I have to admit, this has been one heck of a year for the garden. Solid early growth, late fruit from the tomatoes, a place we discovered where pumpkins will actually grow (taking over 2-3 acres of prime real estate) and a first crop of sunflowers that grew beautifully and then disappeared in a heartbeat.
I have to ask, do they do that? Is that how they work, quick to grow, bloom and wilt? The fields of flowers I saw in Europe last summer were amazing -- full, strong and seemingly long lasting -- what's the deal with mine? Well, I do have all winter. Mayhaps I should read up on them and discover all the things I'm doing wrong. I'll see what Katherine White has to say about them …
(Oooo. Thinking of her, it's almost time to get on the waiting list for next year's seed catalogs!)
Last Saturday, all the little weather people, in agreement for a moment, predicted a hard, hard freeze on Saturday night, along with a pile of snow, our first of the season. With that in mind, I went out and plucked the last viable tomato and the last peppers, Poblano, Jalapeno and Lunchbox. The Jalapenos have been vicious this year, turning my hair bright red for an afternoon. The Lunchbox variety are delightful.
This is what greeted us on Sunday morning. A sudden blast of winter cold, with a blanket of snow just to help everything along to that great greenhouse in the sky. I swear we got down to 13 on Sunday night, but the little weather folks say it was 17. Their instruments said it was 17, while my instrument said it was 13. I believe mine before I believe theirs.
The sweet potatoes appear to have survived the cold without cover. Though they, along with everything else, could still surprise me by dying off. The one thing that hasn't died off is the mint, in a pot next to the house. It appears that you can't kill mint, no matter how hard you try and no matter how many dogs pee on it during the season.
I've had parsley and oregano that fainted dead away if a dog even looked in their direction, but mint, no, mint will survive the coming apocalypse, right along with the cockroaches. At least the roaches will have fresh breath.
Furious George is actually thinking of sticking around during the winter. He seems to appreciate that in subzero weather his poo hardens to the point that he can fling it farther and with greater result than when it's "Fresh From the Florida Sunshine Tree." Besides, he has grown quite comfy in the basement bedroom now that we've taken care of the radon problem. He also loves watching "Game of Thrones" on the basement big screen and heading next door to the Bat Shit Crazy Neighbor's House for martini's and Fox News. Although he does come back screaming, "It's Nancy Pelosi! Run for Your Lives!"
How she can be any worse than Paul "My Kid Needs Braces, Lady, Give Me Your Social Security" Ryan and Mitch "Tooter Turtle" McConnell is beyond me.
As for me, it's time to pull the plants, fertilize the soil, clean the garden mess that is our garage and find a new sun hat for next year. I don't know about the one I used this year. It was cool, it was hip, whenever I wore it I enunciated quite clearly and distinctly -- but I was just never sure.
And so, the search goes on ….