Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Clean Up

Whether I care to admit it or not, summer has been gone for a long time already.  I can't believe there are only a few days left in October.  With the extremely late arrival of spring this year coupled with my being out of commission for a few weeks, I really don't know where the summer went.  About the best we can do now is yank everything out that needs yanking and wait for the snow to fly.   And plant daffodils.

I'm not sure how many daffodil bulbs fit in a bushel basket, anybody care to guess?   I suppose we could have a guessing contest, but then I'd have to count them and well, that's too much work.  Suffice it to say there are a LOT of bulbs still needing holes to be dug.  Too bad I couldn't put the chickens on the job, they love to dig holes.   (And fling mulch out of the beds, and bury plants that don't need burying.  Ok, they do lay eggs and eat bugs.) 

 I went to town tonight with Carl to buy gasoline and saw many piles of leaves waiting out on the curb for pick up.  It wouldn't do me any good to rake leaves yet (not that I do very often, ok, rarely, ok, Never....) because Willie the Willow hasn't even thought about dropping a leaf and won't until the snow flies.  Most of the time we end up running his leaves through the snow blower.  Willows are messy trees, but they are the first to green up in the spring and the very last to shed their leaves in the fall.

Willie and his Leaves
Last night I was researching more stuff online about thyroid disease and simultaneously listening to the wind blow outside.  Shortly after one big gust shook the house,  I heard a tree fall in the woods across the road.  (If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, wait......that's not the way that saying goes, is it?)    I didn't see it fall, but I sure heard it hit the ground with a mighty crash.   At first  I wondered if maybe Willie decided it was time to leave, but in the morning he was still there, waving in the breeze with every leaf intact.
Birch in the Woodland Walk
The pictures in this post were taken a week ago; things don't look so great anymore, everything has finally frozen.  But that makes it easier to clean up, too.  I hate pulling flowering plants out of the ground, it just seems wrong.
Driveway entrance
Time to put the statuary away or knit her a coat.
Formal Garden
Right up until last week the melampodium 'Melanie' plants flowered nonstop.
And so did the wax begonias...hard to believe they can take so much cold weather.

My only gripe about fall is it doesn't last long enough.  The leaf colors are stunning, but so short-lived.
A job I dread: cutting back the waterlilies before the ice freezes.  
 Carl and I focused our attention on the Pachyberm this weekend.  It's amazing how many trailer loads of plant material we hauled to the compost pile. 
It's all just rocks now.  But that's ok.  Rocks are good.

Do you remember the planter Carl made me for Valentine's Day?
Carl and the planter, February 14, 2013

October 20, 2013
I stuck a pot of Bubblegum petunias in the top of the planter and planted various climbing vines on the ribs.  By the time I realized the location I had placed the planter in was too shady, the vines had already rooted and twined up the planter, so I left it in place.  Next season, I'm going to move the planter to a sunnier spot.  (It did turn out prettier than this earlier in the summer, but I forgot to take a better picture.)

Poor ol' Castle Aaargh.  One more year without a roof.  Or walls. Or windows.

We have two major garden walks coming next year, that is, IF I'm up to it, and Aaargh was supposed to be done by then.  Oh, well.  Best laid plans of mice and men.  The work will be there in the spring.

There's always next year. 
With a little luck and a lot of ambition (something I'm chronically short on lately) I'll be able to get more clean up work done.  We have to trek the 70 miles to the doctor this week, too.  I hope it rains that day. 

I'd hate to waste a beautiful fall day sitting in a doctor's office, right?


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Your gardens are stunning any time of the year and these photos show that.

Love and hugs to you and Carl ~ FlowerLady

Pamela Gordon said...

Oh, Karen, your gardens are so beautiful in these photos. You and Carl do an amazing amount of work to make your property beautiful. I love all the colour and the leaves etc. I dumped my annual containers on the garden on Saturday and a neighbour tilled it for us. I still have my geraniums and million bells blooming on the front deck though. Have a safe trip to the doctor's this week. Take your camera along to get some photos of fall scenery. :) Blessings, Pam

Larry said...

Hi Karen... this has been such an odd fall... I feel like I've been part of a wind tunnel experiment for close to four weeks! A few things have colored nicely but many others not at all... the ginkgos were a huge disappointment this year, dropping all the foliage green... I'm not sure why this happens and had thought the freeze would make a difference. I'm also concerned about it being too dry and am watering heavily in prep for winter.

Your photos this morning are very lovely... especially your header.

Take care, Larry

Alison said...

Not just the sitting in the doctor's office, but the driving 70 miles too, seems like such a waste of good weather. Of course, it's not a waste, because he might end up actually being helpful. You've had a freeze already? It's hard for me to get motivated about bringing stuff inside, until a frost threatens. Then it's a mad scramble. I don't think you've mentioned having any tender plants that you try to overwinter inside the house. Do you not have any?

El Gaucho said...

Karen - I'm with you, where did summer go? and fall? I'm not sure how to process it all, time is just flying by. And our weather here in Eastern North Dakota went straight from late summer to early winter (highs in the 30's and 40') with few "typical" fall days to savor. Sigh.

Your gardens always look magnificent and I can only imagine how much better they will look in Spring with the addition of 720,000 daffodils.

Carolyn ♥ said...

Lovely blooms to cheer you... hope you're feeling better soon! Happy last days of October.

Beth said...

Your fall garden looks amazing, Karen! The colors are fantastic. Hope you are feeling much better. I treasure memories of our visit last summer. :)

Indie said...

Your trees are so gorgeous. I love your birches! Your garden photos are beautiful, and there are few things I love more than the thought of a garden in spring with all the bulbs in bloom. I hope your doctor visit goes well! I know it's been a tough summer.

Anonymous said...

The garden looks wonderful but I agree the summer went by too fast. I just made that same comment on another blog minutes ago. In a way, fast does not bother me since it was a dry year yet again. Wishing you the best with your health.

Our photos said...

Beautiful are the photos!
Greetings, RW & SK

HolleyGarden said...

Karen, your garden is always so beautiful, no matter the weather. I think because it has so many wonderful bones that hold it together. Another plus for rocks! I'm sorry you're having thyroid problems. A friend of mine here had to have her thyroid biopsied - it was benign. She also had little energy, very unusual for her, so even though I'm not there, I sort of feel like I know what you're going through. I hope the doctor can get it all straightened out.

Jennifer said...

All in all I think we have had a nice fall. Your garden looks really pretty at this time of the year. I can see why you must dread cleaning up the pond- it is a good sized pond. Hope the doctors appointment went well.