Monday, November 25, 2002

And so It Ends: This Week's Garden Report, Nov 2002

Things are starting to wind down in the garden. The Mums are putting on a
show that was hardly expected early in the season. The late spring freeze set
them way back at first but they really fought back with a vengeance.
The Iraqi squirrels seem to be in full retreat after their hideouts were cut
down. Lightning, my dog, takes credit but I think the squirrels knew we were on to
them and just moved their base of operations to Rita’s yard. We may have to
plan an invasion. Replacement trees have been installed to replace the recent
losses. Ma popped for a big Blaze Maple out front. I picked up a Bald Cypress
and a River Birch for out back.
The fall colors this year are spectacular. The burning bushes are just
blazing away. The red maple is ridiculously red. Even the Bald Cypress has
turned bright yellow. In fact trees throughout the neighborhood are doing it
right this year. Last year was a real bust; the trees just turned brown and
went dormant. Last fall was a bummer in a lot of ways.
The fall cleanup is going well, all the slacker annuals have been removed,
the whole bunch of ’em were a waste of money. The garden centers have been
scoured for deals and many new players have been recruited. Maybe next year I
won’t even need any annuals.
It’s gitten’ ta be time to pass out awards for this year. The comeback
player of the year has got to be the Purple Asters. I put them down into the
minors 2 years ago, last year I don’t even remember seeing them. They seem to
have been inspired by the Mums this year and are putting on quite a show out
Most valuable Plant without a doubt is the Shasta daisy. It isn’t really
one daisy; there’s a couple hundred now, but they all came from one plant.
This plants ability to bloom just when you need flowers the most in mid to
late summer is a lifesaver. There are too many plants that bloom in spring or
fall but slack -off in the dog days of summer. When it’s hotter than hell
out, the mosquitoes are biting and everything else in the garden is wilting
and drying up, when you really need some eye candy, the Shasta come through
year after year. No maintenance, they just grow like weeds and bloom from
early August till late Sept. I have never paid this plant the respect it is
Rookie of the year goes to the Japanese ferns. Although the fern garden has
done well year in, year out there has not been much excitement in that corner
for awhile. The Japanese fern adds a little contrast and appears to be
getting along well with the other players
One last bit of good news is the birds are back. Things were looking real
good for the bird population in the garden at the start of the season. The
birdhouses were turning into bird factories. Some of them horny little devils
raised 2 or 3 families before the West Nile came around. By mid-July it was
like something out of a Rachael Carson book out there. The crows and jays
disappeared first, not long after all the sparrows, starlings, finches and
just about everything else were gone. I realize that they are just migrating
through now but maybe they will find the accommodations to their liking and
come back next spring.