First Frost/Freeze of the Season Due this Weekend in the Magical Mid-Atlantic

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Right on time, the first frost/freeze of the season is due this weekend, here in the Magical Mid-Atlantic.

Most of you have brought in the houseplants; if not, it’s time to wrap it up. Bring in those tender things: any tropical plants (such as your Summering houseplants), or any tender plants you might want to save that would be susceptible to the effects of a frost/freeze. I just finished getting everything in the door a couple days ago.

Soon: turn off your outdoor spigots for the season; put hoses away when you get the chance. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms (the twice yearly time changes are good seasonal reminders). And check your dryer vents, too. You’d be surprised how many people forget to check their dryer vents—they can get clogged and become a serious fire hazard. There are companies out there to clean the vents for you, if you are not into doing it yourself.

Happy Fall and I’ll have more in my Holiday Newsletter in late November. Hope all of you are well and happy.

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Photo by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Posted under Houseplants, The Fall Garden, Tropical Plants

Music to My Eyes

Yep, my eyes.  Can you see the Sweet Music?  A magnificent Fall this year.

Photos by the author.  If you copy, please link back.

Posted under The Fall Garden

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on November 17, 2011

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Finally: Indian Summer

I’ve always been taught that Indian Summer isn’t official until there has been a frost.  Technically, my garden has not seen a frost, but since so many others in the D.C. area have seen it, I’m going to go out on a limb and call it “Indian Summer” here in my garden.  And a glorious day it was, here in the beautiful Mid-Atlantic.  I spent the afternoon working on my own land.  Here is what I enjoyed:

Readers of garden magazines/books/blogs always see the nice, pretty garden pictures.  Well, in order to make them pretty, you gotta have some ugly, too.  Today, as I began winterizing my garden, I started cutting back perennials.  First on my list is Toadlily, always, since their seedpods are just about to pop open and spew millions of seeds from here to China.  If I don’t cut them now, I will be sorry next Spring–for weeks.  Here’s the cut-back Toadlily bed, just after I finished–some ugly:

As much as I hate, despise, detest Winter, I do love seeing my garden return to its Winter “bones”.  So much easier to assess what spots need attention, and the evergreens pop out of obscurity and come into their own.

Some people call a day in the garden a day of work.  Not me.  I call it a day of joy.

Photos by the author.  If you copy, please link back.

Posted under Garden maintenance, The Fall Garden

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on November 6, 2011

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And On It Goes…

Each day this week has seemed the prettiest, most colorful fall day imaginable…and then along comes the next day.  What an Autumn!  So very soon, it will be time to rake and all these colors will be spectacular memories.

Chestnut Oak

Chestnut Oak

Stewartia

Stewartia

Posted under The Fall Garden

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on November 14, 2010

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Time to Sit and Watch the Leaves

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”
— Elizabeth Lawrence

Thanks to Shirley of Pender Nursery in NC for posting this in a recent e-mail. I love the NC writer, Elizabeth Lawrence, whose books are wonderful recipes of seasonal gardening chores and observations, mixed in with garden philosophy. Great reads, especially in the winter when there is time to settle in with a good garden book.

The leaves are really crankin’ here at Woodland Cottage. It’s maybe the fastest change I can remember. On Monday, there was little color; two days later, we’re almost at peak. One glance out any window here generates a “Wow!” in my brain. Here are some photos showing my views–I think they speak for themselves.

From the living room window...

From the living room window...

...and from the dining room...

...and from the dining room...

...and from my bedroom.

...and from my bedroom.

Color, color, color, all around…love it.

Posted under The Fall Garden, Writers

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on October 27, 2010

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