My garden looks like the day after a big party. Plants in a various states of disarray, heaps of spent flowers have fallen asleep right where they were so vibrant just weeks ago, everywhere I look there are reminders of summer’s wildness. Some years I go at fall clean up with great enthusiasm. I can’t wait to clear it all away and have a totally zen garden to look at. No mess, just rocks, soil and conifers. Not this year — I feel reluctant, my mind is elsewhere.
Immediately I start to rationalize and formulate “the rules”. I can’t cut down any plant that might provide food for the birds. There, that eliminates having to deal with anything with seed heads. Besides, they look so interesting and sculptural, especially after a frost.
Technically, I really shouldn’t cut anything down until after a few good frosts when the perennials are completely dormant. By doing it too early, it might stimulate growth and waste much of the plant’s energy.
Not to change the subject but has anyone else noticed what an incredibly vibrant fall we’ve been having? My weather guru, Cliff Mass, who, btw, has his own new weather blog, said “fall colors are encouraged when there are warm, sunny days and cool, non-freezing nights. We have had an unusual number of such days/nights during much of October. The fact we haven’t had any windstorms to knock off the leaves certainly helped too”.
So, what’s it going to be? Layers of fallen debris, no doubt immediately inhabited by pesky mold spores, masses of pests laying eggs, blackspot galore and slugs breeding under every pile of leaves. Well, I guess so because by the time I finished taking these photos, it has started to rain again. Obviously, I am distracted in a big way.
So you see, I really can’t clean up the garden today. Besides, we haven’t had a frost yet and with global warming, we might not have one for a very long time. My time is definitely better spent checking and re-checking the polls, pulling out my voter’s pamphlet to study up on the things I haven’t decided on, making a game plan for standing in line tomorrow — you know, the right clothes, reading material, cell phone charged, food and water in case there is a long wait. I guess you can tell where my head is — Everybody Please Get Out and Vote!