Things got out of hand in the garden quickly when I was unable to get out and work on it for a couple of months. Some of the garden beds became overrun with weeds and dead flower heads.
Kudos go to my husband, who took the time to water my many outdoor potted flowers during some dry days in late August. As a result of his efforts, I didn’t lose any of those plants.
Now, however, all of the growing things are in retreat, from lack of care and cooling weather. We had the first frost of fall a few days ago, which brings most of the flowering plants to a sharp end. Before that happened, I went out and cut the last zinnias, marigolds, and roses to bring in and enjoy a few days longer.
There’s lots of clean-up to do, though I generally let the garden beds and dried flowers sit for most of the winter. The birds love the seeds. Goldfinches flock to the dead zinnia flowers. I’m told other critters appreciate the leaf and stalk litter for overwintering.
We do rake leaves off the lawn to keep the grass healthy, though we’ve been gradually reducing the amount of grass we have, extending natural areas and cultivated beds into what was formerly lawn. And it’s a heck of a challenge to discourage the grass and weeds from restaking their claim to that territory.
But…the camellias now have buds, showing they’re getting ready to put on their late winter show. A few perennials have new growth near the ground, which will form the base for next years’ efforts. Amid the dying of most of the garden plants, there are signs of hope for things to come.