Monthly Archives: November 2012

With the full beaver moon in its glory it helps with lengthening the day a little, for the final clean up duties in the garden are coming to an end. I have all the brush cut and stacked with some bails of salt straw, which with the first hard soil freeze I will cover the gardens to keep them from thawing and heaving the perennials about. At this time I will apply some compost and manure as a top-dressing for the roses and the perennial borders so that with the arrival of spring the plants will have a good start. I have also decided to cut the ornamental grasses this year to save on any winter mess, as the dried out stalks tend to break up in the winter storms and blow about the garden. Late November is the best time for this.

I ‘ve started gathering the many evergreen that we will be using to make the many wreaths and garlands we use in the Shire and many of our planters and window boxes will be filled now before the soil freezes, it is also important to remember to add water to these boxes and pots from time to time so that the evergreens will stay fresh longer.

The work at this time in the garden is steady and our attention to the garden tools has started as we begin to clean and sharpen and oil our handy helpful friends and put them to sleep for the winter.

All of the garden color has changed to quiet tones of dull rose,russet and gray, with touches of gold here and there, and the sounds in the garden are filled with empty breezes that blow across the empty borders, Though the garden is still very much awake and the watch for winters start begins.

A thought; Spring’s beauty and best is brought by winter’s rest.

This is the first Thanksgiving Jan and I will spend alone. Our family is all over the USA this year and a few are over seas. Although it will be strange for us and a little sad, we keep in mind that Christmas is only a few weeks away and some of us will be together then.

My morning walk was a little later this morning due to all the family skyping and phone calls. The sun is out and the sky’s are blue and clear with a temp of about 50, as I walked about the Shire I noticed here and there a few moments of color that escaped Jack Frosts breath, when I got an idea, I will use them for our table centerpiece.

As I began to gather,  each item I notice they had a memory attached, like the Ilex verticillata – ( winterberry ) that will remind us of the holiday to come, some orange-red leaves from the espalier Cotoneaster that was a cutting I grew from my grandfather favorite one in  his garden. Then I noticed the last of the Nicotiana – ( tobacco plant ) N. ” Lime Green ” this was one of my Dad’s favorite flowers and in the same spot I had planted Lantana –  “Tangerine” my Mom’s favorite so that they could be close and what a show these two still give this late in the garden season.

I decided to arrange my gatherings in my Grandmothers cut glass sugar bowl, while looking for that bowl I found my Great Aunts carnival apple juice glasses and thought they would make great votive’s, I place a small old oval mirror that our Daughter Abigail liked and the small hand crafted heart roll basket that our youngest daughter Alexsandra gave to us years ago. I then place the black walnut salt and pepper mills that was hand turned from the wood of a 200-year-old tree that held a swing from my childhood home that Jan’s Dad and Mom lovingly gave us.

So in many ways our loved ones will be with us at the Thanksgiving table and our hearts are lightened a little. Before we start grace we will take a moment to think of each and  give thanks for them in our life.

From all of us in the Shire Garden we send blessings of thankfulness to everyone who visits.

A thought; Gifts from the garden are treasures, we sometimes forget that.

We here at the Shire Garden survived the super storm, things did get blown around a bit but all are well. The Cotoneaster in the column garden is a blaze of red and the birds are having a field day. We have started putting the perennials to sleep and our first lite frost has arrived touching many of our tender one of the garden. The ferns have all turned gold and the trumpet vines are yellow on the fence wall above the bonsai maples that are in full autumn color.

I spend my time these days with leaf removal most of which I am grinding and turning into the compost heap with hand full of lime because of the many oaks. This helps with acid levels it works for us. I am still planting the hundreds of spring bulbs I purchase this year. What was I thinking!!!! Next spring and summer I must reminded my self of this bulb planting work that comes in the middle of fall clean up.

We have started the plans for our winter holiday decorating and hope to share that with you.

All in all, the Shire did well this year the colors were alive and pleasing to the eye, lots of berries and I will hope for a mild winter. The moss lawn is getting its winter green on,as the many ivy’s are looking their best just in time for wreath making.

Autumn for me is a time to look back. A time to remember just how wonderful and rewarding gardening can be, To create a place where you can return to again and again with a sense of being far away from every day life. Thus the magic of the garden is truly real.

A thought;  Life is full of memories some good some not so good, choose those that make you happy.