Yes, that’s snow

We’re a tad early on the coming winter this year.  We had snow Thursday, and it’s snowing again today.

I’m not adverse to sitting inside with the fireplace going (a wood stove would be be better 😁) but gosh, there goes the hostas.

Good bye garden 2018.

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Daylilies all cut back

Today it was 40° fahrenheit by 9am in our area so I got going right away on the fall clean-up.  All of the daylilies are now cut back.  I included the daylilies out back – the new ‘Hush Little Baby’ daylilies, the ‘Purple D’Oro’ daylilies, the last ‘Just Plum Happy’ daylily and the red daylilies, along with the ‘Marque Moon’ daylilies out front.

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Sad to see them all go, but they were ready.

Also sadly, either the wind or some bird or squirrel broke off the last daylily buds I had found a week or so ago.  I’ll try putting them in water, but I doubt they will bloom.  But, on a more cheerful note, I did find some seed pods from Dad’s hostas that I saved as well.

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I also trimmed two of the three ninebarks, the weigelia, and the alpine currant.

Then I bagged it all up and got it over to compost.

All that clean-up means that next weekend all I have on the schedule is the remaining hostas, two clematis, and one ninebark.  Sad to wrap up, but awesome that things are on schedule.

I still haven’t decided if I will cut back the sedum.  They may stay.  More on that in another post.

Now I can relax.  It’s too windy to use the little fire pit tonight, so I probably won’t bother getting propane, and there’s a lot of activity (birds, squirrels) in the small pine tree, so I will rake the seeds later in the day or tomorrow.

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(Check out the dark-eyed junko on the ground in the two pics above. )

One of our white squirrels stopped by while I was getting lunch ready.  I tried to get a pic but she was being camera shy today.

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All in all, it was a good morning.  Now I deserve a cup of coffee and a good book 😍

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Fall Garden Clean-up week 3

Today (Friday) we saw the sun!!!  After weeks of cloudiness, rain, and even snow for a bit yesterday, we got a beautiful afternoon.

Still, it was 32° fahrenheit at 9 am, and the forecast is calling for near or below freezing night temperatures for the near future.  There still may be some sporadic warmer days, but winter coat, hat, gloves and warm shoes are here now for at least 5 months.

Time to get back to the fall garden clean-up.  Soon I will be too comfortable indoors and will not want to be trimming plants outdoors.  Gotta keep the momentum going.  Spring is a mess if I leave plants un-trimmed.

Everything that needed to be transplanted or planted was done last Sunday.  That’s good.  Next on the list was all the ‘Marque Moon’ and all the red daylilies, but the ninebarks took a hit from the frost last night so I think I’ll do those first.  I’d prefer not to cut them back after the leaves dry.

I also need to cut back the alpine currant (another gift from Dad 😍).  And I need to rake up the seeds and shells under the bird feeder.  Those will go to trash not compost because there are a lot of black oil sunflower shells.

There are still seed pods on the ‘Marque Moon’ and ‘Purple D’Oro’ daylilies.  I pulled some tonight that had opened, but I think I will have to leave the ones that haven’t opened.  So if I do get to trimming back the ‘Marque Moon’ daylilies, a few flower stalks will remain.  I don’t think I will have that issue with the red daylilies.  They didn’t form many seed pods this year.

One of the Aureomarginata hostas is gorgeous right now.

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I want to keep that until it fully fades.  We don’t always get color on the hostas but the past few years have been nice.

Equally pretty is our lawn right now.  It looks like a quilt of leaves.

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I love that look!  Too bad it comes with the cold of October.  This year seems even earlier.

We did have a return arrival this week.  The dark-eyed junkos are back.  Not a good sign as far as being a bit early, but we do really enjoy them.  I will try to get pics.  They seem to be skittish right now so it may take a bit of stealthiness – lol!  Laughing because I am far from stealthy!

I did get another fall candle yesterday.  I tried it today.  AWESOME!  Way better than I expected!  It is Melaleuka’s Warm Spiced Latte.  Made the house smell so good tonight!  Small pleasures to ease back indoors.

Lastly, I need to get propane for our little outdoor firepit tomorrow.  I’ll write about that another day.

