gardenphyllisophyBy Phyllis Galowitz

Cara, one of our four daughters, whose cartoons you’ve seen before in this column, sent me this one, in response to the July garden column of the Gazette that had a happy ending. She hadn’t known at the time that the August issue Picture2would speak of the sad turn of events concerning the unfortunate cranberry viburnum. Even then, there was the slightest glimmer of hope that with spraying and pruning, maybe the two bushes would survive. It was a few days after that August column had been written that I knew, finally, that there was no chance of their survival. After doing some drastic surgery, I have reluctantly decided to give them a proper funeral. I’m planning how to fill that very empty space with something to commemorate them. It’s time for a trip to a nursery. I will look into less susceptible species of viburnum. A good listing of these is provided by Cornell University (

There are other empty spaces that need filling at this time. The irises are long gone and need to be cut back. The lilies have just about finished blooming and between the two, I can probably, by dividing and transplanting, fill in those spaces. The phlox, which were beautiful this year, and still are, will also need to be divided. They need space around them to avoid their getting powdery mildew. The dahlias, which in previous years were blooming at this time, seem to be a little behind. I hope they’re all right. Peonies may also be divided and overgrown evergreens pruned. All this is in the back of my mind as the summer nears its end.

It’s been a glorious season. The weather has been near perfect. If my vegetables aren’t as plentiful as they should be, I can’t blame the weather. I’ve had lots of company, and loved having them, but I didn’t get much time to garden. I never got to do that late summer fertilizing that would have given the plants the nourishment that they needed, as well as some additional mulching. They certainly got enough water and usually at just the right time; at night. I can’t even blame the garden pests. They haven’t been too bothersome this year. What was missing was enough warm sun. There isn’t a good spot for a vegetable garden. I shouldn’t try to grow vegetables, but how can I not?

Each year I promise myself that I’ll do better next year. I know I won’t. The fact is, gardening is a huge commitment and I have other interests besides this one that I love, and I can’t do as much as I’d like to do. I’ll have to keep it simple; let Mother Nature help, plant things that grow naturally in this environment, and let them fend for themselves. Nothing is more beautiful than the flowers growing along the roadsides and no one helps them!~

Note (to better view the cartoon, please double click on it)

Garden Cartoon