Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall in the garden

Fall is here after a very short summer. We wish we could have had another month of summer, this year, but we get what we get when it comes to weather in the Pacific Northwest. We have had a number of light frosts that have taken out the tomatoes and burned back the cannas, but the hardy banana, Musa basjoo has barely been nipped. The Astors are done, but went out with a flourish and the tender container tropicals are back in the greenhouse to spend the winter. There are still many chiles that we harvest daily that the frost has not been too hard on- they are great grilled on the barbi. We trialed a South African bulb, Ledbouria zebrina last year and it survived the 16*f winter just fine. We are excited about it because it has the architectual look of an Agave, but dies back to the ground in winter. It will be several years before we have them available, but the seedlings are doing fine so far.

Walks in the garden are short because of the rain and cold, but there is still much to enjoy. Gone is the summer ritual of a glass of Pinto Noir in the garden at sunset, but it is replaced with a short walk in the garden at dusk to enjoy the last fall colors, look at the ducks and geese that come in with the season. Last week a bald eagle went hunting over the middle pond. My, are they big! We have begun cleaning up some of the dead and dying summer annuals so there is less work when the colder days of winter arrive. Although clean-up is not a favorite, it is good exercise and allows us to see the bones of the garden and help plan for next years garden. Now that we are off daylight savings time, the days end rather suddenly at 5pm- a far cry from 9:30pm in June. Yet this causes a welcome slow down from summer. Its dark so early that outdoor work comes to an end and thoughts of dinner and a warm fire take over. We do have an indoor garden project though. We are making tiles for the domed garden folly as we have not been able to find weather proof tile in the color we want. So, hopefully when we have our open nursery and garden in May, visitors will see a new tile roof. In the mean time, we are enjoying the last of the seasons colors and hope you are able to do the same.   

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