It did cross my mind that it would be fun to have our Guest in the Garden come for the weekend.  He got a new sweater from my Mom ☺  But I don’t think he’d enjoy the cold.  Hey, I won’t enjoy it if it’s almost freezing.  But compost closes at 2pm, and there will be a lot to bring there this week.

Managing pests on the hibiscus and shamrocks

Managing pests on the hibiscus, amaryllis and shamrocks is an annual battle.  I love those plants so I have made much effort to protect them from heading to compost.  The birds pretty much handle pests during the spring and summer, but it is a bit of work when the plants come in for fall and winter.

I transition the plants from outdoors to the tile to the carpet over about a week. They stay on the tile a few days to get their initial acclimation to the indoor weather.  During that time they do shed leaves (and some ladybugs, gnats, etc.)  During that time I also spray the hibiscus and the amaryllis dirt with a mild solution of Sol-U-Mel.  The shamrocks are still quite full so they get that treatment later.

Once the plants are ready to go to their indoor location for fall/winter, I put them on a plastic bag or thick piece of cardboard for a while.  During that time they are kind of messy.  The hibiscus drops leaves and buds and the shamrock stems begin to die back.

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All of that needs to be pulled off the plants, picked up and thrown away.  Leaving that on and around the plants invites issues.

Throughout the fall and winter I also add one drop of dish detergent to a quart of water and use that on the soil to keep pests at bay.

By spring I am tired of the routine, and inevitably gnats are starting to appear.  At first sign of frosty nights being gone, the plants go back outside.  They die back a bit (the birds pluck the shamrock material for their nests) but then they come back stronger.

Sandals, make way for slippers

Now that the garden has started to wind down and the temperatures are kind of nippy, sneakers and slippers have replaced sandals.

This year it seems it happened a few weeks early.  Usually I can get away with sandals well into the middle of October.  But alas.  Not this year.

Soon it will be boot season.  I certainly have been tempted in the rainy weather we’ve been having.  My bogs are still in the car from our trip up north, should the need arise.

While shopping with Mom last weekend, I picked up a new cozy pair of slippers.  They are working just fine for indoor gardening while we wait for the rain to subside ☺

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Saturday becomes Sunday

Friday and Saturday this weekend we visited with my Mom.  Way more fun than Saturday morning clean-up.

Today, however, we made time to clean the windows, swap places between a sedum and an asian lily, and plant the tulips.  The sedum needed more real estate and the clump of lilies needed more protection from the wind.  While shopping with Mom on Friday, I bought an extra bag of tulips – 15 ‘Angelique’ tulips.  They are some of my favorites.  So including the bag of 30 pink and purple tulips I had previously purchased, we planted 3 spots of 15 tulips each today.  Hopefully they will bloom at least one year ☺

Just as we finished up, it started to drizzle, so no new outdoor garden pics for this post.

Indoors, the hibiscus is not so happy.  This happens every fall when we bring it in.  A lot of leaves turn yellow and fall off.  But we did get two buds begin to bloom today.

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On a gloomy fall day outdoors, that was a treat.

It’s candle time again, too, and an outdoor scent was in order.  While shopping with Mom, I picked this up.

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On a cloudy fall weekend, it warmed up the atmosphere.

Because it started to drizzle today, I didn’t get the ‘Marque Moon’ and the red daylilies cut back.  That will have to happen next Saturday.

It’s all good.

The Trail Provides

While our son was doing his through hike on the Pacific Crest Trail we learned some new terms.  One of the terms we learned was “The trail provides”.  I would say that ultimately “God provides”, many times through people, and other times through nature.

The past few days here have been “blah” weather-wise.  Gloomy.  A reminder that the days are getting shorter.  And tonight we are having an exceptionally windy evening.  The near 80° temperature we had today gave way to a thunderstorm, and the winds blew in cooler air that has plunged the temperature over 30° – in less than 4 hours.  It is October.

But this morning the drive in to work was gorgeous!  Misty fog hung in spots and in others the sun was creating a kaleidoscope of color.  It is one of those pictures you just enjoy because you can’t capture it.  Then today while taking a walk with some colleagues, we saw multiple baby snakes.  Exciting for some.  Not for me – lol.  The trail provided for them to enjoy, take pics, and then move the baby snakes to safety.  And then the trail provided for all of us – one single monarch, a late traveller.  It was kind enough to pose for a picture.

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Bon voyage, monarch!