The Stormwatch is BACK! Yes, this week, finally some slushy, mushy snow fell and I can officially declare landscaping season over.
For me, this recent should-have-been winter season was like a baby refusing to take a nap. You rock that baby, you do bouncy bounce squats, you sing softly and no go, the baby screams and is a warm humid squiggle. But today, the baby finally gets to take a nap. The world of gardening beds down and I get a rest. The finality of SNOW and COLD concludes the seemingly endless feats of the landscaping year. Once there is cold and snow, it is a built-in finale – hey, what can you do? – it’s winter out there.
With the refusal of winter to alight this year, we all kept working. We worked past our usual “end” dates and I was still consulting and answering questions and building patios right through Christmas. While I love the action, I also long for the ying to my year long yang. The rest after the work, the peace in my mind after the demanding creativity and simply some time to catch up on things.
Don’t get me wrong – I love landscaping as much as eating mint brownies and I love plants as much or more than some of my family – but I am ready for a rest. Feel free to stop thinking about your garden for a month too.
See you in January ~Christie
Contributed by Allan Robinson
Like many of you, last weekend I was completing one of the “final” final clean-ups of the year. I’m hedging to say “final” as this IS New England and for another few weeks leaves will accumulate beneath the Boxwood hedge along my front walk. As the garden winds down, I find myself ticking through my mental checklist, taking stock of my garden. The thought occurs to me – maybe I will be out at least one more time unless Mother Nature unleashes the first snowfall of the year soon – but I digress.
I began my mental list of autumnal tasks: leaves bagged and at the curb, mm-hmm; bulbs in the ground ready to pop in the spring, ok; spigots off, hoses and patio furniture in the basement – all present and accounted for. Perennials cut back – I’ve even divided a few and transplanted them, ready to settle in for their long sleep. The winter A-frames and other assorted structures are in place to protect the plants in case we have another monumental snow load like last year. Holiday lights are on the tree and the ground is beginning to freeze. I think I may be done, beyond those last pesky leaves.
Sadly another year of gardening is coming to a close. I’ll continue to mark the calendar with the usual events like Christmas, New Years, MLK & Valentine’s Day until garden activities resume. I will also follow many of the winter garden events such as my Hawthorne tree losing its berries, Hellebores blooming in late winter, Crocuses and Snowdrops poking their heads through the snow, and some of the surest signs of spring: Hostas, Daylilies and Peonies beginning to push their tiny tips through the ground around the beginning of April. I can’t wait!
Until then I’ll be planning for next year’s garden. Lining up more tasks and big ideas like I hatched during last year’s 106 inches of snow. More transplanting, new plants and bigger projects like a reconfigured deck and an artistic fence to frame a view. While I am sad to head back inside, I feel a sense of satisfaction and optimism for 2016. How about you?