Falling Into Place

Having been away a whole month, I confronted the garden with trepidation. I did have someone checking on things but as we all know, nobody can tend to one’s garden as oneself. What I see is that the garden does not look as awful as I feared but neither does it look as good as I’d like. So it’s been a matter of getting down to basic tasks like weeding, staking, cutting back and general tidying.

Those fundamental chores alone have got the place looking more attractive. But with autumn officially starting in two days, I’m also addressing seasonal work. The summer plantings in pots and window-boxes while still looking kinda okay were on the wane so they’ve been swapped out with fall plants. The fresh appearance has quite transformed the atmosphere – instead of seeming like it is desperately clinging to summer, it feels more ready for autumnal pleasures. My own reluctance to let go of summer has shifted to welcoming fall.

In the potager, cool weather greens such as Swiss chard were replanted. The collards, kale and arugula are still going strong so we can expect delicious, fresh garden produce well into late November/early December. Assuming of course we don’t get unexpected storms or blizzards. These days, who knows!

Just ahead of the much needed rain yesterday, the ‘lawn’ in front was raked, aerated and reseeded. This ought to have the grass up and growing before I need to tread on it to get the fall bulbs planted in the perennial beds in late October/early November.

It is too late to stake some of the plants and there are some bald areas in the perennial beds. Not the best sight for this street facing part of the garden but it can’t be helped. The drought like conditions and string of heat waves have slammed down some plants. I have no idea if they have it in them to return next year. I need to examine which plants still look good and plant more of them instead. I fear the climate shift is here to stay.

In readiness for cool weather, the greenhouse has been washed and cleaned. Starting next weekend, the tender perennials will be pruned, washed and moved into their winter quarters. While it might still feel like summer, the arrival of a severe frost in early October is not unheard of.

And so it will go as the weeks lead up to bulb planting and getting winter-ready. Lots to do. But, the quiet days of winter await. And once again, while we rest our bodies, our minds will be plotting the next growing season.

[ I apologize in advance for the photos being on their side to those of you who read my article on your phone or on Facebook. It happens when I take the photos on my phone instead of my usual camera and I cannot seem to fix the problem. Any advice?]

Note: This coming Sunday September 25, at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence event at the FCC in Chappaqua NY. I will be reading one of my topical poems.It is at 4:00 pm and admission is free. Please come.




(c) 2016 Shobha Vanchiswar

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