Well, it is another dark and dreary October day (written 10/30/2009). These are the falls that I remember from my childhood: trick-or-treating with a down-filled coat on or a poncho covering the handmade costume that my Grandmother made me. I believe that the last few falls were blessings from garden spirits and that Mother Nature is just bringing reality back to us.
However, Tom Skilling (area meteorologist) is saying something about El Niño and a warm patch in the Pacific Ocean that will bring a milder winter. Maybe this winter will be like the year we sold Christmas trees in t-shirts. Maybe it will be like last year where it snowed a little bit at a time. Or maybe we will get a doozy of a blizzard like the winter of 1969. Now, let’s stay optimistic!
This is the time of year I advise our beloved family, friends and clients who want to better their gardens with the tips and techniques for preparing for those winter months ahead. Alas, as sad as it is, the old sayings like “Do as I say, not as I do” or the “Shoemaker’s children go barefoot” come to mind. I walk past the bags of bulbs (that had good intentions) in my garage begging to be planted and I look at the ‘Blue Billow’ Hydrangeas that would be spectacular if I gave them just a little bit of winter protection. But it just gets too cold and dark and my motivation is limited to do something about it and then I complain bitterly in summer that the area is lacking color. My poor Arborvitaes will suffer from “Flat head” from the cascade of snow that comes flying off the roof with gusto and I know a little bit of proactive tying would have lessened their stress. Fortunately, they grow out of the ugliness every year or maybe my lawn maintenance crew takes pity and cosmetically fixes them with a tuck here and nip there. (Thanks Guys!)
My garden, like the Chicago Cubs, abides by the philosophy and spirit that there is always next year.
(edited by Elaine Colon)