Yesterday was a warm sunny day and I spent it in the garden. Well it was warm and sunny for December 1st, at least for Washington state. You may recall my incessant whining all through November that it was raining in biblical proportions making it nearly impossible to garden without scuba gear. -Insert add for Noah’s Ark and Garden Supplies- The two hours of sunlight we did have in November found me stuck inside doing the bidding of the little alien village people. This year they even wanted a waterfall. Can you believe the nerve? I told them absolutely not, I would not build them a waterfall. I told them they would just have to make do with fake fluffy snow like the rest of their people and that was that!
Have you ever seen the movie Village of the Damned with those creepy little kids who just stare at you in British accents and make you do things you'd never do on your own?
The villagers have TWO waterfalls now. I never did get outside.
Then finally the sun came out and I rushed outside happy as a kid jacked up on PixySticks. I was finally going to whack down all the garden plants that had turned to mush during the month of Noah. I had gotten the pond plants out even though they didn’t want to go. They are currently over by the compost pile, sulking and making plans for a counter insurgence. Well now it was everybody else’s turn to meet my whackers. --Somehow that just sounds wrong on so many levels. Annywho—The gloves were on, whackers in hand (again wrong) and the wheel barrel in place. It was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. No, no, not MY fish, some other fish. You know, barrel fish. So there I am ready to tackle the brown wretched annuals the sad yellowed perennials and to cut back those roses.
Then what am I greeted with? Open defiance, that’s what I tell you! Open defiance. Still just as green as you please and doing quite nicely thank you. Why the pineapple sage is blooming right along and the nasturtium has had a growth spurt. Roses are slowly blooming and there are even sunflowers that pretend they might flower just for novelties sake. There is even a fully ripe bud on an a completely insane oriental poppy under the weeping cherry tree.
The truth is obvious to any of you real gardeners out there. Nothing unusual is really going on around here other than me. I’m wandering around out there like Gomer Pyle with a dumb as a box of rocks grin plastered on my face pointing at stuff and saying things like “Well gawlly” and “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” I just don’t know enough not to be completely impressed that plants are continuing to grow out there. Not just because it’s December but because it’s MY garden. Remember I’m the one with no dirt and literally a box of rocks. A really big box of rocks. So yeah, I’m pretty tickled with the fact that my plants are hanging on and not giving up the fight. It is exciting to me to see them growing thriving.
I suppose that is what hooks you.
The thrill of seeing life happening because you did something to help it happen. I may be yapping up a storm about how my crazy in denial garden doesn’t know enough to quiet down for the winter but in secret I am cheering it on. Those insane poppies and tenacious daisies are my underdog teams. I will avoid actual team references because I don’t want to start a riot on my blog. Suffice it to say I’m am out there in the stands with green paint smeared on my face cheering them on. I'm sure there is some important design elements to face paint smearing in sports but I have no idea what that might be. We’re a team, my green guys and me. They came to play and I came to root for them. No matter what they do I am backing them 100%. Now I finally understand how you sports fans feel. My team’s just green and has pretty little flowers.
Today was another sunny day, another day to spend in the garden. Well, that is if it wasn’t more like hanging out in a meat locker. Brrr. We got our first real frost last night and if the sun didn’t hit stuff directly it just stayed crunchy. I was glad to have cleared the pond because it was nicely iced this morning. The rest of the garden is still hanging in there but the nasturtiums are not long for the world and I am sure the others will soon follow. There is snow in our forecast in the next week. I told the Saint that if he wanted to forestall the snow he should get right out there and put the snow tires on. That has the same effect as washing your car except with snow in reverse.
I have put all seven hundred bulbs on the front porch in order to beguile myself into planting them. I may even actually do it. The most important thing to know about planting bulbs is to do it on the coldest day on record and time it so that you finish up by flashlight just as it is beginning to snow. It should work out just right this year. If that plan doesn't work out then I plan to tie ribbons on them and use them as tree ornaments.
All in all it's has been a great year in my early gardening career. If it snows like it did last year these may be the last flowery shots you get out of me for awhile. At least until the Christmas bulb ornaments start blooming. When that happens I am going to be all over that!