while I was away. I knew it had come, and dreaded the sight would greet me upon my return. Death everywhere, beginning in the Front Garden as I pulled into the driveway. Of course at the time, it was too dark to see, but I knew it would look just like the picture above this morning…and it did. It does….
I made a cup of strong tea to bolster my courage before I journeyed across the frost-covered lawn to the potager. The perky marigolds that have been stalwart edgers along the central paths for months could not survive 31 degree nights. The pumpkin vines on the lower right are goners. The blackened pepper plants were to be expected. I should have picked more before I left. Oh well…. And the same for the very last planting of beans, which were almost ready when I left, but for some reason, none of the people who watered or came to pick while I was gone saw them. Sad, really, as they were lovely. Now they are mushy. Not appealing or usable. The shade provided by the climbing cannellini beans over the old bench is no longer. It will be many months before I can sit shaded there. Sigh! A southern specialty, the black-eye peas on the fence wish I had taken them with me to the South, I’m sure. However, the purple-toned mustard and the young rows of spinach are entirely happy with the cooler weather. They love autumn. I celebrate that some things are still merrily growing. Just look at the color of this bed of “OutREDgeous” lettuce! And soon all those black, dead plants will be piled on the compost bins and the garden will be tidy and pretty again. It did not rain much while I was away, so the garlic has not emerged, but there was a big storm that took out power and brought down tree limbs, so now one of the tree roses is tilted. It’s best not to dwell on what is lost, but to concentrate on the positives. There are dahlias to dig, bulbs to plant, and poly-tunnels to erect. There are still carrots to dig, leeks to harvest, and beets to pickle. Chin up! Carry on! Move forward. There will be lovely gardening days ahead, and I’d better make the most of them. 31 will tumble to 13 before we know it!