This is the last month of the year; my, how this year flew by. Winter was cold, grey and left us with plenty of snow. Spring was slow in arriving, and it was wet. Rain was the theme for 2011 with higher than average rainfalls, way higher than average. A short hot and dry spell in summer actually finally dried out the garden and a bit of watering had to be done here and there. Then much more rain arrived from tropical storms Irene and Lee, causing flooding everywhere. A freak early snowfall caused even more damage and all this was followed by spring-like temperatures. What will this last month bring? Well, the temperatures are finally heading down a bit and I donned my winter coat. By now more than ninety percent of the leaves have dropped from trees and shrubs. Daffodils which started sending up a bit of greenery over the last two weeks will get the message and stop growing. Everything that needed to be brought in is in and tender plants are resting in the garage. Cuttings taken from annuals have rooted and are growing; they will be ready for another round in the garden come May next year.
Just as ghosts and goblins were starting to get ready for their annual shakedown for sweets, nature threw a big monkey wrench in the works. When co-workers started talking late last week about the forecasted snow storm I shrugged it off. After all with all the nice weather we have had, who would expect snow? Just to be on the safe side, I brought in my citrus plant, a limequat (cross between a lime and kumquat). It had several developing fruits at the end of the branches and it was high time it came indoors. The subtropical pitcher plant was taken out of the Japanese maple tree and put in front of a bedroom window, right next to my agave, which also had spent spring and summer outdoors.
How time flies; already we are nearly a month into fall. So far the weather around here has been above normal and while there has been rainfall, it wasn’t record rainfall amounts. I open the windows during the day; closing them to a crack at night, just to get fresh air in the house.
It is said that gardeners are happier people. Is it because you forget your troubles while you are weeding and tending your garden? Is it because flowers bring forth happiness? Or is it because connecting with something as basic as digging in soil and tending our plants we forge a link with nature forgotten in our busy daily, more industrial lives? Well, whatever it is, gardeners generally are a happy lot and I am glad to be one of them.