From Mélie’s Garden
It was a very mild fall on Fishers Island in 2021 and one was able to work outside well into December to get gardens ready for winter.
In flowerbeds farther from our house, I cut plant material to the ground. Those beds are filled with bulbs, therefore it is better to clean them up and mulch in the late fall, so one isn’t working among the daffodils in the spring. In beds closer to the house, I left many of the plants untouched to give additional shelter and food for the birds. Those beds have very few bulbs, so I can easily cut back the foliage in the spring and it is nice to look at during the winter.
For Christmas this year my husband gave me “The Whole Seed Catalog”, which he found at Riggio’s Garden Center in Essex, CT. It is a large book filled with interesting seeds that are not found in other seed catalogs. There are glorious photographs of many unusual vegetables and plants that I am eager to try to grow this year. I will still order favorites from Johnny’s Seeds and a couple of other catalogs, but some of these varieties will be fun to try. For people who are looking for different things to grow this book is a wonderful source.
In addition to studying the numerous seed catalogs arriving during the winter, it is also informative to take a look at the many interesting gardening podcasts you can find on the internet. I always enjoy watching “Garden Talks with Timothy Tilghman” from the Untermeyer Garden Conservancy. Timothy is the head gardener there and I have found his podcasts inspiring, particularly one he did on the hydrangea border at Untermeyer. And from Logee’s Greenhouses, Byron Martin’s advice on house plants is also excellent.
It is fun to search around and see the different things people grow and you can learn a great deal. You just have to pay attention that your growing conditions are similar, so you don’t try something that will never be happy in our seaside environment.