Years ago Becky was part of a Fiber Arts Guild. There she came into contact with skilled women some of who were many years her senior. Their skills were eagerly shared with Becky benefiting greatly from her time with the group. Myrtle was part of the Guild. Well into her eighties she had moved from the farm to a third floor apartment. That she climbed all of those stairs was impressive. During the winter season heat from the lower floors found its way up to Myrtles apartment. She always had a pot of basil growing in her warm kitchen.
Today was the day to remove our basil plants since frost is forecast for the next several nights. Destroying plants is beyond unpleasant and as I arrived with my digging tools I remembered Myrtle. Twelve plants were removed with their roots intact and placed in two plastic dishpans. We have no intention of carrying these plants over but they will be used over the next several weeks. Why this method has never been tried in the past cannot be explained but we are doing it now.
I was not the only one interested in the basil's last day outside. Many bees were feeding on the flowers. Usually bees are focused on the flowers and we work together in peace. Today they seemed to have a sense of urgency and stung me twice. My work continued.
Expecting to be moving these plants to the compost pile, I was obviously delighted to be placing them in the basement. A generous amount of water was added after the dishpans were on the basement floor. If it is possible to carry the now much heavier containers, these plants will spend more days in the sun.
The planting bed was clear weeded early last spring. After the basil plants were set out, a mulch of chopped tree leaves was worked among the plants. Weeds were kept at bay while the leaf mulch also retained moisture. Once again this area has been clear weeded. This bare soil will winter over enjoying purifying sunlight on clear warm days. The Clara Curtis chrysanthemums should be divided next spring. Potted divisions placed in this beautiful soil could receive needed watering while they settle in prior to being planted out. This before the frost day was expected to be horrible but now we are filled with the hope of fresh fragrant basil for days to come and the promise of well tended mum divisions come spring. Lucky for me I didn't weed out Becky's tiny Italian parsley plants from seed. Tomorrow will be soon enough to pot those up for winter use.