“No, there’ll be plenty more,” I assured my husband-turned-Martha Stewart, who’s been readying our home for an artist open house this weekend.
We may still have hardy stragglers scattered throughout the garden — root veggies and brassica — but most remnants of this season are gone.
The raised beds have received tender, loving care. Kevin yanked all detritus from these stone walled amoebas and filled all four with rotted horse manure. By May, they’ll be nutrient-rich nurseries for a fresh round of vegetative babies.
The garlic, planted last month, has already popped through its layer of equine mulch. And, in the adjacent bed, dormant asparagus sleeps.
In front, the lush cruciferous beauties stand defiant of these cold nights, in stark contrast with the withered brown stems of nearby perennials. But, it won’t be long before they, too, hit the compost heap and we’ll close the book completely on the 2012 chapter of this adventure.
In the coming months, we’ll take a breather and watch the snow fly. Let our muscles heal. Then lament how they’re atrophying.
We’ll assess our progress and the year’s successes:
• Building a stone path
• Planting aronia-, goose-, huckle-, blue and honey berries; sweet cherry, plum and two apple trees
• Picking our first asparagus, strawberries, grapes and peaches.
• Nurturing the best tomato crop we’ve ever had.
Outline what’s ahead for 2013:
• Replace the second sour cherry tree that didn’t make it through the drought and the pear tree that appears to have succumbed to fire blight.
• Make a concerted effort to grow more lettuce. What little germinated this year soon bolted.
• Plant root vegetables earlier, so they have adequate time to mature before our fall cravings strike.
• Replace decorative elderberry bushes with more black currants. Too earthy-smoky-bitter to enjoy off the bush, these little delights make excellent juice. When sweetened and mixed with black raspberry juice, the resultant antioxidant cocktail wards off anything the cold and flu season sends our way.
After the holidays, as the weather allows, we’ll start the cycle over again by pruning: First the apple, cherry, plum and peach trees, then the grapes.
Before long, I’ll be setting up the seed-starting table and grow lights.
Wait! Maybe we should hang on to that catalog.