Garden cleanup interrupted by rude arrival of winter

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Fall this year seemed to come and go quickly and I never really was able to take advantage of nice weather to clean up the garden the way I wanted. A mid-November morning attempt at pulling out the dead plants didn’t go exactly as planned; I learned the hard way that the saying “lift with your legs not with your back” also applies to pulling out stubborn tomato plants. Suffice it to say that getting stuck in the bent-over position isn’t fun. But, after a little rest, the back feels better.

The only problem is that now it’s December and the ground has frozen over thanks to too many days and nights of temperatures far colder than freezing. Meaning the sunflower stalks and towering Cosmos plants won’t be budged from the soil anytime soon. Hopefully, (pretty please Mother Nature?) I’ll be able to take advantage of a seasonably warmish December day in the not too distant future to at least cut off the stalks/stems near the ground. If not, the garden will just look unkempt all winter long.

Come to think of it though, given the crop of weeds I let grow during the summer, I guess that won’t really be anything new. If only neighbor Jack (who’s retired, if I hadn’t already mentioned that in previous posts) wouldn’t take such meticulous care of his plot. Which of course, is right next to mine and doesn’t have a weed — or even the remnant of a plant — on it. He must think I’m such a lazy gardener.

Which I guess I am, to some degree. I garden how I want to, when I want to. And weeds always have been part of my garden. I let them get away from me, then I work my tail off to pull them out. And so it has gone each summer as long as I’ve had a garden. As long as the fruit, vegetables and flowers grow around, through or over the weeds, they’re not usually the highest priority on my to-do list. Maybe one day when I’m retired, they will be and I’ll have a weed-free garden just like Jack.

But then again, I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

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While pretty much everything else in my flower garden has dried up, this Sweet William refuses to die.
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My aching back also meant I delayed putting away my planters, which mostly were frozen solid by this past weekend. When I went to try to “tap” the clump of dirt out of the flower pot, the base broke into several pieces. And the dirt still wouldn’t come out of the pot!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Ah, Julie, it’s still in the 80’s here, but what I lack is time! It’ll all be beautiful agin in the spring. At least you’ll have snow to cover it over. We are forced to gaze at our yuck.

  2. Posted by Cindy on December 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I leave most of my flowers standing till spring. The birds love them in the winter, looking for any stray seeds that may still be on the dead blooms. At least that is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! LOL!

  3. I think most great gardeners have the same problem when it comes to garden clean up and weeds. You have done a GREAT JOB!

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