Streetcleaners scrubbed downtown Louisville this week. No more sodden leaves.
Christmas wreaths of evergreens, pinecones and red bows suggested hope; leftover curbside planters suggested otherwise.
Our garden is betwixt and between—neither hopeful nor hopeless. It is either a forlorn faux prairie, or else the health department never got around to citing us earlier for being a—beg your pardon—weedy mess.
Left alone for another few months our weedy mess may provide habitat for a few rabbits that could get swept away by chicken hawks. Tattered old stems will be cut down and left where they fall before the first daffodil blooms in March.
These frozen herbaceous, potted heaps were well intended in spring for every imaginable goodness. They are wasted now and need to be dug up and tossed. Every feel-good effect from the past growing season has faded to mush.
Don’t move the mess to the compost pile. That’s unnecessary work. Spread the potted plants and potting soil like fairy dust on the mulch ring of a newly planted tree.
Or I will be a griping grinch.
Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening?
I am going to make my first Christmas wreath this afternoon.
If that fails—and it could—I will reprise my seasonal role as the family soup elf and Christmas laughingstock.
I am asking Santa for a can’t-miss chestnut soup recipe.
Lots of mulch, got to be good. Happy wreathing! Xx
Yes, Anne, the mulch is good. So was the wreathing. More to follow on this lovely day in the country.
We use a deceased fall mum that was planted in an urn as a giant “floral frog” to help hold the sticks and greens in place we use for a winter arrangement. This only works if the soil inside the pot is moist and not frozen solid.
The potato-chestnut soup recipe on the cookingontheweekends.com website is very tasty.
Anne, what a clever placeholder the mum sounds like. I’ll check out the soup recipe. Thanks.
Lovely article, Allen, and just in time for me. I was looking at all the mess yesterday wondering if I should cut it all back. I KNOW it’s best to leave it all but mushy Crinum leaves call out! I am inspired!
Thanks, Mary Jane. Yes, my crinums look pretty sad, too, but I’m going to leave them be. Laziness, if nothing else.
No decisions to make here. We have snow and it was minus 20 Celsius this morning- no wind.
Donna, oh my. That’s cold. I wouldn’t be surprised if central Kentucky got that cold in January or Februrary, but I can’t ever recall temps like that in December. Stay warm.
Great reading, as usual! I’d say Leave ‘em be but living in an HOA-controlled townhome, no can do. Except on the balcony where I go nuts.
Remember the big Mum discussion here recently? There is actually one large yellow mum still blooming here in a neighbor’s tiny front garden. I planted it around 10 years ago & it’s very happy. Shades of Sheffield!
Wow, YOUR mum is outpacing my Thanksgiving mum. That’s impressive, Diane.
I’ve got a killer chestnut cardamom bisque recipe, hand written and of long forgotten provenance. It’s yours for the asking. Life changing tip – frozen chestnuts, from a good Asian market near you.
Joe, cardamon, huh? Yessir, I’m interested. I’ll send you an email.
That Yucca is a spot of sunshine and you are right about the betwixt and between. The leaves on our Japanese maples blew off overnight, but the Begonias beneath them are still chugging along. I wish I had a good chestnut soup recipe for you, but I can’t remember the last time I had a chestnut. Pecans rule the day down here. Stay warm & good luck w/the wreath making.
I’m glad you noticed the Yucca, Jenny. It’s surrounded by the American beak grass (Diarrhena americana(—one of my faves for shade—but the Yucca could use more sun.
Everything is frozen solid and buried in snow so I can sit back and relax and not worry about any mess until the Spring which(hopefully) by then will be mostly rotted. I envisioned Foghorn Leghorn postulating about chicken hawks. Good for a chuckle. Hope the Christmas soup elf finds a great recipe for Chestnut soup. Time to get in from the cold.
Elaine, we’re buried in snow when we get 2″-3″, but I’ll be ready. Plenty of firewood from dead ashes, killed by emerald ash borers, to keep my toes warm. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I can catch up on Foghorn and Looney Tunes.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more inspired by the near-winter landscape. So much to see that is betwixt and between. Fascinating thought. – MW