23 November 2013

The Garden at Rest

To say that this blog and I have had a tumultuous past is quite an understatement.  It's not that I don't like writing (I do); it just doesn't get the attention it deserves.  And I can't make promises I'm not sure I will keep, but I'll try, honest, to be more attentive.

It does appear that a busy life precludes everything getting equal attention.  As was such in my garden this year.  It's the 23rd of November, and it's just been put to rest for the season.  Late, way late.  The weather here on the coastline was, indeed, a factor.  It was still in the 50's on Monday ... but the extended forecast warned me I was taking my chances.

Breaking down the garden for the season is like putting a baby to bed.  There are still glimpses of life and liveliness, like the rainbow colored swiss chard ... still ablaze with radiant color.  I couldn't bring myself to level it down, or pull out the plants, and put on its cover, the cardboard you see below.  I'll be putting some of that goodness in soup tomorrow when the temp is supposed to top out at 35 here along the shoreline.

The arugula, loving the chill, is sprouting new growth and I daresay I'll get a few more pungent salads from it before it closes its sleepy eyes for the winter.

I gave the perennial herbs a new home against the shed for the cold, snowy season ahead - last year I wintered them there;  the protection provided by the shed gave me thyme, oregano, and rosemary long into the cold months.  (the rosemary shown below)

A lone cilantro plant is particularly robust - showing an amazing will to give it a go.

As I've done in the past, I leave the tomatillos to their own resources; they seem quite happy to lie dormant for the winter and pop up anywhere they wish in the early summer.  You won't hear me complain - I could have supplied all the neighborhood restaurants this season with a great green salsa ingredient!  Also wonderful when roasted and added to quacamole.  Yum!

Likewise, the Egyptian walking onions seem to have their way with the garden, popping up wherever they please.

And, lastly, the parsley, which at one time grew comfortably in its own little raised garden bed, but seems to prefer continually reseeding itself along the neighbor's fence.  I'm happy, if it's happy!

So I will wait a bit before I put the rest of the cardboard covers on (great for suppressing weeds in the early spring).  I don't mind the last few whimpers.  They serve as reminders to me that winter is just a temporary nap, and that the wake up time in spring is well worth the wait.  And, before we know it, the Spring 2014 seed catalogs will be in the mailbox, for planning next years garden during the cold winter months.  Time marches on!

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