Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The Michaelmas daisy, which is really an aster, is a blessing that arrives here in bloom in the late fall, in time for the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, that is, September 29. My daughter who lives nearby, gave me a clump of her asters several years ago for a vacant spot. Here is a photo of them today! What a complement to the chrysanthemums and the maples. I have a number of planter boxes adjacent to the house. I ruthlessly removed the rangy summer blooming flowers, snapdragons, lobelia and alyssum and replenished the soil with compost, then planted chrysanthemums and daffodil bulbs together. Two birds with one stone. Hopefully the chrysanthemums will bloom till mid December and the daffs will carry on in February. All of these flowers are deer resistant, which is necessary here. That is, except the mums, on which deer will graze a bit, so I spray them with that Swedish muck you probably know about, Plantskydd. It stinks for a day. The berries on the Holly trees are now turning deep orange so they are on the way. If we want holly for Christmas we have to pick it by Dec 10 because the birds eat the ripe berries after that. It's a curious thing that my neighbor has an hybrid holly hedge loaded with berries that the birds never eat. Our blueberry bushes have started to turn red early this year and still have a final pick available since they are all bird netted. My big job over the next few days is to get rid of the old raspberry,tayberry and loganberry canes and string up the new vines. Routines like this give one lots of time to ruminate and talk to oneself. I hope my lips don't move! The garden is still alive at Michaelmas. It takes a rest at Christmas!

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