As I look out at the changing leaves, I’m reminded that it was only yesterday that I tore out all the tomato plants. What a harvest it has been. I made 12 litres of marinaro sauce, 12 litres of chili sauce, 10 pints of garlic dill pickles and 3 litres of stewed tomatoes, 8 small jars of pesto, 6 jars of pimiento. Turns out, I love canning. Who knew? Next year, I’ll do more.
I gave away lots of cucumbers to my neighbours, also tomatoes. Let’s see, did I leave anything out? Yes, I harvested bags of carrots. I also grew onions but I won’t do that again. They take up too much room for what you get. Well, we had tomato salad nightly as well as lettuce salad. I’ve been eating my own lettuce since June. Since the garden is now gone, we’ll have to buy supermarket produce. Oh, I forgot about the herbs. Lots of them too numerous to mention.
There is a gardening group I belong to called gardentenders.com. It’s a rather small community but world-wide all the same. They’ve been a tremendous help, especially with my flowers and flowering shrubs. They are such seasoned gardeners.
This fall, I’m thinning and transplanting a lot of the perennials. For example, Brown Eyed Susans, Peonies and Phlox. I’m also moving a lot of the Asters. On the east garden where the lilacs used to be, I’ve transplanted a lot of Peonies as well as the Susans. They’re not showy now but I think that area will be so pretty come May.
I have been so happy with my marigolds, celosia, love lies bleeding and geraniums. They looked so beautiful all summer long in my red bed over by “Adam & Eve”. The Shasta Daisies had a few blooms but will go into overdrive come May. I’ve even exchanged seeds with one of my neighbours. She wanted Marigold Africa Inca Yellow – a magnificent hybrid with huge flower-heads, and Marigold Mr Majestic. I love that plant. It has a million yellow and bronze striped flowers. It grows into a small bush and blooms from May until frost. A powerhouse plant. Another plant that works is Heliotrope Marine. Wonderful and smells like cherry pie.
Although I’m reordering a lot of the seeds, I’m also experimenting with gathering seeds from the plants I already have. I make sure they’re dry, then pack them in paper envelopes and label them so I know what they are.
Another thing I’ll try this winter is winter seeding. That’s when you use clear plastic containers, fill them with potting soil, spread the seeds, cover with a little more soil, then cover them with the clear plastic lid which have been punched with holes for aeration and put them outside in the dead of winter. There the sun and layers of snow keep them warm. They germinate a lot slower but they get there and they don’t take up any room indoors.
I’m also leaning towards decorative grasses and flowering shrubs. The more of these we have, the less we have to plant because they are perennials. Still, you don’t mind if the annuals are easy to manage. In other words, you can sow them into the ground.