In spite of spotty frosts that we have had all week, the cosmos in the new Front Garden, as well as the Shed Bed are still blooming. They are protected in both spaces. I was able to take a big bouquet to church with me yesterday. While the cosmos still look summery, it was time to get down to those autumnal chores.
My husband took a break from splitting firewood to dig sod and enlarge the southern Lawn Bed. As the weeping birch has grown the branches have obscured some of the perennials in this bed. I cut back and moved Achillea ‘The Pearl’ but still have to move the boltonia which will be much happier where it has room to stretch. Maybe I will plant some of the alliums I have ordered from Brent and Becky’s bulbs here. Do you ever buy bulbs or plants without knowing exactly where they will go?
While Henry removed sod, I planted the garlic I got from my neighbor. This bed is about 6 feet long and 18 inches deep. I planted and mulched three rows of garlic, 36 cloves. Next spring I will remember to remove the scapes early!
When the Sunken Garden was fairly new I planted several David Austin roses along the northern wall where I thought they would be protected from our bitter winter winds. They were protected from the wind, but they were not protected from all the snow that fell on them when the town plow came up and turned around next to the Sunken Garden. Also, it turned out that the soil was too wet. The David Austin roses all died in short order, but Felicite Parmentier still struggles along. I thought Linda Campbell, s small bright red rugosa had also succumbed, but this summer I found her struggling among the weeds. Henry dug her up and I transplanted her on the Rose Bank with a good helping of compost. I have great hopes for her in the spring.
While I was digging in the compost pile I decided to take a load to mulch other roses, at least those that were planted this year. The roses are going dormant, and a couple of shovels full of compost around the roots can be a help in getting them through the winter. If necessary that compost can be spread out a little in the spring.
On my rounds I saw a flock of wild turkeys. Once nearly extinct in our area, there are now large flocks that are often seen in the fields. Some people feed them with corn to encourage them. This flock was comprised of about 20 hens. The tom was in a field nearby.
While the cosmos are still blooming and heavily budded, most of the other plants have blackened or shriveled in the frost. I have been busy cutting them back, but although the castor bean is heavily damaged, I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut it down. The fuzzy red seed cases are still so pretty.
There is still a lot to do to put the garden to bed, so I hope we have more days as fine as we had this weekend.