Tricyrtis, or Toadlily

Actually, if I were not being so modest, the miracles I have experienced are monstrous.  Miracles like events that have never happened to me before in my garden. Not once in my thirty–plus years history of gardening. And, to be honest as well as modest, I will have to say I owe much to the COVID 19 virus.

Hemiboea in Flower

Minor Deities only know, the virus has certainly provided all the time needed to perform monster miracles. I have been in self-quarantine since February. Few distractions, indeed. No doctor appointments, no tests, for eight months. No trips past the end of the driveway, very little company. Just me and my garden (with my wife performing all the risky business of the outside world).  Certainly time to play in my garden. A place to maintain what little sanity remains.

From the very beginning of my career in gardening I cannot remember a fall where I actually accomplished all three of my major ‘putting the garden to bed tasks’. This fall I find myself so close to completing all three it’s like, well, a miracle (not all miracles are of the religious nature).

For sure there has always been sections of the garden I was never able to weed before they matured and set seed. By the time I got to one end of the garden, weeds had returned to where I began. I have not shied away from my own contributions this year, but it has been my friends who made the weeding a miracle a reality. This fall I can stand and see only a small area remaining to be cleared. And, there was the bonus of their company while they waved their magic weeding wands.

Zingiber mioga Krug’s Zing

This fall our drought has brought the leaves down early. It’s only the middle of October and my wife has been picking up the leaves from the lawn with the tractor and emptying the baskets of golden mulch on the freshly weeded sections of the garden. She is well over half way through that project. Normally that project last until late November, sometimes into December, but this year looks as though this month will see the end of that task. Seeing the garden put to bed with those blankets is so pleasing to the eye, so satisfying to see another fall project so close to completion.

Only October and usually I am still working into first part of December to complete transplanting. This year I have moved more, purchased more, than ever before. I shut down one more large section of my garden and have been moving my ‘must keep’ plants to the part of the garden I wish to be my final garden. There is a single shrub and perhaps half-dozen perennials to transplant and that is it for the season. I will be able to concentrate on my writing over winter.

In so many senses I am where I am supposed to be with an expired to-do list and a very short lust-list.

This calls for a celebration of the highest order: a favored web nursery to place orders for more plants.

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it could help you feel better.