Time to Give Thanks

Japanese Maple leaves exhibit vibrant foliage colors in the fall. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)
Japanese Maple leaves exhibit vibrant foliage colors in the fall. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)

We have so much to be thankful for this year. In spite of the recent drought, what is being called a “super extended fall” has gifted us with incredible and vibrant foliage colors, the prettiest we can ever remember.

Of course, hubby has been raking the fallen leaves and there’s no end in sight. Thank goodness for the yard waste pickups by our town. We seem to fill all our barrels as well as several paper bags a week.

In spite of snow storms north and west of us last night, our garden is still showing off some beautiful roses and chrysanthemum blossoms. But we know it won’t be long before they’re history.

It’s wonderful to see how many foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) have sprung up all over the place. They are biennial plants, and seeds from this past summer’s blossoms have scattered all over and germinated. Next spring we’ll move the ones that are not in good locations and re-plant them somewhere else, maybe even in the vegetable garden.

We’ve cut down the annual fibrous rooted begonias in our front-steps container and are filling in the space with evergreen and rhododendron cuttings. A potted sedum still looks good with its dried pinky blossoms, so we’ll leave it be for now.

The holly bushes (both evergreen and deciduous) are full of beautiful red berries, so loved by our visiting birds.

Another deer was struck and killed on a nearby street. As cute as they are, they’re not welcome when they eat our hosta leaves; or worse, when they cause car accidents. However, I’ve read where other Greater Boston towns and cities have to deal with bears!

Last night we ate our last garden tomato. And, it’s almost the end of the month! We had brought the remaining green ones indoors a week or so ago and placed them in paper bags until they ripened. In general, they did not do so well this year. It was my fault for planting too many climbing green beans around the outside of the tomato cages. The beans took over and shaded the tomato plants. Always so many lessons to learn.

Most hoses have been brought in, as well as our lawn furniture and umbrella. Soon the outside water will be turned off as we continue to “put the gardens to bed.”

According to our favorite calendar (The UMass Garden Calendar), the Winter Solstice will take place on December 21, when we will experience the shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter.

Winter will bring many seed and plant catalogs in the mail, sure to keep us busy as we plan next year’s gardens.

Yes, lots to be thankful for!