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Autumn Journal--October

Posted by LizaLily Western WA, USA (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 1, 05 at 13:35

The world has a golden glow now when I look out my window...the big leaf maples, the birch, the oso plum that grows wild everywhere here...all lit from within even in the rain!

And rain we had! Only about half an inch but enough to wash off summer's dust and recharge the garden! It looks like a mostly sunny day so time I got out and working in it!

Today I have to plant a lot of lilies and a box of muscari that came with lots of mold! Hope they will grow in spite of it...I think I will wash them in bleach solution before planting.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I had the same thing happen one year on lilies, I just took a damp cloth, with mild bleach solution and wiped them off. They came up just fine.
Our leaves are late changing this year, mother nature has been kind to us after the long cold spring we had. No frost yet, but came close on Friday night. It was 38 Saturday morning, but now we are back to a pattern of sunny days and high in the low 70's with nights around 50. That's good news for the rest of the tomatoes we have coming, as there are lots more to can. I have my 3 new rows planted with fall rye, and it's about 3-4" tall now, and another 3 planted a little later, but it has sprouted, so I hope it gets to the 8" it needs before being tilled under. One annual row has been tilled and I have been trying to get the perennial rows weeded and cut back, but a back injury has had me moving at a snails pace. Doesn't it just figure? One of my busiest times, more tulips came, another 300 have to be planted, plus my customers all need their gardens cleaned up. Good thing the weather is holding out for a while. I also need to move some of my lilies from an area that the soil isn't that great, out to my cut rows. Any suggestions on the soil? My rows are getting better by the year, I'm hesitant about adding bone meal due to what I've heard about raccoons loving it, and would hate to have all the bulbs dug back up, but would like to make sure these grow to their maximum height. Guess that's about it, just like the rest of you, it's a race to get it all done before bad weather sets in.
Cheryl


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

WELL, YESTERDAY My first discovery was that my garden partner had fallen asleep at 6 PM last night when I was out on an infrequent date with my DH) (she is not in good health) and forgotten to pick up my stand. I knew that because when I got to my stand to set up, the cashbox containing top shelf had been ripped off...and I mean ripped! The wire cable that held it was totally freyed so I think they didn't use a wire cutter. So now I have to remake the top shelf and bought a new cash box and stronger cable. I also reported it to the police. I Am guessing they got about $20 with it.

I worked off my mad by planting out 3 kinds of rudbeckia plants, digitalis lutea, the moldy muscari bulbs along with allium moly and frittilaria meleagris. I think I Am down to figureing out where to put my new delphiniums today, as well as planting lily bulbs. I will have to weed an area to put the delphimiums in but that will be part of my on going rose garden refurbishment. Oh yes, I have 3 peonies to plant too. I want to put them in the new garden so I guess I should pot them up for now.

Busy weekend! TOday I will paint the new top shelf on my stand, also, and hope to be back in business on TUes. (MOndays are worthless).

The good news is that DH saw a deer in our back yard and watched it squeeze back under the deer netting. Last night he finished putting up the permanent wire fence so now my Back yard shrubs and trees should be safe and I have lots of wire fencing to plant vines on. My poor oakleaf hydrangeas (Snowflake and Limelight) can do their thing and the ornamentals sambucas can grow more then 6" tall. MAybe my Japenese Maples will even grow into something resembling a JApenese maple!


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lo, the treeman cometh!

I FINALLY MADE CONTACT with the man who will remove trees from my corner peice...He thinks he can have it done in one day and will call about getting a load of okara(redidue left from the tofu factory and delivered free) delivered and worked in when he does the land work. SO A week from now I might have a new field!

On to look up deer fencing....hi ho, hi ho!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I'm posting from my Mom's place, a retirement commumity in the Chicago area. Living here would drive me NUTS! Gardening consists of landscaping the builder put in, all easy-care and without much character. You have to petition a committee to plant anything else. YUCK!!! It's great for my Mom and stepfather, who are close to 80 and have various ailments. I think I'll quit gardening when I quit walking, and not before, but, who knows.

