With apologies to the late great Jim Croce, that’s what I was singing to myself as I slogged around our garden doing a bit of cleanup. As I watched the seeds from milkweed pods whirl away on the wind, and the raucously hungry blue jays stuff themselves on sunflower seeds and ornamental corn, I remembered what other blogging friends had said about how they like the light and the stillness that come on some November days.
We had stillness and golden light yesterday, sort of a rest period after the frenzy of the weekend. Today however, we're back to the wind blowing with great zeal and enthusiasm. I tucked a few bulbs into the ground, but it's still very wet around the yard (over two inches of rain in a few hours will do that, especially when you have clay), so with most of the containers empties and put away and even all the garden tools rounded up, what else was there I could be doing?
Oh, weeding. Well, deteaseling the back garden would be good for a start. Just as I had done last year, I let a few too many teasel seedlings take hold this summer. Although I like the seedheads very much, as they hold up all winter and the birds enjoy them, and the foliage is very effective at shading out weed seedlings there were just a few too many prickly rosettes of deep green in one bed and out into what passes for lawn too, so they had to go. Two wheelbarrows-full later, and the compost heap had something green to counteract the piles of brown (donkey and horse manure) I’d been heaping on in recent days, and the garden looked a little better. There’s still the war of the couchgrass to handle, but I’ll work away at that too.
You may remember that I am something of a new fan of penstemons, having not had success with them before this summer. Sour Grapes is STILL producing flowers, even though the plant is a bit battered after the recent spate of weather. It has cast more than a few of its blossoms onto the ground, and I thought they looked pretty even as part of a petit-point with soil and--well, could that be WEEDS growing there???
All too soon the clouds that were threatening moved in with great enthusiasm, and the wind developed a bite to it, and presto, we were into one of those November days that drive me inside. Still, as I noted previously, the good days in this month are something to be savoured, like good wine or fine dark chocolate--and better yet, there are great blogs and websites to read, so I can garden electronically, watching those of you who are slipping into summer rather than autumn. Where WOULD we be without the internet?
That's a bit of a rhetorical question, but I'll leave you all with one that might be food for thought. Stuart at Gardening Tips n Ideas wrote about the demise of yet another gardening magazine (and Graham Rice has also been writing about sales of gardening magazine copies in his native Britain. My observation is that many of us are turning more and more to getting decent information--accurate and current and detailed--off the internet rather than from magazines. I do subscribe to one Canadian one, and pick up the other one most of the time, but I find they aren't nearly as good as they used to be--the articles are shorter, or there are too many central-Canada gardens featured, and there's too much on 'home living' and recipes etc. I want those things, I'll go to Canadian Living or House and Home, not to gardening magazines.
So friends, tell me: what are your thoughts on your favourite gardening mags? Are they as good as they always were? Do you find yourself wanting more from their articles? Have you noticed a dumbing down, a tendency towards sound-bite or news-clip type short pieces rather than something you can really enjoy? Or am I being picky?
And if you needed to find something out quickly--like about what's new for perennials, or how to bring houseplants back indoors, or what neat crafty things to give gardeners for Christmas...do you go to the Internet, to blogs and commercial websites such?
Speaking of reading...I'll be doing some book recommendations in the days leading up to ho-ho-ho time (I already wrote the C-word once in this post!) but as for what mystery I'm reading...I go through one every day/night or two, and my tastes are mostly for British writers--Ian Rankin, Martha Grimes, Minette Walters, Ruth Rendell, Peter James (not to be confused with P.D. James who I also like)--and the two popular American suspense writers Patricia Cornwell and John Sandford. Always open to new recommendations...but perhaps we should wait til another post!