Another part of preparing our home to sell is much needed garden clean-up. This will be one of the first things new home buyers see and first impressions are pretty important in real estate. Luckily, this weekend’s weather was gorgeous (cool and dry) and my love for gardening makes weekend chore list enjoyable. Everything is better in the garden. It’s a beautiful representation of God’s handiwork. There’s something extremely gratifying about getting your hands dirty in the soil, planting new life and watching it flourish. The hard prep work always pays off in the end.
Fall isn’t usually my best time of year in the garden. In southern Louisiana we have an awkward period where the weather hasn’t decided which season to land in yet. It can be 50° in the morning and 85° by the afternoon. The in-between temperatures are a breeding ground for fungus, diseases and confused plants. For example, my hydrangeas have buds on them right now! They don’t normally bloom until Spring and we are on the cusp of colder temperatures. I don’t foresee the blooms lasting very long but that gives you an idea on how confused everyone is. If you plant too early, you run the risk of the plants struggling in the heat but if you plant too late, you run the risk of the roots not being established enough to handle the first frost. I never can get it right and I remember last year, I told myself I wasn’t going to attempt fall plantings this year. And here I am again, trying my hand at fall plants.
I settled on ornamental cabbage and kale this year. They will bloom in alternating colors white and pink. Let’s pray they survive our neighborhood’s wild rabbit community.
After making a run to our local nursery, I began ripping out the Vincas from last Spring. I hate to show you the pictures of the beauty I discarded Saturday morning:
I know, I know…it looks like pure murder right there.
My normal prep, whether it’s Fall or Spring, is tilling in a garden soil/Black Kow mixture. What is Black Kow you ask? My garden’s favorite ingredient – composted cow manure!
It’s a little something extra that provides so many vital nutrients which plants enjoy and need to thrive all season long. You can’t go wrong with manure. I use one part Black Kow to three parts garden soil. I till it into my existing soil/mulch mixture before planting. I haven’t been disappointed yet.
I love this next part. My enjoyment comes from adding new life to this soil and knowing that growth and transformation is about to begin. These require spacing of 10″ – 15″ but I placed them a little closer so that they grow together, creating a beautiful lush border along our rock wall. Well, that is the plan in my head at least. Mother Nature will ultimately decide their fate.
Aren’t these little cabbages and kale just adorable? Now, for the final touch…mulch is added to protect these youngins’ from winter frost, retain moisture and prevent pesky weeds. Black mulch is my preference because it looks very clean and crisp from the road but also allows flower color to pop against the black background.
Planting in my garden is another transitional metaphor for my life right now. It’s the new beginnings that show you everything will be alright. Life goes on with so much promise, so much potential – waving goodbye to one season and embracing the next one.
If you haven’t yet this season, get out in the garden, get your hands dirty and bring new life to your home – out with the old, in with the new.
Until next time…