By Phyllis Galowitz
The sun is bright but I’m not anxious to do any gardening on this cold day. I’m happy to sit at the kitchen table and enjoy the almost winter garden, the birds feeding, the chipmunks and juncos cleaning up the fallen sunflower seeds, and the bright, contrasting shadows on the leaf-carpeted floor of the woods behind my house, while Mahler’s Symphony #1 fills my ears.
As happens every year at this time, I hadn’t finished the fall clean-up before the first big snow, on October 28th, caught many of us unprepared. Tree branches, heavily laden with snow and ice, broke and lay across the roads, causing all kinds of traffic problems. Route 28 was dangerous. Cars spinning on ice ended up in ditches at the sides of the road. It was a warning. It warmed up again for the next few days and the snow melted quickly, giving us a second chance to get those snow tires on and finish garden chores.
The thyme and rosemary are still in containers outside, waiting to be repotted to bring indoors. They don’t seem to mind having been left out in the cold. They can take some frost.
I dug up some of the parsley and with its light green, feathery leaves, it is beautiful indoors in front of the dining room window as the sun touches its leaves. I would like to have brought more in but it takes up so much space. A coffee plant, that Michael Passafiume gave cuttings of to several people a few years ago has given birth to its first bean, not enough for a cup of coffee, but it is encouraging, and I love its glossy green leaves and rough bark. The bean is the color of the leaves but Michael assures me that it will turn scarlet in time for holiday decorating!
The house is filled with plants as the garden has moved indoors. The change is welcome. It’s nice to see a different look. I don’t mind that the leaves brush the kitchen table and tickle my legs as we have dinner. It’s a small price to pay.
Linda Lederman gave me garlic to plant outside for next spring’s harvest. I planted some of it in the flower box, in front of the basement entrance. The construction workers, who were supposed to come a few weeks ago to do some waterproofing in that area, suddenly appeared when we had given up hope of their ever appearing and had to remove all the plants from the container to move it away from the wall. There went the garlic, along with climbing roses, clematis, strawberries, dusty miller and a beautiful border of bright red dianthus, planted a few years ago, that only now has filled the border and looks gorgeous in the spring and fall. The garlic bulbs are scattered. I’ll never find them. I may be able to rescue some of the plants if the workers finish before the next snow. Otherwise, maybe its time to plan a new arrangement for the flower box. Such are the problems of gardening! ~