Not all of the ideas I had for my garden this year actually happened, but each flowerbed had its time to shine. My job as a part-time baker has caused this old gal no small shortage in the energy department too. I typically think of several tasks I want to do in the garden on my way home from work, but most days I somehow end up in my comfy chair in the living room with my tired feet up.
I do try to get a few gardening tasks checked off my to-do list on my days off — even if it’s a finished task noticed by myself alone, it feels good to accomplish something. This weekend’s efforts resulted in many spent plants being cut back or pulled out and added to the city’s compost heap, several flowerpots emptied, and the front porch swept clean. I decided to be finished with covering plants whenever there is a frost warning and just let nature take its course. So I’ve been bringing a few of my favorite plants in before the killing frost so that I can attempt to overwinter them and replant them in the spring. A favorite pink pelargonium got scooped out of its summer pot and planted in its own pot. I doused it thoroughly with Neem oil and kept the digging on my 3-season porch before placing it on my kitchen windowsill for the winter. It must be happy because there are several new buds.
I also dug up quite a few of my spent peacock orchids (which I wrote about here) and am drying them out a bit before harvesting the rhizomes and storing them for the winter. I’ve never done that before, so am relying on YouTube tutorials for guidance . We’ll see how that goes.
Likewise, I dug up the rhizomes from a favorite calla lily my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day. I’m going to make a valiant, Pinterest-inspired attempt to create some new divisions from the rhizomes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I took some cuttings from several very happy Livingstone Daisies (a.k.a. ice-plants) which spent their summer spilling out of the pots on my front porch. I snipped a few of the best stems to water-root, but also scooped a healthy-looking clump out of one of the pots, trimmed it back, and repotted it in fresh potting soil, as I have read somewhere that it can be kept as a succulent houseplant. I gave that plant a dousing with Neem oil to kill any bugs attempting to hitch-hike their way into my house. After a few days of transition from the chilly outdoors to my slightly warmer porch, I brought it indoors and gave it a place of honor on a family room window-seat which receives a generous amount of indirect light. I wrote its name on a plant stake because I can never remember what it’s called.
Also coming in from the nippy outdoors were a few of my succulent groupings, a languishing sansevieria plant, and two plants given to me by Melinda, my friend who enjoys playing in the dirt in Louisiana: an ‘Angel Wing Begonia’ (a.k.a. porch begonia) and a plumeria.
My Sansevieria (a.k.a. ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ or ‘snake plant’) got a little scorched during some extremely hot weather during its annual foray on the front porch. I dug it out of the pot it’s been in for years, teased the roots apart and salvaged a tiny bit of the original plant. I filled the pot with new potting soil, then added a few different varieties of Sansevieria I purchased at a local nursery to add some interest. It now resides in our ‘Gathering Room’ in a spot nearest an east-facing window, but also benefiting from indirect light from a nearby south-facing window. I am trying not to overwater it, as I am prone to do, and hoping it will reward me with vigorous growth.
We set our clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night — a precursor to shortened gardening hours and the winter months ahead. That’s okay though. One of the blessings of living in Wisconsin is being able to tuck the flowerbeds under a blanket of snow for a winter’s nap and the gardener’s respite. It’s the season for thumbing through garden journals and seed catalogues in order to make plans for next year’s garden. But, before I get too cozy, I need to check one more thing off my to-do list:
Plant lots of tulip bulbs!
So, until next Saturday when my post will hopefully include a report of all my tulip bulbs being planted, that’s my Six for this Saturday. To see other SOS posts, visit our host at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.
6 thoughts on “‘Fall back’ is Garden Cleanout Time”
I love your posts! It’s great to start my day with your beautiful blooms. I have a green green brain but terribly brown fingers!! 😂
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It’s always nice to “see you” in my comments section, Jaya. You have been such a faithful reader and encourager. Let me encourage you by telling you I have known a few individuals with brown fingers that turned a lovely shade of green with perseverance. Don’t give up, my friend. ~ Cindie
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Ahh, thanks for the push – will wait for that green now!
I love to hear about people caring for their plants: having first bought them or received them as cuttings from friends, this is real gardening. And just how satisfying can it be to then be able not only to share plants with friends and others, but share your knowledge too. I hope you also write about some of your baking exploits, I love baking particularly with a mixture of whole grains and sourdough. Maybe you post elsewhere about that, if so I am sure you will point us in the right direction.
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Thanks for the blogging encouragement today. I love your idea about sharing some of my “baking exploits” — I do all of my blogging under this barefoot lily lady handle, and a little bit of sharing on my Facebook page of the same name. My blog is a mish-mash of life — talking about my mom (and my journey as an Alzheimer’s care-giver), family, gardening, baking, wisdom gleaned from Bible studies, sewing projects, etc. I’ve shared a few recipes and birthday cake stories here and there, but will have to make ‘Baking Fun’ a category on my blog for future posts. Thanks for the fantastic idea!
My adventures in gardening began with a digging handed to me over the backyard fence by a neighbor. I’ve been hooked ever since. One of my favorite things about my garden is seeing the friendships and family represented by many of my plants.
Anyhoo…it was great to “meet you” via our blogs. I hope we stay in touch. Have a great week, Noelle!