Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Closing Out October

Remember the anonymous gardener who cried “Hooray! The first frost.  The dahlias are dead at last.”

The end of October brought much more than the first frost this year; we were walloped with snow that tallied power failures, road and rail closings, and county-wide states of emergencies.  I was in Rhinebeck for the weekend, tucked up safe and warm in a village house within walking distance of everything, including storm damage.
Hedge under snow load
I was also able to visit Phantom Gardener, a local nursery, to see what was available at the end of the season.  If you have the strength for it, now is the time to pick up plants too large to be held over easily.  At Phantom Gardener there were marvelous hydrangeas and quite large Sugar maples, all at half- price.  I contented myself with a dozen paperwhites for forcing and a bag of potting soil.  More on the technique for this next week. 
End of season at the Phantom Gardener


Mulch clematis vines with rotted manure.
Check rose climbers for insecure ties
Rake gardens clear of all debris.  
Prepare beds for next spring by tilling the soil lightly.

The last gasp

You may still find a few interesting offerings for sale this time of year. 
To boost your inventory of house plants look for oxalis.  O. rengnelii sprouts from underground corms.  White flowers grow in clouds several times during the year, accompanied by green, clover-shaped leaves.  When they become leggy, cut them down to soil level, and they will start all over again.

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