Jeanne


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

We measured the new field area...looks like it is about 45' by 120'. That will triple my cutting garden area!

Sold 6 bouquets today and we are scratching for more bouquets for the weekend.Lots of dahlia b uds but they are not opening fast enough. Could sell more if we had enough bright reds and yellow. Customers don't want any pastels right now!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

FROST=The end of fresh cuts. We have had two good frosts in a row and that pretty much seals the deal on my cut flowers. I've only had Zinnias for the last two weeks anyway. I brought buckets of red, orange and yellow Zinnias to everybody before the frosts, that was two weeks longer than last year and everybody loved the fall colors. I'm thick into my seed harvest and the days are too short now. I lose a couple hours every morning waiting for the dew to dry so I can harvest and pray for a breeze in the evening so that the dew doesn't settle before sundown. My expensive liatris(liatris ligulstylus) got completely eaten by goldfinches. I've never had that problem before, so it didn't cross my mind to check on them earlier. I'll have to use those big balloons with the eyes on them next year to see if that keeps them away. That was about a $3000.00 meal for them. I'd be more upset if I didn't have such a good year on Whorled milkweed. It only sets good seed every 3 to 4 years and this year, with all the timely rains, I'm gonna have 5 times more seed than I've ever had. It's tricky to harvest though because when it ripens it blows away. You have to harvest it a couple days before the pod opens, that can change quickly depnding on heat and moisture in the air. Sometimes you think you've got time and then all of a sudden they are all opening and it's a mad rush.

I'm playing around with my new wreath machine and I am planning on testing the waters this year with it and next year go whole hog. I can see lots of possibilties for twigs and fresh cuts.

In a few weeks I'm going to assess what worked and what didn't and start a "Year in review" thread, unless someone else is already at that point and starts one.

I hope everyones seasons are wrapping up well and your squeezing the last out of it, it's going to be winter before we can blink.

Take care,

Steve


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I'm back from visiting my Mom and stepdad and very glad to be home. Is it too soon to start a "What did you grow that was new to you, did you like it, and why/why not"? I guess that's more or less the 'year in review' threat Steve referred to above, minus all the soil and plant cultivation.

It's been quite cold here, freezing most nights. Fall colors are in full, glorious swing. The blue spruces in my front yard contrast marvelously with the brilliant red winged euonymus and barberry bushes. The aspens, my big willow, and the rugosa rose bushes are bright yellow. Two of my sugar maples are completely done and leafless already, but the red 'October Glory' is just starting to turn. I just love this time of year! Market is done for me, so my time is much less hectic.

Projects for the next few days: send lily bulbs to Steve (sorry, folks, he was willing to take them all, so lazy me is happy to send them to just one place), plant the lilies I'm keeping, transplant some yarrows, delphs, phlox, and possibly some peonies (if it's not too cold) into raised beds from field. Then yank out dead annuals and do some cleanup before winter.

Jeanne


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Jeanne, got the last of my lilies in the ground after removing the phloxes and daylilies that had tried to engulf the roses. I dug up my ladies mantle too and will be able to divide my single plant into 25 or them with another five for Delinda (My garden partner). I never have as much ladiesmantle as I can use...Probably because I never leave any blooms to go to seed!

TOmorrow Delinda and I are going to an openhouse and luncheon put on by the wholesale floral distributor from whom we buy flowers for winter weddings. It should be interesting to see what they are doing...supposed to be demonstrations and displays of new ideas! Will share any we find share-worthy!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I was a bust...poorly put together, just trying to get folks to come in and see their selection of hard goods. Did pick up a few vases for decent prices, but there was no way to see the flowers they keep in the coolroom, and the displays were all plastic stuff with glitter! Yucko! And the lunch...chicken ceasor salads with scorched chicken, eaten standing up at a work table!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Not too impressive. Don't you hate when that happens? I would love to go to a class that was helpful and informative with all the new trends in flowers. It doesn't happen up here, although they do offer a floral design class sometimes at a community college, however, it's a ways away, expensive to take, plus the cost of the motel. But if business continues to pick up, it would be worth doing.


