Friday, November 4, 2011

Fertilizer Friday: November 4

How hard it is to think that November has descended on us already.  The weather Monday through Wednesday of this past week was dismal; that is, unless you are a fan of gray drizzle and cold winds; then you would have been ecstatic.

I'm sure there are people out there who enjoy dark, drizzly days, sort of like Morticia Addams of the Addams Family used to adore stormy weather, do you remember that show? And how she cut off the nasty rose flowers when arranging her thorn-stemmed bouquets as her husband Gomez, snazzily dressed in his smoking jacket, adoringly ogled her in her long, black dress.  'Cara Mia'........oh, sorry, yes, I know, yet another reference to an obscure TV show, but the weather the first part of this week made me a bit batty, and besides it was Halloween.  I was baking cookies the other day during the rain storm and started laughing when I remembered that line, "Are these cookies made of real Girl Scouts?"  Never mind.  Like I said, I was bit batty.   (Dang Retro TV.)

Last rose of the season...Red 'Knockout', my apologies to Morticia for showing the 'ugly' flower.
Finally, on Thursday, the weather took a turn for the better.  And I took a turn for more energetic and headed out to do battle with the fall cleanup.  AND, Carl came home from work at noon to surprise me and to help.  Hey, hey, doesn't get much better than this.

Oh, it is high time to put the River Bed out of it's misery, don't you think?  The Inca marigolds gave it their all, but even they have to give up sometime. 
And the hyacinth beans on the trellis were causing the trellis to lean in a most unsettling manner.  Yup, high time to nip this situation in the bud, er, the vine.
Note to self: For more effective Before and After photos, please stand in the exact same place for each photo and please select either Portrait or Landscape as a picture format.  (Sorry about that.)

There, the River Bed was finished, now what about the Pan Fountain?  
It appears to be full of leaves at this point, but the sound it makes is still pleasant (unless you need to use the restroom) so we will leave the draining and hauling of the pans to storage to a later date.
It appears the pathway between the garage and the house is completely exhausted, too, time to go.
Ooooops, by the time I took this picture it was too dark to see the cleanup was done (and I still wasn't standing in the same spot AGAIN, but take my word for it, this area is finished, too.)  I may wish I'd cut down the miscanthus here, especially when in a few short weeks, I'll have to maneuver the snowblower between them on my way to the chicken coop and my winter walking trails.   But hey, it makes for so much Winter Fun to have the long grass wrap all around the snowblower auger parts, oh, you'll never believe the Joy.  Why, I may even break a safety bolt on the blower and have to replace it in -20 degree weather; gee, things to look forward to.  On second thought, maybe I'd better whack those grasses down.

Ok, which bed to attack next?  We looked at the Escarpment:
Looks sorta pretty on this side.  Yet.  Let's see how the other side looks:
Oh, well, hmmmmmmmmm, not so pretty.
The hostas have given up, they are really, really Tired.  But now I can see the rocks, always a plus.

They still do catch the light though, despite being bedraggled and besmirched.  We decided to let this garden go until later on.
Strolling past the Quarry itself, we both stared at the waterlilies.  Who wants to wade in there to cut them back?  Anyone?  Anyone?   Well.  Fancy that, no one wants to wade into a nice, cold pond on a 48 degree day.  
I guess we'll take a canoe later on.  Or a kayak.  Speaking of the Quarry, the rudbeckias are still blooming.  Talk about determination.
Their numbers are dwindling, but there's still yellow there to be seen.  And a lot of cleanup, too.
One lonely campanula still doing it's thing.  I love blue flowers.
And blue skies!  (And rocks.)

I spotted our birch tree over by the barn when the light hit it just right around 4PM.  This was the beacon that led Carl and I to go to work over in that part of the yard instead.  Doesn't matter where we work, really, it's all got to go anyway.
There's that blue sky again, and the weathervane my father-in-law, Don, made for us years ago. Right now the weathervane is on a pole, I'm thinking it would look great on the stone house.  Speaking of good ol' Castle Aaargh......look at all the rock we have to pick up yet before the snow flies.
I didn't think we were THAT messy while we were working on it, Wow.  Seems like we quit whacking rocks a long, long time ago, but in reality it's less than two weeks.  
I miss working on Aaargh so much.  I had such high hopes to be farther along with construction.  But Winter waits for no one.  We were talking about it this afternoon; if (and that's such a big word) IF the weather is good in April, we could start to run mortar then, but if April of next year is like April of last year (we had 17" of snow at the start of the month) that won't be possible. 
We do have a garden walk here next June, how nice it would be to have the stone work done by then.  (Now I have a song by the band Super Tramp running through my head, "Dreamer!  You're nothing but a dreamer.")  Some of the visitors were here when we started the castle in 2005, so they will be amused to see the progress or lack thereof.  Hey, we tried.
Now, kindly go and get me a pallet, I have to pick up the rocks so at least the lawn won't be dead in a hundred different places.
Carl found one very tired and tatty clematis still blooming.  Poor thing, frozen and chomped on.  But still gorgeous.
We still have to get all the flowers out of the Formal Garden, too.  But with this lighting, you can't even see them.  I like this lighting.

Carl planted asparagus last fall just because he likes the texture of the foliage.  Nobody around here eats the stuff, we just like looking at it.  Sure is hard to photograph though; it's so spindly and ferny.
Sweet alyssum still blooming, but I heartlessly yanked it out.  I know, how could I?  Meany.

