Need a Pep Talk? We Can Close Out Autumn Together!

Overwhelming.

Hectic.

Short on time.

These are the words that often describe gardening at the end of autumn for me. Everything that I put off during the entire growing season (um, can we just give a shout out to my husband for not endlessly reminding me there's still a pile of mulch in the driveway I need to move?) has piled up and I'm once again in a rush to get it all put away and tidy before the weather gets too cold. (Not that chilly weather has stopped me in the past. I've definitely gardened in the dark with my hands numb from the cold.)

Even though I have good intentions, I lack the discipline to do a little bit over time, as Sarah Bailey advised in a lecture last month.  Let's face it. Gardening while working can be a difficult task.

Forty eight tulips planted, 152 to go.
Which brings me to the current situation I brought upon myself. Why in the world did I think 100 tulips were possibly not enough? Perhaps it's because I checked last year's bulb order where I ordered 200 tulips last year. Surely I forgot about the misery that is involved in digging up large portions of the (very little remaining) lawn for bulbs? This evening I was able to get 48 in the ground. Yippee. Only 152 tulips to go. Don't ask me about the daffodils and the hyacinths.

This is the time of year that I really need a garden support group. I need people to tell me that it will be OK and the garden will be fine. (Instead of sassy dog-walking neighbors asking me what I'm burying in the front yard. Today's response? Ex-boyfriends. He walked a little faster away after that.)

So what is going well this fall? Well (most) of my garlic is planted. And 90 percent of the vegetable plants from this year have been pulled and put in the compost pile. I've kept up with raking leaves. I've been saving seeds. When I did renovate one garden bed, I removed all the plants that didn't belong, as Nancy DuBrule advised in her lecture. (Except I now have a holding area filled with irises, sedum and dayliles ... but I'll get to it.)

As the daylight hours wane and I find myself feeling in over my head, I try to remind myself that yes, I actually do enjoy gardening, and that in the spring, not only will all the bulbs I have to plant look awesome, but I will have a new growing season in which I can make my garden better than this year.

I suppose gardeners need to be optimists. There's always another tomorrow. There's always life waiting for spring.

Somehow, I will make it through autumn!

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