Saturday, October 25, 2014

Putting the garden to bed....

Not my favorite task, but a necessary one for any gardener in the northeast. While we haven't had a killing frost, there will be one soon and most of the perennials are way past their prime.  So I took advantage of this glorious, sunny, warm autumn day. One of the most onerous tasks for me is putting away the hoses, one in the front and one in the back of the house.  Probably doesn't sound like much, but try wrestling fifty feet of cold, unbending hose into some reasonable semblance of a coil.  I discovered a couple of years ago that if I lay the hose out on the ground in the sun for a few hours, it gets soft enough to deal with.  I can check that off my list.
I cut down most of the perennials and  pulled out the tomato plants even though they were covered with green tomatoes.  There just aren't enough warm days left for them to ripen.  The tender herbs also got dumped, leaving the hardy ones to stay for awhile longer.  Parsley, especially doesn't mind the cold.

I pulled out most of the annuals in the ground, but a few pots on my deck still look so pretty that I couldn't bear to dump them yet.  This is very visible from my kitchen and family room so I can enjoy them for another week or so.

The bacopa in my railing planters look better than they did all summer, so they will stay for awhile,

This beautiful succulent grouping will come inside for the winter and I hope  can keep it going.  The trailing bluish one is a holdover from last year.

This is the back of the same grouping, now on my kitchen counter, but I have to find a new spot for it.

This Mother of Millions will also come inside.  The center "mother plant" is from last year.  I had wintered it over in the house and it was looking quite straggly so I cut it to the ground and let the babies grow around it. Because they were so crowded they didn't get very big, but I think it makes a much more interesting houseplant.  I'll see what it does this winter.

Looking down on the Mother of Millions.  Isn't she cute?  BTW, the name comes from the fact that the leaves grow tiny little plants along the edges that fall to the ground and make more plants.

How strange looking is this?  I have a strip of woods behind my house where I dump my plants. They decompose and just add to the soil.  I upturned a sweet potato plant that was in a pedestal planter and thought it was a hoot the way the roots had grown all the way down into the base to form what looks like some kind of primitive hut.  Fairies perhaps?

It was a bad year for Hibiscus plants in this area because of the very cold winter we had.  My blue plant had hardly any flowers all summer, so this was nice little surprise.  They made a sweet little nosegay for my bedside table with some the the last roses of summer. It doesn't take a lot to make me happy.

Now I'm off to make pumpkin scones (an incredibly easy recipe).  A little treat for all my hard work today.


Linda M said...

Love the succulents and I've never seen a "Mother of Millions" before but it sure looks interesting. I should go out and take care of my yard before a frost or snow, but haven't yet.

Martha Ginn said...

Your having to put your garden to bed this early makes me glad to live this far south. I had never heard of Mother of Millions, but the picture reminded me of what we call Alligator Plant, and Googling it brought up many similar ones. Fun to be reminded of this plant I haven't seen for years!

Sarah said...

Your plants still look lovely and lush! (BTW I love your purple decking!). Have you tried ripening your green toms on the kitchen window sill? I put mine in the conservatory and most of them are red now and delicious!

Vivien Zepf said...

Putting the garden to bed is on my to-do list for the week. I'm always sad to pull the tomato plants too, but no one in my family likes green tomatoes, and they'll never ripen on the sill