It’s the bleak mid-winter, although surprisingly the grass is still green and temperatures reached 50 degrees F yesterday! Not frigid, but still pretty bleak in terms of plant material. However, there are still things to see in the gardens. 1) Beautiful sunshine on this frosty morn, and since there was no biting wind it was a good opportunity to say “Farewell” to the potager’s snowmen and store them away until next December. 2) It was also a reminder, as I looked at untrimmed perennials, that there are still some items on the job list. I like to leave as many seeds for the birds as possible, thus only the front garden is tidied and trimmed in autumn, the one visitors pass to the front door. The others are left like this but as you can see, all the seed heads are gone from these blue salvias, rudbeckia, and gaillardia so trimming needs to be done. The spring bulbs will need a tidy space to show off all their glory. 3) There may be fewer bulbs blooming than planned. The neighbor’s pot-bellied pig made a midnight foray into the Deck Garden and had a bountiful meal of my tulip bulbs and probably some crocus for dessert as well. I smoothed out the deeper ruts and holes but these telltale pig prints remain as evidence! Plus there was an eye witness, as the pig’s knocking over the metal furniture on the deck alerted my husband, who bravely chased the pig away. (We’ve been warned that Cletus bites!) 4) It was a lovely, crisp morning to meander around the potager. The frost on the spinach is a lovely sight, and the miracle is that unlike lettuce, the spinach will not turn mushy once it warms up. 5) Frosted Salad Burnet is also pretty. This one came up in a path but I allowed it to stay because for some reason it was the sole survivor. I harvested its seed earlier and will start more next spring for the potager’s interior border. Salad burnet has such pretty leaves and a light cucumber flavor for salads and salad dressings. They also make pretty garnish for canapes and potato salad. 6) The oregano also has a coat of frost. It’s a large, growing patch but the jar of dried oregano in the herbal pantry is nearly empty already, so it will be allowed to expand a bit more. This is a good time to check the herbal pantry to see how supplies are faring. Add more basil plants next year? Definitely more parsley. Should have frozen more chives because the ones in the garden turned to mush right after Thanksgiving. Next year I should protect a clump of chives for late holiday harvests. The sage plant drowned during that long spell of rain and will need to be replaced. Amazingly, the sorrel seems to have completely disappeared as well! Right now, while the plants and beds are free of a snow blanket, is a good time to evaluate so required seeds can be added to existing orders.
That’s six for this Saturday, and January is underway! To see what’s happening in other gardens visit The Propagator, who hosts this meme.