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Here I sit inside on a gray almost-winter day, grateful for a rest from cleaning up the garden, reflecting on a gorgeous fall season and already making plans for an amazing spring.
While I love my fall blooming Camellias, I have to admit that the divas of my fall garden are the Asters and Japanese maples. Year after year, they never disappoint. They hold their own among the screaming colors of our North Carolina fall foliage.
On October 30 our first hard freeze was forecast – 15 degrees in Summerfield – and every flower in the garden was destined to become mush. I could not bear the thought, so I cut every beautiful bloom and brought it in. Everyone I knew got flower arrangements, the 3 guys cleaning my windows, my hairdresser, my lawn care guy, his daughter, and many other friends. 14 vases went out the door. The black leaves of my Castor bean and black pearl peppers with red mums & orange zinnias made for spooky Halloween arrangements. The lemon yellow ‘Gethsemane Aster” paired with pink zinnias lit up the room.
When gardens are so abundant it is natural to want to share the beauty. As a child, I watched my mother cut flowers and send me all over the neighborhood delivering them. You never know when some random act of kindness, however small, might positively change the life of another person.
November 22nd Holiday Workshop was filled with long-lasting greenery and berries. Greensboro is blessed with a mild climate and so many fabulous plants that shine right through winter. Only a few store-bought mums graced these gorgeous decorations of Pine, Magnolia, Nandina, Eucalyptus, variegated Osmanthus, Chamaecyparis, Cryptomeria and Poets Laurel.
People assume that winter is a time of rest for gardeners and to an extent that is true. Somehow I always seem to have lots to do this time of year.
Yes, this is the start of my new garden, in my last spot of really full afternoon sun. I already have a vision in my mind of how wonderful it will be. (Can’t you picture the path through the center?) We gardeners are the consummate optimists! Whatever happened in the garden this year, we believe without a doubt that it will be better next year. Of course!
Garden gloves and gardening tools such as hand pruners, a new shovel, a sturdy trowel or long handled loppers are always welcome.
Give a ticket for the Greensboro gardening event of the season, the Guilford Horticulture Society’s Annual Symposium. Register ASAP for this all-day event as seats are limited. Click here for information and registration: http://www.guilfordhorticulturalsociety.org/symposium/ (Only $45 for the day.)
For those with limited funds, a seed catalog will ignite the imagination of any passionate gardener!
Or offer your services: sharpen pruners or sand the rust off of a trusted shovel or trowel, paint tool handles a bright orange to make them easier to find when they are inevitably dropped in the grass.
Click here for the picture: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-heavyset-cheese-ball-recipe.html
The Pine Cone Cheese Ball
1 1/4 cups roasted almonds
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
3 crispy cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
Pine sprigs, for garnish
Mix together the cream cheese and the mayonnaise. Add the bacon, cheddar, salt and pepper, dill, and onion. Chill overnight.
On a serving platter, make 2 pine cone shapes with the cheese. Begin to press the almonds at a slight angle into the cheese, starting at the narrow end of the pine cone shape. Do this in rows, continuing to overlap rows until all the cheese is covered. Garnish with fake sprigs, or real ones, or with rosemary.
Serve at room temperature and spread on crackers. Recipe courtesy Amy Sedaris
Happy Holidays and Happy Gardening!
Gardening Enthusiast, Educator, Speaker, Blogger