As the proverbial adage says: “A gardeners work is never done.” There is truth to this as it extends to all facets of life beyond the garden. With a list the size of St. Nick’s that seems to keep growing, the mild fall and start of winter provided a much needed opportunity to winterize gardens and thin out overgrown stands of native plants that encroach upon some of smaller and rare species. It also kept my creative gears turning with new possibilities for 2016; attempting to heed some sage advice from the ancient Greek gardens of Delphi and the Acropolis which are in all biased opinion, some of the most perfect and natural in scale. Succeeding gardens of the western world are a bit disenchanting and quite contrived. What a world it would be if we could all take note and tread more lightly upon the earth and leave the land a little less altered for future generations.
Record high temperatures in mid December had many worrying about fruit cultures that could begin to bloom again before the first hard frost. The farmer blood in me says not to fret until February and March. Still, numerous perennials were and are late in reaching dormancy this year, so I let them be and gave into nature to care for them and provide the sustenance they need for next seasons growth. The extended warm spell however, left ample time for additional landscaping and installing a few last minute native wildflower patches; a gift to the beneficial bees and butterflies. There were many more native bumble bees this year in the gardens I cared for which is a good thing since they tend to pick up twice as much pollen on their hairs than the non-native honey bee. The late blooming asters fed them well into fall, one of the most optimal times to plant hardy perennials, shrubs and trees. A time when said: the roots grow deep and strong, conserving precious energy for the spring. So it is as the work of the gardener is never done, and such is the parents job with a child as we strive to give them both roots and wings at the same time. I embrace the quiet of winter more now than ever.
Happy Winter… SageGreen