November continues to be a welcome Indian summer — I am amazed that we still have lettuce, peas and Swiss Chard growing in the garden. I dug the Dahlias today but they were actually starting to grow again from the base. I decided that I could not in good conscience dig the Glads — let them at least get frozen off for Pete’s sake. I noticed in town today that some of the shrub roses are still doing fine and show many blooms. We are off to New York for Thanksgiving but I wanted to share a couple of discoveries.
One is the use of a mattock for fall bulb planting. I had bought a small hand mattock for moving and installing flagstones. It turns out that it is also marvelous for putting in bulbs. So long as you avoid hitting your hand or leg, it is much easier to dig a quick bulb-worthy hole with a one-handed swing of the mattock than with a trowel in our rocky soil. I’ve long used bigger mattocks for planting larger plants, but the use of a little one for bulb planting is a more recent discovery.
Having the right tool is what makes many a job a pleasure to do on a warm November afternoon
The other item worthy of note is the discovery of an excellent garden writer in our midst. Marianne Willburn writes of the joys and sufferings attendant to growing plants with the experienced pen of one who has battled slugs on the front line and somehow retained a knowledge of the English language in the process. I highly commend a look at her writings at The Small Town Gardener.
Take a look at the recent article A Rose by Any Other Name to get a sense of her writing. How could I miss such a talent just a few miles away in Brunswick, Maryland? Mea Culpa…