Saturday, December 1, 2012
Death seems to be a large player in the fall garden. Slippery slime from frost blackened squash leaves still coats my garden gloves. Less tropical plants take the change of season in stride and are presently putting out new growth. This foxglove seedling found itself growing at the west facing base of a dry stone wall. Shelter and warmth should carry this plant into next summers garden. The picture would look much more impressive without the dead leaves but finding and operating the pruner with cold gloved hands seemed too much.
Mammoth pink chrysanthemums are reliably hardy here. Soon the ground will be frozen and the old growth will be cut and placed over the new growth. The light airy mulch will help the young plants overwinter. Wood sorrel and Johnny jump ups are persistent weeds here and will overwinter no matter what.
Great lobelia has finished two seasons with us. Some are blue flowered and some are white. Not everyone understands why we buy this rather common ditch weed but taking any plants from the roadside comes with risk of a fine. Many new plants crowd around last season's stems. Spring division will be required to keep these plants growing freely. For now, it is time to cut the stems and place them over the new plants.
Only the first Rose campion requires planting by the gardener. Following that they come up everywhere. Their delicate looking whitish foliage and the promise of magenta flowers combine to make it difficult to weed them out. We always leave more than we should. Their delicate appearance belies the toughness displayed in the face of frost and freezing. Compare that with my unwillingness to take off my gloves and snip off some dead leaves. Working in the cold used to be easier!