Garden Ramblings in December

We have had a very mild fall/early winter... Yes, I am touching wood! 
Though I suppose, officially, winter has not yet begun as of yet... not for a couple of days yet...
Therefore, perhaps we will be super blasted with a tough winter in January. Eep!


The lovely Green Globe Artichokes have very little winter die back, as of yet...
If I were the worrying kind, I would be mulching it up to prevent it from dying off this winter...
However, crazy as I am, I would rather see how it fares left to it's own devices.
Last years artichokes did not survive the winter, so perhaps I am a glutton for punishment?
I prefer to think this years plants are stronger ... so maybe?



Yes, I do realise that there is very little to see here ; )
However, am pretty excited about these guys...
If you remember from early fall, I planted three varieties of garlic....
Only one variety, the Music, has sprouted so far. Not just a wee bit, as you can see here, but they are actually up several inches already.... What does this mean? Does it bode ill for the other two types? No idea... time will tell, eh? I will keep you informed!


Pink Lemonade Blueberry bush is still in leaf ... the others lost their leaves long ago and are putting on new ones...



The 'Orange Peel Fungus' is back, a yearly occurrence when the weather turns chilly and the skies grey. It grows in the gravel of the driveway or pathways, apparently thriving on the wet hardpan and clay.
Gross, eh?


The newly weeded perennial bed... Lilah is checking out the quality of the work. Isn't it lovely? This bed is huge, though seems so small on the acreage. Is about 30 feet long and 10 to 14 feet wide.

Last fall, this bed was newly planted with hydrangeas, bulbs, perennials, roses, Japanese Maples, and  clematis vines.
I weeded and then heavily mulched the bed with a really thick layer of cardboard and newspapers first, and then about 4 inches of bark mulch. ...
Sadly, however, hubby did not knock down the thistles just on the other side of the fence, till it was much too late.

This spring, those thistle seeds germinated with a vengeance, in the lovely, loose, fresh mulch!
I pulled at them, my daughter pulled at them, the yard boy pulled at them, my parents pulled at them...
But before you knew it, the thistle had overrun the entire bed!

Finally, this fall, after the greenhouse closed for the season, I took task with this bed... and was able to deal with about 1/3 of the mess ...
Then, I hired a girl to pull the rest of them. Took her five hours to complete the weeding! Sigh, a  sad but true tale of woe.

The moral of this story, mulching is fabulous! ...
But ..make sure you knock down all the weeds around the beds, or your weed seeds will just blow in to that lovely fresh, loose mulch and germinate with glee!


Just a few days ago... Lilah and I were out in the potager, checking on the veggies and the strawberries...

Here you can see the Honeoye Strawberries. They are cascading over the ides of the raised bed and rooting into the mulched pathways...

I am letting them flow, for now, as it looks super charming ...  plus it will make it easier to pot up those runners/daughter plants in spring.

The far bed is working as a small perennial nursery this year and so houses a variety of  Aquilegia's, which will also be potted up in spring.

 
Oh boy, touching wood did not help, as you can see...
Today, just a few days and two snowfalls later, this is the scene ...
We seldom get snow on the island, but when it comes, it really comes.
Is heavy, wet and usually knocks out trees, branches... and thus, my power.
 
Thankfully, it rarely lasts longer than a day or two ... not touching wood this time, but crossing my fingers instead ;)
 
 
 

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