October 28, 2011

And in the End...

The gardening season drew to an abrupt close last evening as snow began falling in Medfield.  Through this strange autumn of never-ending rain, we had escaped without a frost – something that can happen as early as mid-September and that almost always occurs before Columbus Day. 

This year, though we’re down to under ten hours a day of sunlight, nighttime temperatures stayed mostly in the 40s.  The result was scraggly annuals that were too tired and light-deprived to bloom, but green nonetheless.  But because they had not been hit by frost, we left in place several containers that were foliage-centric, including one I highlighted in September.

The first snow of the 2011-2012
season spelled the end of this
container.  That's New England.
Well, all that’s over.  The photo at left is of the same container, taken last evening as wet, heavy snow overspread the area.  And, naturally, there’s a forecast of a couple of inches of additional accumulation for the weekend.

We’ve spent the past three weeks preparing the gardens for this event.  The perennials have been cut down and, in some cases, divided (or given the heave-ho as in the case of bearded iris).  The compost bins are overflowing and barrels of diseased plant material have gone to the dump.  With the exception of some beds in the rear gardens, we’re ready.

This morning, though, I realize that I’m never fully prepared for the onset of winter.  Even though November is just a few days off, I keep expecting to eke out another week of pleasant temperatures; or at least to not have to bundle up just to go out and get the newspapers in the morning.  Last evening was a reality check.  This is New England.  Get used to it!

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