Friday, November 6, 2015

Au Revoir Mon Petit Chou Chou

"See you later my little cabbage."
Au Revoir- to see again.
Petit chou chou - a term of endearment.
This is not good bye forever though winter can feel that way.
Gone are the days of flip flops and dirty toes, rinsing off the worst of it with a spray from the hose.
A gradual shift happened in the optimal time for gardening. It shifted from cool mornings to warm afternoons.  At some point the risk to transplants changed from frying to freezing. My tasks transformed from feeding and nurturing to protecting,securing, sheltering. Where have all the flowers gone?

For that matter, where have afternoons gone?

I'm already making lists for next Spring! When did I decide these projects just wouldn't get done this year?

 I know I bemoaned every chilly morning for a while there, sure it  was heralding the coming end to all things green but I adjusted and was glad for warm spells and fall colors.

I must say, the colors have been stunning this year. That's what makes it so hard to say goodbye. However, goodbyes are inevitable and biting winters make for sweet springs.

So, Au Revoir! 

'Til we meet again...
Dear friend.....

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Noisy Pet Peeve of Mine

Fall, the vibrant colors, the urgent scurry and flitting of animals and birds preparing for winter, the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot and the whining buzz of leaf blowers all around me? 

I may ruffle a few feathers when I say that I believe anyone under the age of 60, without physical disabilities should be out there raking, not blowing their leaves from one end of their property to the other. This neighbor, actually took two hours to blow the leaves from the south side of his property to the north side, as the wall of leaves got higher and higher. We raked ours onto a tarp and made a couple piles in our wooded area, my husband went for a run, I put away our patio furniture and the guy was still at it! And all the while the whirring noise was assaulting my ears. 

I have a bulging disc in my lower back. Most gardeners have back problems or bad knees or something that plagues them, throughout the growing season but we keep going. I've found that my back feels better with moderate exercise and I've learned to do things carefully or I'll be paying the price later. I think it makes me appreciate everything more.
 I use all my senses in the garden, during every season. Fall is no exception, in fact it's as if the foliage is going out in a blaze of glory. The colors, the drastic temperature changes, the smells of soil and decomposition, and taste of the last cherry tomatoes on the vine or coffee on the patio amidst rustling leaves. It's a last chance before the snow flurries and frigid temperatures make gardening a dream for next spring. 
The ubiquitous leaf blower shatters all that for me. Well, that's my pet peeve rant for the morning. What's yours?

Searching for Silver Linings

Choosing to search for silver linings 
amongst the dark clouds

There is no better proof that the economy has been on the upswing these past few years than the amount of construction, major renovation and general ruckus going on all around my house! The noise drives me insane. Early morning coffee walks through the garden before the roar of engines and generators rev up for the day have been restful and restorative.

no dark clouds
Landscapes can change in an instant, due to a sudden loss of a tree or the drastic deforestation done by new neighbors. Beyond these trees used to be a densely wooded lot. Were we ridiculous to assume a property buyer would purchase this lot because  it was wooded? Yes, we knew there were buckthorns out there but we seldom thought of that as we watched the fawns take their first steps, the foxes darting after mice, a rafter of 19, turkeys (yes, I counted) scouring the dirt, or an occasional daytime coyote venture out of "the woods."

I mourn the loss of the wildlife that used to make its home in the wooded area. 

So, I've embraced the new light shining through, where before was only darkness and mystery.  
We get the occasional visitor but they don't stay long. I'm one of the few that actually welcome deer. I've planted my whole garden with them in mind. Many of my perennials are straight off the deer resistant plant list, while others are hardy and resilient, taking deer "prunings" in stride.

Any green in the photo is most likely a buckthorn, an invasive tree that grows quickly from seeds in berries dispersed by wildlife. I intend to take out every one of them and replace them with beautiful shrubs and trees, I've taken out hundreds, ranging from seedlings to 30 footers. I'm working to improve the soil, depleted by these landscape scourges. In the end it will prove to be a good thing, right?

Work done on our own homes is at times necessary and often out of our control. Roofers break branches, smash perennials and even their clean up methods are destructive.  That said, I choose to search for those silver linings. I know they're out there. I ran out and got this picture of the mums before the roofers crushed this darling profusion of blooms. They absolutely leveled everything from hostas to ferns, from delphiniums to tall anemone. I asked them to please protect my golden spirea and my giant Red Bud, both of which were battered and broken.

The geraniums in the wooded area, however, were well out of reach and put on a beautiful show.

It has been a spectacular Autumn in our area. I have appreciated every colorful leaf and warm sunny morning, as well as the rain and wind that make for healthy, strong trees and shrubs. The perennials may be done for now and potted annuals can be dragged in from the frost only so many times but those boughs and branches are just gearing up for showing off their wintery white sparkled garments. New seasons, new surprises!