to the cold with their cool little purple flowers, and some chrysanthemum followed along behind, also pretending to be climbers. I may just skip the flag next year and go all snapdragon.
Here’s one last treat.
So that’s it from this end of Pennsylvania. I saw a dash of sunshine just a few minutes ago but just the fact it’s stopped raining is a big step forward in my opinion. Let’s hope at least one day this weekend offers the garden and the gardener a chance to dry out and get something productive done. All the best!