Getting ready for the cold. And, suddenly, silence

The final cleanup of fall always seems to take me by surprise. Especially when the weather has had that golden crispness that usually settles in sometime during autumn here, when the summer’s heat and humidity have fallen back south. The City comes into its own then, its most glorious season. But eventually a first frost is forecast and I can’t dawdle any longer. This year it came quite early. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, even. So I found myself, again, rushing around the garden, getting it ready for the cold.


The hardest part is always whittling down the potted fuchsias to a manageable number to overwinter in an apartment. I know I’ll start again sometime next March with new cuttings, new plants. But it is sad to toss away so many. Reality is reality, though. Without a greenhouse. Or a basement. Or a spare closet even, I can’t procrastinate, undecided, in the face of the oncoming freeze. Keeping them on the dining room floor for more than a day or two won’t work. Well, maybe three it I put them out again after the freeze...

The work does always get down. Leaves are swept off the patio and paths. Pine straw is mulched over the garden fuchsias like a warm winter duvet, to protect them against deep frost and heaving. The fountain is drained and cleaned one last time. Then covered. That’s always the oddest part, the fountain. I never quite realize how to used to the trickle of its water I’ve become until it’s gone. Suddenly, there’s silence and the garden rests still until the spring.

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Behold the
Fountain of the Daleks! If that does’t scare the holy bejeebus out of the winter cold, nothing will.

The window box dressed up for the cold as well. But on a friendlier note.