The forecasters predicted a frost, so it was time to harvest the last of the celosias and zinnias. The peppers, tomatoes, beans and other more sensitive crops needed to be picked as well, so the flowers were just hurriedly jammed into a jar. It was sad to see the flowers season coming to an end, but it is nearly November, after all and normally it would have ended in early to mid October. I also noted that the majority of the flowers were damaged by cucumber beetles, especially the dahlias. There seemed to be more of both the striped and spotted beetles this year. Next year there will be cucumber beetle lures/traps placed around the potager early in the season to try to reduce their numbers. If the early ones can be eliminated before they produce more generations, the later numbers should be much smaller. Not only do they damage many crops and flowers, but like squash bugs they are notorious disease spreaders. I had to hurry because on this clear, sunny day the crew was finally coming to prune the extremely overgrown yews in front of the house. I’d given them a trim a few times after we moved here, but it was a task I didn’t enjoy. Now that my hands tire more easily, it was time to hire professionals because I wanted them trimmed back…way, way back!
Here’s the front door area. If you look carefully at the concrete, you see a darkened area pretty much in line with the door’s side panels. The shrubs actually had grown so large they reached that line! After they were trimmed, I was able to move the pots and pumpkin to the side of the door, rather in front of the right side panel! You can also see by the dead grass how far the shrubs extended into the lawn. I’ll need to get some grass seed and do a bit of sowing yet this fall.
Here’s the area in front of the living room windows. The shrubs had grown to the crossbar, covering more than half the window area. When I asked the crew to cut those directly under the window to below the sash, they were hesitant. I said, “If they die, they die. I want to see out the windows!” You wouldn’t believe how much more light comes into the room now. I’m pleased, and if they die, I think I can find something else more interesting to plant there! The crew wasn’t finished until nearly dark. I tried to talk myself into going out and hauling the frost cloth from the basement to cover some plants, but I wasn’t very convincing. I did drag the more tender pots from the deck into the garage, and by then I was done in for the day.
The next morning, there was a light frost on the gazebo roof and deck railings, and some patchy frost on the shaded areas of the lawn, but that was it. I didn’t find any frosted plants in any of the gardens. As soon as it warmed up a bit, I was out planting bulbs and finished the Front Island, the back third of the Front Garden (still waiting for bulbs to arrive for the rest there and for the Deck Garden) and added another 50 daffodils to the “Berry Row.” I think I’ll have to give that area a new name, don’t you? Rain called an end to the planting, and it’s been raining since…three days in a row! The poor farmers are never going to get their crops harvested at this rate. I’m eager to get the rest of the bulbs planted, but it’s definitely too muddy for that. Meantime, I’ll be picking up walnuts whenever it’s not raining and enjoying looking at the lovely fall foliage out the living room windows when it is!