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Summers vitality is still present this month and although some of the color still lingers, it is only a matter of a few weeks or days before the first breath of Jack Frost,will sweep the garden and take from it all the color and fragrance that had lingered so long.  I have started the process of moving the frost and cold tender plants back to their winter home in Acorn Cottage from their summer garden spots, I just can’t believe summer is over. I took just a few moments the other day to go back and to read my earlier blogs, and I was reminded of the many good moments in the Shire during the summer of 2012.

As I work on cleaning up pots and removing spent foliage, I talk to the plants, as most gardeners do, but many won’t admit to. I explain to them why they need to behave while living in Acorn Cottage during the cold months ahead.

I have about 30 different frost tender plants that will once again return to there spots in the house, so I start with washing their outer pots with a little bleach and water and I spray a little house and garden insect control so that we won’t receive any unwanted house guests. These pots are all taken to the Garden Terrace close to the house where it stays warmer most evenings and will make of quick work when notice of frost is in the air. I try to keep these pot outside for as long as I can, for the change of light conditions from outside to inside window is a shark for them.

This is also the time I will take cuttings of the many coleus that are in the Shire Garden to root in jars throughout the winter for next summer and pot up some of the geraniums that we enjoyed, their colors will please the eye as we gaze out to the cold white and gray days ahead.

The up rooting of frost and cool tender plants begins now, as the evening temps hover around 50 to 45 degrees, plants like caladiums and tuberous begonias will start to die back, their removal is easy for in the spring I planted them in the garden, pots and all, as this also aids in summer change outs and retrieval in the fall, in the spring I will repot and feed and start all over again.  I lift the pots clean them off and let them dry out just as they are before taking them to the root cellar. Other roots like those of dahlias and gladioli and frost tender lilies will be lifted after the first real killing frost, and laid out in a sunny spot and labeled to dry off  then excess soil taken off and dusted with a fungicide and insect control just for protection during their winter sleep. I will wrap them in dry news paper and some in dry peat moss in milk crates and store them in the root cellar that stays around 50 degrees most of the year. This sounds like a lot of work and it is, but this gardener love his plants and it is a labor of love.

Then there is the most dreaded time for any passionate gardener, the time to decide which of the plants will have to be sacrificed to the frost and freeze for there is no more room at the inn. I have in the past offered many to friends and neighbors, but I found that by mid January they stopped inviting me over and by springs return, the stories of sudden death was hard for them, so I now spare them of such stress.

As stewards to the plant kingdom we gardeners each year are faced with the said sacrifices and will spend time with these plants in their last moments of glory. We will cover them with cloth in the first stages of frost in hopes of a little more time and in the final of a deep freeze we will honor them with thanks and remember their great contribution to the beauty and magic of the garden. We will assure them that their contribution to the compost will enrich the promise of a beautiful spring.

The nights are cooler and the long walks through the garden are quicker now. The smell of the fallen maple leave fill the air with the scent of maple, they are the first to drop and their color were exciting and enjoyed. The low horizon light reflexes off the hues of yellow, orange and reds and purples that are all around me, and I recall many thoughts and feelings. How beautiful the final moments of autumn is. Yes how beautiful indeed! reputable online casino australia

A thought; In the moments of transformation let nature be our guide.

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