I don't remember an October that I've actually cut back as many perennials as I have this early. My logic is I'd rather see my garden empty than seeing the plants that have caved in to the enormous amount of rain we've gotten this past spring and summer.
If you live in the Northeast you know exactly what I'm writing about... While we do our best to protect and defend, there's just no way a persistent gardener can protect all our plants against having wet feet. What do you do? I say... just cut it back, kiss it goodnight with a nice layer of mulch or leaves and hope for a better 2012!
My front garden bed looked so pretty up until four weeks ago when even the moist loving ferns had said, "Enough Already!" So we go from 'die back lush" to scratching the surface dirt, except for the few Monkshood that look totally ridiculous now standing so tall with no shorties around it.. Soon they'll bloom and provide a nice 'blue' flower in front of my home. Hmmm.. maybe the last color blooming is blue as that's what I'll be when their done?
The bed of ferns that were waving 'hello spring!' are now fading and saying, 'until another day'.
At least I did have some successes to record however! The Bugbane did fantastic this year and smelled as delicious as popping open a jar of grape jelly! A cute little fern started growing in my bricks as well!
The lobelia apparently got real happy in their new location as there's secondary leaf growth which is definitely a great sign.
For the first time this year I've decided to let my cleome just wither in the wind and die back on their own. Let the seed pods bust open when they want instead of me forcing them to drop. I wonder how many I'll have next year!
What about my vegetable garden you ask? Vegetable garden? What vegetable garden? Unless they grow in standing water I had nothing to report! OK, a few tomatoes here and there, a late showing of string beans, two small butternut squash, and two, yes only two peppers to put in this years diary. Except for the cucumbers my garden was a complete waste of time and energy. That's the first time I've reported such a loss and I'm very sad about it indeed.
The herbs did well in my 'hillbilly raised bed' garden (remember my daughters bunk bed frame)... I do have to admit that I was blessed with a large amount of herbs this year simply because I was able to control the soil. Something I can't do that well in my larger vegetable garden. So what does that mean? That means that next year my vegetable garden will be undergoing a serious transformation and new design of trough planters. I have a few ideas in mind that I'll be planning all winter.
My door garden is closing the door to summer and opening the windows to fall. What is the color? Wine bottles!
I think I'll spend the rest of my fall and winter watching the critters come and go and contemplate next years garden.
Speaking of critters, what do you think the chances of me ever finding three creatures together like this again are? A salamander, a night crawler worm and a Woolley Bear caterpillar which by the way, is apparently hinting to a mild winter since his brown hairs are far larger than his black hairs (so folklore says).. I dunno know... I'll let you know how well that prediction was next April!
So goodnight my garden called Irene.. I'll see you in my dreams..