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Past, Present, & Future

Report From PIA – November 15

If you’re a gardener, being in the present means focusing on the current moment, while keeping a foot in the past and an eye to the future. This sounds like a balancing act, but really it’s just a matter of taking care of seasonal business.

The Past: I finished clearing weeds and frosted annuals out of Annual Alley today. The frost-killed container plants were also emptied into the compost pile, and the pots put into the shed.

The Present: Every were I looked, colorful fall foliage stopped me in my tracks, so I spent some time taking photographs before returning to my fall clean up. I also took pictures of the recently emptied clay pots, now in the seed-starting part of the shed. These pots will absorb the sun’s heat during the day, releasing it at night and helping to keep this room warm. One of the pots I’d emptied contained some succulents worth saving, so I potted them up and took them downstairs.

The Future: I have a tower of power in the basement, where many of the Epiphyllums, and assorted cuttings are overwintered under lights. The small pots on the lower shelf contain succulents, Plectranthus and Coleus cuttings that are taking root. These are components of next year’s garden.

What we grew last summer dictates fall garden chores, and what’s done now will helpful for next summer’s gardening. I was fully present in today’s landscape, aware of the past and providing for the future.

Here is how Annual Alley looked this past summer.

Here is how Annual Alley looked this past summer.

The only color left in this area is on the small current bush at the end of Annual Alley. Today, I pulled all the dead annuals out.

The only color left in this area is on the small current bush at the end of Annual Alley. Today, I pulled all the dead annuals out.

You can't beat this Amsonia hubrichtii (yellow) and the 'Center Glow' Physocarpus (red/purple) for fall color.

You can't beat this Amsonia hubrichtii (yellow) and the 'Center Glow' Physocarpus (red/purple) for fall color.

And look at this Franklinia - Foliage color and flowers!

And look at this Franklinia - Foliage color and flowers!

OK, I admit that we didn't plan for these pots to be a heat-sink in this seed-starting shed. But they function beautifully this way, and after mid-February the temps in this shed never go below freezing.

OK, I admit that we didn't plan for these pots to be a heat-sink in this seed-starting shed. But they function beautifully this way, and after mid-February the temps in this shed never go below freezing.

Here are some cuttings taken for next year's garden. See the lovely epiphyllums flowers?

Here are some cuttings taken for next year's garden. See the lovely epiphyllums flowers?

4 Responses to “Past, Present, & Future”

  1. 1
    Arsento:

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  2. 2
    CL Fornari:

    Thanks, Arsento. Like many garden communicators, I keep several balls in the air: I am a writer, speaker, photographer, and radio host.

  3. 3
    Landscape Waterfalls:

    Annual Alley looks awesome. It sorta reminds me of this game I saw at a friends house called Folklore, lol. :)

  4. 4
    Whole Life Gardening » Gardening Books Book Club – 1:

    [...] are as effective as fancy “grow lights.”  To see my version of this see the last photo on this post from [...]