Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall is, fall back, falling

Fall
 lovely colors with the turning of the leaves as they make the decent towards the ground, only to be remade into useful soil, food for the soil to be fed to the plants.
 Beautiful sunsets over the mountains, truly breathtaking at times...  to remind us of just one of the many reasons we choose to live here.
Cooler temperatures. 
 we are lucky to have long growing seasons here in the Northwest...we can plant food to eat here year round
Harvest time for many fruits and root vegetables

Fall is actually the best time to get out in the garden and make it what you really want.
The trees are changing color as are some perennials, which creates an entirely new opportunity to "paint your picture"
Dig and divide spring blooming perennials
plant shrubs, trees and perennials
I am not a tidy gardener, so leaves do not get raked up in my yard, instead they get raked into the beds of my garden to be eaten by the creatures who live in and feed my soil, the soil food web...worms, mycorhizzae, beneficial organisms that enrich my soil, think of the woods and all the loose, loamy soil that exists there....no one rakes it up, it breaks down and refeeds itself. 
I love the way the garden looks and feels at this time of year. I like to walk through and notice the many ways my garden is changing, in color and in form, with spring plants that have gone dormant to make way for the thugs of summer, the toughies who can take the little water I will allow them, but please me with all the beauty and color they are meant to display, as if to say...it's my job, I must do this, Enjoy!
The bird activity  is at a level of excitement that can only be explained by the amount of food and berries available. The sunny days we are blessed with bring generous amounts of song birds out to serenade even the surliest of gardeners.
I am stopped in my tracks of hurry and flurry in the garden to get to the tasks at hand....'what is that song bird, who sings of such joy and relaxed delight?' The flittering little one whom I still have yet to see, hides and sings, to bring me to my own place of peace and joy in the garden of my own life.
So, what to be doing in the garden?
Prune out dead wood on old fashioned roses...these are different than modern roses, old Rose does not mean it's been in the ground a long time...it means it's OLD, as in from 1864 or prior. These old roses are the ones that blooms in abandoned lots, take no real care whatsoever, aside from proper planting, and summer water, if you please???...then you can essentially leave them be. 
Prune out dead wood on shrubs and trees
Divide spring flowering herbacious perennials, replant or pot up
Dig out unwanted thugs in the garden, and weed
Move bigger shrubs if desired, by root pruning and lifting to deposit in the prepared new location.
Create new gardens for next year
Mulch exposed soils with homemade compost, wood chips, manures, leaves, straw or in vegetable gardens, sow cover crops.   Having read Ruth Stout, I am addicted to mulch, period.
Rake leaves from deciduous trees into a pile to make leaf compost or into gardens to break down...maple, alder and birch are the best for this type of practice....
Look for edible mushrooms in the gardens...shaggy manes, Boletus and more (know what you are looking for!! Do not eat if you are not sure.)
More garden talk to come next week...
to be continued....