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I'm steadily making progress on my allotment (translation: council-owned plot of land 100' by 30' on which I can grow flowers, fruit and vegtables). I have done some clearing so it looks in better shape. I plan to create reasonaby small beds with grass paths in between them. I hope it will look good as well as being a productive space.

I've recently bought a couple of job lots of seeds on Ebay: probably not relevant if you're growing in huge quantities, but useful for me if I only want a pack of each thing.

I have 120 daffodil bulbs and 125 tulip bulbs on order which will give me some good spring flowers. I also ordered 50 strawberry plants in a moment of madness!

Happy gardening to all!

Pollie.


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

POLLIE, you are getting a good start on things!

I just ordered 5 new hydrangeas that will be good for cutting and took cuttings of the 7 I already have to increase my plants. I am suddenly totally mad over hydrangeas! (especially since the deer ate back my limelight and Snowflakes and pink diamond this year! Now they have been deer fenced too!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Hey everyone, where are you? Not hybernating yet are you? Or are you too busy planting bulbs!

My Tractor Man showed up this morning and I have been getting my kicks by watching him take down trees and clear my new garden today! He just started the burn pile going. THe half dumptruck load of okara has been delivred by the tofu factory. We decided to put it on half the garden where I will plant my annuals next year but not on the portion where the bulbs will go, as it needs to be rotovated in several more times to help it break down over the winter. IT will be a good test of it's efficacy as I compare the two halves next summer! Well, Tractor Man stil has 4 of the trees on the South end of my field to take down...but already the sky is far lighter from the ones he did take! I anticipate more sky to watch on starry nights!

Tractor Man has been making top soil from okara and tree residues , turned several times a year and 3 years old. He has offered to sell me 5 cybic yards for my garden...I am thinking abut it....I told him we will see what his bill comes to!

Apparently the soil is mostly clay with a thin layer of sandy loam over it, but it is also quite dry. I think I am going to plant a cover crop and see what happens. Everything is still growing green here and fairly warm. At the worst I would only be out my seed.


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Hybernating? Not exactly. I don't get much opportunity to post these days. One reason is shown in the photo. And, we just this morning received a scattered frost. This is a few weeks late for us here in the Great Lakes Region. The field flowers were really crossing over with the hoophouse grown flowers. So, along with harvesting flowers and making bouquets for market we are pretty busy making wreaths and harvesting bittersweet and Michigan Holly -- putting it mildly!! The bittersweet and holly have to be defoliated manually. We don't use chemicals to defoliate. Oh, and did I mention soon we begin digging and dividing two acres of dahlia tubers? I need a vacation!!!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Not hybernating either...just busy too! After worrying about frost and having enough flowers for our Harvest Festival weekend (last weekend), I now have lots! The weather has warmed up and I now have more dahlias and zinnias than ever! My subscription program is over too...but fortunately still have other customers who want flowers as long as I have them! However, I should probably think about digging dahlias and planting a cover crop!

Flowerfarmer---are those crates tulips/daffs? OR???? :)
Vacations...this time of year, ha! :)
Take care!
Wendy


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Great to have you drop in for A brief break, Flowerfarmer!

I have my major bulb orders due in any day and the workman should be finished with my new garden area tomorrow, then it will just need a rototilling down the tulip area by DH and I can get started. Hopefully by Sunday afternoon...

I had a blast watching Tractor Man take down the tall fir tree that everyone was worried about because it was growing so crooked that no one knew where it would land....he did a great job, landed it just where it was supposed to go, and didn't flick a leaf on the ornamenta lcherry and crab apple which were shaded by it and should grow much better now! My 5 new hydrangeas came today...got to find some place for them where their leaves won;t fry like my others by my back door!

IT was great to come home from town this afternoon and see the new field lying in sunlight when shadows had already covered the other gardens!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I've ordered yet more tulips and some tete-a-tete daffodils. I will certainly be busy when they arrive as most of my plot is still very overgrown.

