freakishly warm weather, some last minute gardening

We’ve had summery temperatures lately, and we took advantage of it to get some gardening done. David moved 15 (!) wheelbarrow loads of composted horse manure two days ago, and spread it in the “garden” between the two driveways near the road. This is an overflow garden: plants I can’t throw away or give away but want to remove get put here. It is full of daylilies mostly, but there are also daffodils, false sunflower, peonies, and other plants. The soil is sandy and this will improve it a great deal. It will probably make the grass grow even better, oh well.

overflow garden with amendments

overflow garden with amendments

I finished planting all my bulbs, and then added a few wheelbarrow loads of manure to the square garden:003As this shows, I also did some more path and border work. We have some old logs/branches and I used those as borders. It’s partly for looks and partly to hold additional dirt in. A few short rock walls here and there add variety.011

Mr. Fluff enjoys the woodchip path

Mr. Fluff enjoys the woodchip path

I used newspaper and bark strips pulled off the logs to create another path in the compost bin garden:014013As we left for our band rehearsal, the sun was getting low in the west, casting golden light over the landscape. Here’s the view from the square garden toward the Northeast:021

Welcome, Pillow! And a sleepy, mostly-brown garden

We have a new member of our household: a black cat named Pillow. He is, we strongly suspect, a drop-off. None of our near neighbors know him, and if he strayed for long he managed to do it without getting dirty, scuffed or burred. When Mr. Fluff showed up he was a mess, and we think he was living rough for awhile. But Pillow was sleek, fat, neutered, friendly, well-groomed and clearly accustomed to being an indoor cat. Here he is. It was not easy getting pictures of him, because he kept scooting over to me for pets!

Excuse me, the food bowl is empty.

Excuse me, the food bowl is empty.

shouldn't you be picking me up now?

shouldn’t you be picking me up now?

pretty kitty!

pretty kitty!

I walked around the garden this morning, the first day of November, and took a few pictures. The garden is quiet, settling in for winter. The front yard has got its blanket of maple leaves:028Below is the garden in front of the sun porch. I removed the dahlia tubers (don’t ask) and also removed most of the tall phlox (I put them elsewhere in full sun so I hope they’ll be less leggy and floppy next year), and then added four wheelbarrow-loads of composted horse manure. Yesterday I planted 20 oriental lilies, 50 mixed narcissus, and 20 tall purple sensation ornamental onions. 035In the back yard the apple tree has covered the ground with dropped fruit, but the squirrels and mice and chipmunks will gradually eat and/or store them. 038The new bed next to the compost bin on the north side of the driveway still looks raw–it’s a “lasagna” garden: lawn, covered with newspaper, hay, old manure, more hay, and more old manure and hay in layers. It will be beautiful dirt in another year, but for now we’re not planting a lot there. I did put the phlox there. And we shoved aside the “dirt” and put down wood chips or shavings for the paths. Other than that we’ll let the bacteria and other myriad critters in the soil work undisturbed. 017Lastly, a few pictures of the last few flowers still blooming last week:

ladybells

ladybells

corydalis lutea

corydalis lutea

phlox

phlox

dianthus

dianthus

johnny-jump-up

johnny-jump-up

what is this delphinium thinking??

what is this delphinium thinking??

sweet woodruff foliage and autumn leaves

sweet woodruff foliage and autumn leaves

The winterberries in the front yard did very well–all four female shrubs are covered with bright red berries. The birds are supposed to really like them. Here is one of the shrubs:025