October 31, 2004

Soon it Will Be November

September and October were quiet garden months. During this time I was traveling a lot and battled a cold as well, so time outdoors was limited. I pretty much let the garden do as it pleased, with the expected results.

On Friday I did an informal census of what worked and what didn't.

What worked:
Most of the things in my containers, most notably the magilla perilla, which grew into a lovely if somewhat outsized plant.
After a summer of struggling, the alyssum staged a late-game comeback. Results shown here:

The calladium and elephant ear added late-summer color.
The salvia in the sunny bed was a raving success. This was not due to me, as I only recently learned that it requires pruning. So it ran a bit amok until I finally pruned it (hopefully not too hard).

What didn't work:
The celosia never thrived and just didn't seem to be worth the trouble. We'll try something else next year.
Lamb's ear: too invasive and sort of ugly, this lost its charm early in the summer.

Jury still out on:
The hypoestes, a plant I liked but which seemed to require more care than I could reasonably give it. It's not dead, just sort of scruffy.
The begonias were a nice touch, although perhaps I overdid it. They seem to be growing taller than nature intended here:

On Saturday, as 40 mph winds blasted Chicago, I determined to put in daffodil, crocus, tulip and hyacinth bulbs for the spring. Adverse conditions may have made this a sloppier job than I intended. But we'll see what happens.

Despite disappointments, I've found my time in the garden to be very rewarding. It's not a quiet place--people are always walking by with dogs or kids or driving past in oversize trucks quaking with sound. But it functions as a quiet place for me, and that's what matters.

October sky seen from my garden. (That green floating thing is a pizza flyer stuck in the fence. Ah, urban living!)

Posted at October 31, 2004 06:37 PM | az