Is anyone starting their autumn sowings for hardy annuals yet? I was thinking of starting some sunflowers, but then wondered whether I would do better to wait until Spring. I have planted sweet peas at this time of year before and I found that they got leggy over the winter.


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

flowerfarmer, what are the black things on the pallet? I can think of quite a few different things they could be.

My October Glory sugar maple is so brilliant red, it looks plugged-in. The bright-yellow weeping willow next to it sets it off perfectly. In general, though, the fall colors are past their peak, leaves falling fast. The larches, always the last thing to turn, are just starting to yellow. They are the only native tree here that turns color, except the aspens, but they're past peak. The rest of the colors are the deciduous trees and shrubs that people planted.

I'm still moving plants I want to keep from the field into a raised-beds area near the house. What's left to move is maybe 4 monkshoods and 10 peegee hydrangeas, and a group of 10 older peonies that have gotten so big, I'm stymied trying to dig them up. Maybe I need a backhoe??!! Then there are all the lily bulbs (the ones I kept, less than 1/5 of what I had) to replant. Oh, and digging up the glads I want to keep (less than 1/4 of them). I don't want the rest and don't want to bother digging and storing them. Geez, that's a lot to do, I'd better get out there! One volunteer elderberry shrub and a bunch of raspberry vines are the very last thing to go and won't be moved until spring.

We had several strong frosts in early September and no frost at all since then. There are bits of rain here and there, enough for the fall mushrooms to be popping up everywhere. Everything in my windy, cold field is dead except delphiniums, whereas up in the sheltered raised beds there are still snaps and glads and a few rudbeckia blooming, albeit weakly. There isn't much sun lately. This is our preview of winter, when we see no sun for weeks on end and there are so many layers of clouds, it's gloomy-dark on most days. I'm actually looking forward to it, mostly because gardening will be forcibly stopped by then and I'll ski, or swim at the gym, cook elaborate dinners, or laze around with a book, but I WON'T BE GARDENING.

Jeanne


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

DH has my new bulb row tilled now so it is up to me to start digging. THe new bulbs will likely come tomorrow so no time to delay now! THe new soil is draining nicely...no muck up on the wheels of the tiller inspite of the days drizzle. I think I have finally found that illusive garden soil called "well draining"! Defintely thinking drip tubing for next summer....


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Yesterday I dug up my ten established, older peonies (somewhere between five and six years in place) and found out why they didn't bloom much last year. I'd been expecting an impressive bloom, as they had bloomed well the year before and I'd taken very good care of them. They had lots of buds, and then aborted almost all of them. At the time, I thought perhaps I'd let them get too dry. Wrong! Now I know that gophers/voles/ground squirrels had built a highway underneath them, about six inches down, and shorn the roots off completely at that level. They still had enough roots left to maintain the leaves, but I can see why they aborted the flowers. I'll divide six of them and replant them all today, but in beds that are lined with hardware cloth. I'm TIRED of fighting burrowing varmints!

The good part is that, even with dividing, they will all still be good-sized and should bloom next year. I've found that peonies generally will bloom the year after they are transplanted, provided that they were pretty big when transplanted (ten or so bud eyes) and weren't out of the ground very long.

Jeanne


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

We have had so much rain lately that it's been hard to get much done outside. I did get my tulips in, and that was a big relief, but still have much to do. As of yet, we have had only one light frost, but that will change over the next couple of days. I have 2 more customers to finish, then I'll be done with that part of my business. Next year I will be doing less people, it's too much to keep up with.
I'm still wondering what's in those crates, flowerfarmer.
Cheryl


