Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Window Views on a Cold Morning

I can't believe it, it's 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Funny how a hard frost on a late October morning is a surprise in central NC and in Buffalo, NY they recently had two feet of snow. I knew we were likely to get our first frost this week but the forecast was for lows in the high 30s until later this week. This was unexpected and I hope the farmers with crops that needed protection weren't caught off guard. That's my first thought. I'd already decided that I wasn't going to try to get my big potted plants of flowers into the greenhouse. Too heavy for me and I think I'm going to wait until the late winter to decide if I want to do anything in the greenhouse this year. Perhaps by then I'll feel well enough to start seedlings in the greenhouse for a spring crop. I am doing better in some regards but watering, opening and shutting the greenhouse, etc. is more than I want to deal with. Even the garden boxes with volunteers abounding are going to be left on their own. There again opening and shutting the boxes is more than I want to deal with. Fortunately some of the plants should do okay with a few frosty morning until I harvest what I can. I'll probably go ahead and pick some kale today to freeze for when my daughter's home. I wonder if fried green tomatoes would freeze okay. That would really be a treat for my daughter. One of my garden boxes has a tomato plant with a second crop of tomatoes. Yesterday I noticed a half dozen small green tomatoes which were quite a surprise this time of years. I intended to pick them before the first frost but I'm betting one frosty morning hasn't hurt them. They are in a protected area and I'm guessing it stayed warm enough in that box for them to be okay if I pick them today. For now I'm lazy, staying in my warm house peaking out at the birds fluffing themselves up in between bites of breakfast. I'm remembering to enjoy the soft colorful protection which surrounds my house this time of year. Even the deck's flaws will be exposed soon as the vines drop their leaves to show the gaping holes in the wall. Through the years birds have poked through the wall and nested inside. What started as tiny holes which nuthatches would poke their little heads out of are now large sections that have rotted and fallen out. No telling what will be inside there now (I fear rodents). It's a fairly simple thing to pull off the old boards and replace them with new ones according to Bill but the timing is important. It can't be done in the spring when new nests are probably inside with baby birds either hatched or close to hatching. I think winter will probably be the time to do it. Bill said he'd do it for me which I appreciate although I hate to impose. Now that it's so close to the time when the oaks will be changing over to red and dropping their leaves I know I'll miss their protection. It will be good to have the sun light streaming in during the winter but I am so much more exposed in the front during the winter. I have great neighbors but I do like having a green umbrella. At least the back garden is protected year round with the privet and nandina enclosing my secret garden, year round. Funny that my sun garden has year round protection and my front shade garden loses it's privacy when the dogwoods and oaks drop their leaves. I have some bushes in the front which may eventually provide a varieagated leaf border, whose names elude me, that I started from clippings off bushes at my parents house. They may eventually give me a little more protection in the front but they are very slow to get large enough for that. After 12 years they are only waist high but considering the fact that they started as a centerpiece for a party that rooted in the water, they've done quite well. They weren't even intentionaly cut for new plants but it worked out that way.

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