My urns looked so forlorn after all the annuals were yoinked out, so my GADS got the better of me again and I cut some hydrangeas to stuff in them.  (I was supposed to be cleaning out beds, not playing urn decorator.)
The grass is 'Red Rooster' grass....if you look real close, you can see another rooster:
Oh, that noisy bugger!  He may well be Thanksgiving dinner if he keeps up with the yodeling every five minutes. 
I don't imagine the hydrangea flower heads will hold up to snow, but I like the way they look right now. 
Adds a touch of class to the River Bed....ok, maybe not class, but adds Something to the bed, how about that?
Another urn, another dilemma, Quick!  Get me a pot to put that variegated ivy in to winter over.  Temps are dropping to 29 degrees tonight, we can see our breath already at 6PM.  Thank you.
 Gotta keep moving, our hands were getting really cold, head through the Egress Gate and let's cut all the hostas down.
Whose idea was it to plant all of these things?  Oh, well, we're not going to make it tonight.  There's always Friday coming up.
Most of the corn is off our field, too:

The shadows are long, the sun's going down.
Red sky at night, Sailor's delight.
Hope the old adage is right.
We have a LONG way to go yet before we can rest.

Don't forget to head over to Tootsie's at Fertilizer Friday and see what beauty is blooming in gardens from all over the world!

Have a great weekend!


Sueb said...

You could use the help of "Thing” with your clean up. What was that line “That’s the sprit Thing, Lend a hand!Lol! The weather here has been rough this week it’s raining like mad at the moment. Don't think much gardening is going to happen today.
Have a good weekend.

Tina´s PicStory said...

lovely garden!

Darla said...

Something to do all the time isn't there? Sounds way too cold there for me already. I am looking forward to your snow photos and your snowblower walking trails...when do you put up your greenhouse? I love the hydrangea urn!

FlowerLady said...

Good morning Karen ~ What a delightful tour of your gardens at this time of year. If I was there I would gladly give you a hand cleaning up, while we chatter and laugh away the hours.

Your weather is too cold for this girl. Right now it is 60 and feels like it is 62 at a couple of minutes after 7 a.m. The high today is supposed to be 80, with a low of 57. Sounds absolutely wonderful to me.

Enjoy putting your gardens to sleep and making plans for next year, with all the indoor time to take care of and enjoy doing other things.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Alison said...

I hope you get it all done before the snow comes! Hostas do look so pitiful when they are dying back and yellow, don't they? The Ruds are trying, but they are starting to look a little tired.

Veronica said...

Wow what a wonderful garden. Visiting from tootsie and thrilled to find somewhere to link garden posts. We are in spring here and I am having a great time visiting all the open gardens and posting them on my blogs! Reading your post I am aware of how easy gardening is here where it is not so cold but then again we do not get the magnificent colours that you get in fall foliage!

So beautiful

Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

NellJean said...

I enjoyed every step of the tour. I clean up in little tiny bites: the melampodium one day, periwinkles another. I don't know if I'm prolonging the agony or enjoying the journey.

Lona said...

Wonderful pictures Karen. Looks like the week for a lot of gardeners to clean up for the winter. Mine looks so empty and sad after this weeks clean up. I wish I had some of your rocks for interest. LOL! I am sure the Rooster will be quieter now since you threatened him with the pot. LOL!
Have a wonderful weekend.

myomyohi said...

I have to get busy and clean mine up this weekend. I don't know how you keep up with all that. You have so much. Let's hope the weather stays nice a few more days.

Enjoy your weekend.

Beth said...

Hi Karen, There is still beauty there but I also see that you will be working several hours every day until the snow flies and you can rest. If I lived closer, I'd stop by and give you a hand. The stone house looks so painstakingly done and beautiful! Love your quarry and pond so much too, Karen. Love the riverbed too; even now it has a nice curve design - you and Carl are amazing designers!

Clipped Wings said...

You have way too much garden, lol. Seriously, it is very many different wonderful "rooms" to explore.

Bernie said...

It's really quite fascinating to me hearing about how gardeners have to put their gardens to bed for the winter. You two certainly have a big job getting it all done. I had visions of Thing tearing around the place giving a hand!!! I admire your stamina.

Even though everything seems to be winding down, your garden areas still look fabulous. The Quarry area really does look lovely even now.

Loved the urns. The red Knockout Rose is beautiful. Those sunsets shots are magnificent and the Escarpment does look pretty with its grasses and Sedum.

Larry said...

Well Karen... the end is near... of the gardening season that is! Think we'll finish clearing things off tomorrow and I've been wrapping a few things for the winter already. Such marvelous weather we've been having... I've got a lamp pretty close to all cut out but it's hard to stay inside and work on it when it's so great outside!

Rosemary said...

It may be November but there is still lots of beauty in the garden.......and oh so much work too... My back is aching for you..

Sonia said...

Now really you have some amazing gardens!! I would love walking and spending time there so much to see!!
The fall colors are beautiful and I love the stone work all around the garden. Truly beautiful!
Miss Bloomers

Gatsbys Gardens said...


Your garden looks so cozy even when the weather turns cold. It is all of those great evergreens which make the season seem timeless. I am trying to do it with smaller plants and grasses that hold their leaves so that everything doesn't look so bare in the winter.


Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

Wow you guys have been so busy cleaning up...I need to so that outside, but alas I need to do it inside as well...I can see why you need a Boo-Hoo Buddy now lol.

Blessings Kelsie

Shyrlene said...

I just love the trip down memory lane ... both with the Addams Family AND Supertramp (classic cool)!! The Hydrangea & Rooster Grass look excellent in the urn - I vote 'keep it' as long as you can! Great 'Tour de "Gardens"' look around... :D