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I have been digging bulb trenches. The daffodils have all arrived now, over 1000 of them but it is the tulips I want to put in the trench I am digging! I expect my COlorblends any time. THese were the daffs from Colorblends that I had ordered. I figure I Can dig 10' of 4' trench in the morning and another 1-' in the affternoon without permanent injury. THis soil is light and fluggy like digging in a sand box! I just figured out where I wnat the daffodils...right under the stack of logs from clearing the field!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Liza,
Dosn't it always figure? I think I need to do 2 or 3 new rows every spring, do green manure, then till by Aug. so that I have some space ready to go by fall. I spend more time walking around trying to figure out where to plant things! Is it true that dafs should not be planted near tulips?
I remember digging in the kind of dirt you're talking about. Actually it WAS sand because I lived in Florida. But it sure was easy digging! Here, you can't sink a shovel in the ground without hitting rocks. In fact, that's what I'll be doing today, loading the ones I picked out from planting, into a wheel barrow and getting rid of them. I hope all of you are getting caught up on your fall plantings, and can take a rest soon. Flowerfarmer is so busy we still don't know what's in the crates!
Cheryl


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I too have been planting my bulbs. I'd like to say it is on a smaller scale because I'm not growing for market, but my bulb supplier (www.jparkers.co.uk) had such a good deal on Tete-a-tete that I went quite mad and ordered over 200. This makes nearly 400 daffs/narcissi alone PLUS 300+ tulips, some alliums, some snakeshead fritillaria and some anemones de Caen. That Sarah Raven sure has a lot to answer for!

Disaster struck yesterday when the first half of the bulb order arrived and I tootled over to my land, planning to get a good start on planting them. Due to the heavy rain we had had over the previous days about a third of the plot was under water! Even the drier ground which is slightly higher was waterlogged 5' down. I didn't know what to do, so planted some of my narcissi as I thought they would be more rot resistant than the tulips.

Luckily I have been back today and the water has gone down by a good couple of inches, so yesterday's bulbs are safe. I have reservations about planting any tulips there at all, but am now stuck with no alternative. I considered putting a layer of grit at the bottom of my trenches, but I have heard that you can inadvertently create a 'sump' by doing this: the water drains into the space made by the gravel as opposed to draining out of it!

I think I will just have to put whatever happens this year down to experience: it's a good job the bulbs were on special offer!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Pollie, I hope that was an unusual amount of rain and the bulbs will not besubject to repeated floodngs all winter! I lost my whole tulip crop last year to some root root just from spendin the winter in cold wet clay. They started out nice then all went blighty and when I dug them up the rootlets were gone. THey really can;t stand the wetness as a constant. COuld you get some big pots and plant them in so they are above water level? YOu can get a lot of bulbs into a big pot!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Thanks for your kind thoughts, LizaLily.

It was an unusual amount of rain and the water levels have gone down quite a lot since Thursday. I have planted more bulbs over the past couple of days and conditions have really improved.

I also took delivery of my miniplugs (132 each of primula denticulata and primula auricula). Whilst not strictly speaking cuts, I think that these will brighten up my beds and pots during the spring. Yesterday was partly spent pricking these out!

Today and tomorrow I plan to sow my hardy annuals: it is still very mild here, so I think they stand a good chance if I keep them sheltered over the winter. I planted some cerinthe and calendula today and plan to add some scabious tomorrow. It's a busy time!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Snow in central PA on the 25th but hadn't had frost yet in many places -- most strange. (Normally expect frost the first week in Oct.) Even the zinnias weren't blackened. Some frost the 29th and 30th and yet the zinnias were slightly damaged but still quite green. Amazing. That coupled with the complete lack of mildew on them made for interesting conversations and nice picking.


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Cheryl, You asked about the contents in the crates. Sometimes without trying very hard things just happen to find you. This has happened to us. We picked up an account with an upscale market. We also have May weddings next year. We don't like doing weddings. We don't actually do weddings; however, we will supply the flowers for customers who want to do their own arranging. We'll sometimes do some small table arrangements if we're tempted -- This happened more this season. Anyway, this means many more flowers (Oh, and trying to figure what the "in color" is next season). So, we find ourselves planting more tulips, daffodils, alliums, fritillaria, crocosmia, iris -- along with some interesting plant material to be used as filler. We're trying to juggle this with digging and dividing dahlias (these are monsters this year). We're approximately three weeks late with the dig this season due to the late frost. We're not complaining about the extra weeks of flowers for market; however, it makes life interesting trying to accomplish some of these projects before snow this way cometh.

