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Halloween could not be better timed in terms of horticultural nightmares for the Western New York gardener. It’s a wet, gray time; leaves are falling, perennial foliage is shriveling, and outdoor tasks are undertaken in an atmosphere of chilly reluctance. Welcome to my world of fright and despair.


This is what they call fall interest.


I neglected to send the check to the Farmer Pirates, so this bucket’s been sitting with the same stuff in it for months now.


Really? What was the thinking here?


Oh no. It won’t be a hassle keeping these alive through the winter.

Terror from above

They wait. Just in time to ruin Thanksgiving weekend, these trees will empty themselves, covering everything in a sodden mass.

What happened? It seems like only days ago, I had a relatively attractive exterior space, with a reasonable amount of color and scent. It was nice!

Boo, I say. Boo.

Posted by

Elizabeth Licata
on October 31, 2016 at 10:21 am, in the category Shut Up and Dig.


    • Mary Doane
    • 13th December 2015

    Thank you! It’s perfectly put – love the fall interest. Nice way to start the day, commiserating.

    • hglaber
    • 23rd August 2016

    I call the point where I find all the bulbs I bought in September and ask “What was I thinking?” the annual autumn bulbstice. It’s the point after which there will almost certainly not be a single sunny, windless, rainless non-workday above 60 degrees until May.

    • Claudia
    • 12th September 2016

    And, it seems to come faster each year. The tomatoes look awful, the herbs have been bit…..I KNEW a frost was coming, didn’t move them in.
    My garden journal has notes just stuck in it willy nilly; it’s gonna take me three weeks to get that sorted.
    I love the term “bulbstice” ….. Tho spell check doesn’t.
    Oh, well, there is always next year.

    • marcia
    • 22nd October 2016

    I kind of see fall gardening like I see caring for an aging parent. Spring in the garden is like raising a child. Offer them healthy meals and water, a nice bed to sleep in and the little perennials pretty much grow up on their own. Take them for a “haircut” once in awhile and clean their “rooms” and they stay healthy and happy. (That’s good for me, because April through July is my insectivore nest box season.)

    • Chris
    • 3rd November 2016

    I am looking out at the rain, and more rain. We had an incredibly wet October, but on the one sunny day I did spend the entire day getting the bulbs in. Though I suspect the alliums and species tulips I did last in the dry gravelly space between driveway and neighbor are not in deep enough holes. Oh, well.

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