Sunday, November 22, 2015

Put to Bed

This fall has been mild verging on balmy, and so the garden has not gone fully dormant yet. The pot marigolds, stocks and Nicotiana mutabilis are still blooming, and annuals and biennials that relish cool, moist conditions, like garland chrysanthemums (Glebionis coronaria), wallflowers (Erysimum cheiri) and corn and Shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas) continue to actively grow, producing wonderfully stout and chubby shoots and foliage. One can only hope that the winter will be snowy and not too cold, so that much of this growth will actually survive and burst into glorious bloom come spring. Nonetheless, after a first real frost earlier this week, I tidied up the garden a bit, cutting down what had been blackened by frost, and covered with thick layers of dry leaves those things that need some protection to make it through the winter.

In the garden today - Nicotiana mutabilis is still going strong, and there is lots of lush foliage of Calendula and other cool-season annuals and biennials; cozy and sheltered under the piles of dry leaves are Jasminum x stephanense, Agapanthus 'Hardy Blue', Dahlia 'Mrs. I. de Ver Warner', and torch lily seedlings (Kniphofia cv.)

The only thing left to do will be to cut down the Nicotianas after the first bout of frost heavy enough to take them out, and then to let things sleep peacefully through the winter - hopefully under a thick insulating blanket of snow - until spring brings new growth and new work.


  1. I think it is a much more sensible notion to only grow those that can survive the climate where you live. That was how I gardened long ago. Unfortunately a foolish kind of garden took over. Adding the leaves to protect for the winter is a much better idea than carting things inside. However, I know I am not alone.

    1. I know, and yet I have also been bringing dozens of things inside, because I just cannot resist so many tender plants that cannot make it in New England. Plus, without my improvised indoor garden in the winter, however fussy and under constant threat of spider mite disasters as it might be, I would probably go crazy in our long snowy winters.

  2. Replies
    1. Well, the weather is still getting colder and we have a few months of winter ahead of us, so I will not get much more out of the garden now than parsley and maybe some hardy greens like mache. However, if the winter is not too bad and the snow cover thick many of these plants will hopefully send up new shoots and be quick to flower in the spring.


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