That’s a Wrap — A Growing Season “Summer”y

We got our first snowflakes today! Overall, this weekend has been very cold, but after snowflakes flew this morning, it ended up being nice and sunny, so I went out and took a hike in an area park to get some nice autumn pictures.

Ellicott Creek in the fall.

Ellicott Creek in the fall.

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Because it was so cold, I am thankful I got most of my yard work done when I did, even though now I am questioning myself as to whether or not I planted my spring bulbs too early this year. My parents came up to visit us (the first time since my daughter’s birthday in April– their social calendar is busier than mine), and I wanted to show my mom all my work that I had done in my back yard, and I came across this:

My bulbs are confused by the warm fall weather we are having!

My bulbs are confused by the warm fall weather we are having.

I noticed that in the new extended spring bulb bed that I made, that some of them are popping up. I hope this doesn’t mean that I have lost them until the following spring. Western New York has had an unseasonably warm October, with temps in the 60s and 70s, I have even notice that my clematis and a few of my coneflower varieties have new blooms!

I just hope they still manage to come up in the spring. Good thing it was only a few bulbs and not a lot. After seeing this yesterday, I went out this morning with my daughter and noticed that the deer ate a good part of my ryusen weeping japanese maple.¬†That depressed me a little, but I know it’s too early to start wrapping things up, so I will do the “wait and see” for the next couple of days. If it becomes more frequent, I will have to start covering things earlier than I would like.

The deer are now taking a liking to my little Japanese Maple.

The deer are now taking a liking to my little Japanese Maple.

Looking at this carnage somehow got me thinking about the past growing season– what I did right, what I did wrong, and I what I would do better next year.

Most Improved Duty: Watering 

Yes, I must say, I worked really hard this year, especially after purchasing three trees, to make sure everything was watered. I learned my lesson last year when I didn’t water my arborvitae enough and they died over the winter because they lost more water than they had. I want to make sure everything has an adequate water supply as we go into the winter. I am even watering in the fall here, when we go without rain for extended periods of time.

What I Need to Work On: Plant Placement

Ok, so this one is kind of a misleading title. I mean, gardening itself is a process where you are constantly moving things to another place to see if does better, or transplanting because they are outgrowing their place, etc., etc. I think sometimes I get so plant crazy that I end up planting things too close together and then there isn’t any room for them to grow when they actually mature. Maybe I am just worrying too much, but I just want everything, and with such little space to plant things, I wonder if I am crowding some out!

What I Need Work On: Taking Better Care of my Containers

I will tell you I need to water these better than I do. Containers always dry out faster, and I somehow seem to neglect them. I must be better with this next year!

What I Did Well On: Creating Balance

I can honestly say that I feel I have finally created zen with everything that I have planted. It feels good, nothing is lopsided like it used to be, and it genuinely makes me happy. Even after tearing out everything behind my garage for a third time in two years, I can now say I am satisfied. I actually feel like I know what I am doing.

So, how did your garden do this past growing season? What would you like to do differently next time?