Enjoying fall but looking toward spring

November 8, 2009.  There is a certain air of relaxation that accompanies fall gardening, especially when done on a warm fall day.  A killing frost finally hit my south-central Connecticut gardens when early morning temperatures fell into the high 20’s during the early morning hours of November 7 … uncharacteristically late for a killing frost as one usually hits here before Halloween.  Earlier light frosts finished off the tender annuals, and now the lower temperatures finally nipped the high-reaching cosmos blossoms and turned the hydrangea leaves from their handsome green and purple tones to a less attractive wilted brown.  I’m glad I caught photos of these earlier.  A few lower growing salvia and lavender blossoms linger still, but for the most part all flowers are done for the season.    It’s time to look toward spring.  I took advantage of today’s sunshine and warmth to dig up, thin, and replant a bed of narcissi . The bulbs had been in place for nearly 10 years, and the number of blossoms they produced had started to decline.  I gently sunk a garden fork around the perimeter to loosen the soil, then slowly moved the fork deeper until I could pry the bulbs up between the tines of the fork.  Carefully prying the bulbs up through loosened soil allows you to free them with minimal damage.  Once I was sure all the bulbs were out, I expanded the bed and added compost to the new planting hole.  I gently teased any bulb masses apart so as not to damage the roots, then sunk the bulbs into the fresh, soft soil, keeping each about 2-3 inches apart.  With 3 to 4 inches of soil shoveled over the top, and a good watering, the new bed – twice the size of the old one – was ready accept periwinkle and columbine plants in the top levels of the soil.   So how is this relaxing?  I had the sun on my back, the sounds of birds in the air, and as I placed each bulb into its new home, I imagined the blossoms that will great me in the spring. 

2 comments for “Enjoying fall but looking toward spring

  1. November 12, 2009 at 9:00 am

    As I live in Dubai, frost, bulbs and to an extend even gardening is not part of my daily vocabulary, but I enjoyed reading about your endeavours. Thanks for letting me be part of the autumn (fall) feeling.

  2. joenesgarden
    November 12, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Thanks, Ulrike. Glad you visited. What’s going on in gardens in Dubai?

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