Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Putting the Garden to Bed for the Winter

In between rainshowers I've been dashing outside to behead the catalpa trees, trim back the bushes, gather in the dry beans, pull out dead squash vines, cut cabbages, and check for late-ripening tomatoes. I've cut down the asparagus ferns for a second crop. I've started bringing in the lettuce seed heads and ground cherries. It's bittersweet, knowing this is the ending, even while relishing the thought of not having to weed for a few months.

A neighbour is putting in a new patio in back, and the contractor dumped a bunch of beautiful red bricks on the boulevard to haul away to the dump. With hardly any persuasion at all, he kindly drove a load over to our yard and dumped the bricks near my garden, where I have now built a nice little patio spot to hold a table and chair, so I can write in the garden. It was an area that got too much shade and not enough water anyway, so wasn't any good for growing vegetables. Free bricks are a pleasure to build with, especially these, which are old, solid, heavy, real bricks and not the crumbling modern ones you usually see.

I'd like to clear out the area around the composters and put landscape fabric and gravel down, to keep the thistles and wild strawberries at bay. And then it will be time to stack the wooden walkways and tomato cages under cover, clean and sharpen the tools and rotary lawnmower, take down the curtains of the gazebo, scrape autumn leaves as a mulch over the whole garden, and retreat to the house for the winter. Where bottles of apple pie filling and Roma tomatoes wait to entertain me for the next six months. :)

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