Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The End of the Season

The End of the Season

I am now spending some time doing fall clean-up. There really isn’t much to do at this point, except rake leaves, skim leaves out of the pond and work on killing some of the perennial weeds such as dandelions that seem to be ever-present. We don’t recommend cutting things back in the fall, so that’s one more thing to cross off the list. Plants shouldn’t be cut back until they are really dormant, which doesn’t happen until late November or even later and who wants to be outside then when you could be snuggled up to the fire with a hot toddy.

I am, however, taking a close look at the garden to determine what worked and what didn’t and what changes I want to make for next year. Actually, I will be making a lot of changes because I will be moving and will have a clean slate from which to work. But it’s good to note what I liked about this garden and more importantly, what I didn’t, so I don’t repeat the same mistakes. Although at my advanced aged I probably won’t remember any of it anyway.

The one thing I was really disappointed with this year was a mass planting of torenia under the crab apple tree. We sell this annual as a plant that will bloom in the shade. Well, guess what, it didn’t. The tag says full to part sun and I think it definitely needs more sun than it got. Michael reported the same results in his garden, so I know it wasn’t just me. I think if I am here next spring to plant, I will plant begonias. The begonias we had at the store looked fabulous even at the end of the summer. Begonias are a great plant that don’t ask for much and bloom profusely whether in sun or shade.

My Endless Summer hydrangeas came up beautifully early this summer but all of a sudden wilted and died. They were established plants and I am still perplexed as to what happened.
Another plant that did not perform as expected were the caladiums I had planted behind my pond. I have a small amount of perennials planted behind the pond but since I use a lot of tropical plants in the pond I wanted to carry that same theme into the background. I had planted white variegated hypoestes, an annual that is also sold as a house plant, in mass and then the white caladiums behind that. The caladiums just never grew and then I think our rabbit ate what was there. (She also cut quite a wide swath through the hostas back there and is now confined to quarters.)

Well, thus ends another gardening year. I am looking forward to gardening in my new house on Douglas Avenue. It will be quite different from this garden as it is mostly shade and much smaller. There is a large deck off the house and I hope to do lots of container gardening. Working with Michael these past few years has given me quite an appreciation for this form of gardening.

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