Nov 30, 2009

Garden Amnesia or Blogging Slackness

Since the craziness of 'Christmas in October', fall weather and gardening activities have proceeded fairly normally. Our patented glorious 'Indian (non-pc but what else to call it?) Summer' weather set in and there has been a gradual winding down of temperatures and daylength, as per usual, though perhaps a bit drier than some years. I'm thinking this El Nino year is going to mean a low-snow year (and if that jinxes things and produces record snowfall, well, it's all good for the ski business side of the family).

My teaching schedule is double what it was last year, so a lot of my gardening thoughts tend to be just that: a thought, a mental note, a quick reminder to myself about something that needs doing, or idea for next year. I do have a lovely big garden journal that I have kept faithfully since I started gardening 35+ years ago, but when I don't have time to write long, detailed entries with lots of diagrams and pictures (my favorite), I tend to not write anything down and thus I forget a lot of details that would have been useful to have in later years. This summer I finally bought myself a wee red notebook that I keep in my shirt pocket as I wander around outside, and keep on my desk overlooking the garden the rest of the time. This way I have at least a little something jotted down, and when/if that 'more time later' does roll around, perhaps my memory will be sufficiently jogged to fill in the details.

What I'm noticing this year is a stronger-than usual version of the annual fall conflict of emotions about my garden. On the one hand, I am still totally in love with this year's garden and how it's looking, how it turned out, the triumphs both accidental and planned, and a lot of the big changes I made this year. Not ready to throw in the towel. It helps that I am still eating fresh tomatoes, pears and potatoes from my cool storage in the garage, and picking kale, chard and miscellaneous asian greens from the actual garden. Noooooooo, I cry inwardly, I'm not ready for it to end!!!!!

On the other hand, I am thoroughly sick of dealing with it and ready to settle inside for a cozy winter of hot drinks by the fire, the aforementioned gardening journal and a big stack of seed catalogs. I always wonder what it's like for people in places that have no 'off season'. Although my first few years of gardening were in a mild climate (the redwood jungle of California's north coast), I have wholeheartedly embraced having distinct seasons and thinking in terms of sharp changes of weather and temperature. I happily alternate two separate wardrobes, ie cotton t-shirts vs wool t-shirts with various flannel shirts, wool sweaters and jackets to bridge the gaps.

Blogging has been a 'do it later' activity, as I have continued to alternate between no-time for gardening and gotta get those last pots put away. Lots of photos saved up, reports to make. I'll try to do better, oh thou legions of fans, from here on out. I think I'm semi-caught up outside. Onward, Arabella........

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