Thursday, September 22, 2011

September "Garden-keeping" It's A Jungle Out There!

Let's talk about September chores a little.  Oh, alright, let's talk about them a lot...at least what needs to be done here at Blooming Hill.  It has been such a busy month with fairs and events, it seems that I may have overlooked a  few housekeeping duties out in the gardens of late, although not intentionally, of course. I've just been a little preoccupied with other garden-related thing rather than the gardens themselves. The other day, I thought I'd spend just a few moments out by the greenhouse beds taking stock on what needs to be done before the first frosts arrive.  Afterall, I love my gardens and especially spending time in them...right?!

I went with the intention of also planting and primping a few things I had picked up at Southern States the other day and that is when the whole planting and primping idea went out the window and was replaced by hardcore garden-keeping!  The place looked in complete disarray!  The knot garden looked as though the rosemary's, myrtles, bays and whatever else in the holding beds that surround it had been playing musical chairs for days on end. (Note to self: remember to put things back where I originally put them.)  And, the mums I had been growing from cuttings since early spring?..Well...I don't even know what they were doing, all "higgledy-piggledy" among the pots of scented geraniums, long overdue for a trim.

By the time I stepped into the greenhouse I thought I was in this garden's version of "Home Alone!" My tiny little happy place was not so happy and looked a bit abandoned and messy to boot.  Not at all my style...Where the heck have I been?  No one seemed to be in charge in there and every pot looked to be doing it's own thing!  Scissors and snippers also have been misplaced along the way.  No wonder it seems as though I have been on a treasure hunt for any kind of cutting apparatus lately.

The herb garden is vibrant in green with pink, purple, blue and red polk-a-dots of blossoms and blooms still thriving while the hyacinth bean vine, covering the trellis with a little too much vim and vigor, has not yet begun to bloom.  There are plenty of tiny blossoms coming along but I can't decide whether it is fighting off the munching devil deer or ravenous stink bugs.  I really don't see evidence of either type of garden pest bothering it so maybe it's just being finicky and has decided to arrive fashionably late. 

Still, there is a certain serenity, even in the chaos of this garden and sitting under the trellis peering through the leaves into the gray-blue September clouds and sky fills me with a sense of security and peace.  Snap out of it!  Get up and get to work!  The whole place needs to be swifferred!  Where on earth did I put that umpteenth pair of garden gloves?

The cutting garden, at the back of the property looked simply lovely...from a distance...however, at a closer glance something out of the jungle in Jumanji.  While the zinnias are doing their best and still looking their brightest, they are definitely beginning their slow decline as summer winds down and the almost continual rain of late and present keeps beating them down and the morning glory vines, while glorious, are half-past shaggy..  The dahlias are just about to come into their own with fewer garden pests to bother them now and looking healthier, if not leggier than ever.  I'm glad I at least I had the good sense to stake them earlier in the summer.

Several hours later, at least the holding beds were back in, as my mother-in-law, Lynn, would say, "Apple pie order."  I feel much better, now and can breathe a little easier.   At least I don't have to squint or look the other way and pretend I'm not noticing how things have gone slightly off kilter in just a few short weeks.  This weekend, a salad garden will be back in place there, if it's the last thing I do.  The greenhouse is looking a little like it's old self again, too.  Plants lined up and preparing for the colder weather, with pots and trays stacked neatly and under control once more...at least for the time being.

The herb garden and the cutting garden still need a good thinning out but I'll take my time in those since their colors are plentiful and their textures are rich with late summer bloomers like salvias, dahlias, guara and phlox.  However, I did let every plant and flower know I'm back and I'm still the boss around here.  No more putting off what needs to be done in the gardens especially because there is still plenty of growing season left, along with fall fairs and seasonal events...and garden-keeping galore!  I only hope I can find enough extension cords so the vacuum cleaner can reach out into the cutting garden...

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