Pollie, I love Sarah Raven. We subscribe to her bouquet making theory: Bride, bridesmaids, and gatecrasher!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

I've been busy putting the garden to bed and transplanting strawberries and raspberries. Also, researching peonies and other perennials to build up my spring cuts.

I also had the last market for the year on Thursday. I hollowed some pumpkins Put a cup of water in the hole and used cabbage roses and various branches to make an arrangement. Only did 3, but could have sold more!

Now it's time to pour over the catalogs and see what to grow next year.

Bryan looking forward to your list!


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Well - had the first hard frost last Thurs. night - 25 degrees Friday morning! Fortunately we had cut a lot on Wed., but didn't cut all my yellow cosmos! Wish I had...but the cooler I have is full of them! I still have tall mums, annual scabiosa, calendula, statice and echinachea. Time to start digging the dahlias and planting the cover crop (it is supposed to warm up). Its been raining quite hard since last night, so will need to wait a bit before digging up the dahlias or trying to seed anything!

My lastest favorite was the yellow cosmos with purple smoke bush branches, wild rose hips, and yellow butterfly bush! Quite fun to do!

Happy Halloween everyone!
Wendy


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

Wendy, we are not frosted out here yet. This is about when I consider it our usual frost date. Made a lovely bouquet today out of different red and white dahlias(Bishop of LLandaff, Fire and Icen and Spartacus, with smaller white ones, gold buddliea, tiny red crab apples (Moltenlava) and white streaked St johm's wort leaves with little red berries and gold flowers. Our 3 cafe bouquets are one giant CAfe au LAit dalia with one coral colored glad and some beautyberry leaves (smoldering muted red and purple),

IT has been so wet I Didn't dig on the trench for my tulips today but am recovering from a cold and my colorblend tulips have now been in transit for q week without showing up.THe daffodils all came last week from COlorBlends and Daffodil Depot, SO I don't know if the colorblends are lost or just slower. THey were all charged and shipped the same day, Oct 17. Maybe I will give them a call tomorrow.

We got the new field all outlined with string and the places for the fence posts marked, but will have to wait until next Sunday now...dark when DH gets home from work and he is working Sats. I am so anxious to get that fence up so I can move roses and get them resettled and growing good roots! I also have a pretty good selection of shrubs to move into the new shrub garden.


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RE: Autumn Journal--October

There have been many frosts here already. We're into normal November weather - gray, dark, cold, and very wet. No green except the evergreens trees. Absolute misery, the most depressing month of the year. The only fall color left is the larches, in yellow, and even most of those have already lost their needles. Wish I could afford to take off to a more hospitable climate for the month. December usually brings snow, so it's not quite as dark and gray.

Perennials are all transplanted into the areas they'll stay in. All I have left to do is to dig up maybe 5 dozen more of the most desirable glads (I've been known to do this in the cold rain because there isn't any other kind of weather this time of year), plant a few small-but-might-bloom Oriental lily bulbs (I just can't stand to throw them away) in the hoophouse raised bed (in the warm, covered hoophouse, thank goodness!) and then take the plastic off the hoophouse for the winter and compost the used shavings from its floor. That has to be done before we get much snow - the hoophouse isn't designed to carry a snow load. Then it'll be on to catalog shopping and dreaming. No hurry for that this year, hobby catalog companies don't run out of the most desirable seed as fast as commercial ones do. I have to call my main suppliers and ask for the hobby catalog instead of the commercial one. Germania has no hobby catalog and unfortunately doesn't sell much of anything in small quantities, and of course it has the best selection.

I tried to tell myself I don't need to order anything at all, since I'm going from high volume to much lower, but I don't think I'm immune to all the marvelous new things that come along. I'll end up ordering a few new seeds, I'm sure, but that's all. I hope.

Jeanne


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