I weeded half the asparagus bed yesterday. It hadn’t been weeded at all this season because of my hospital stay and then Deirdre being born, and since it hadn’t been weeded it was never mulched. The asparagus seem to be doing okay despite the neglect, although some are leaning way over, which makes me think their roots weren’t buried deeply enough. I bought my plants from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, so you’d think they’d be hardy, but these first two years that they’ve been in the ground, the first sprouts have been knocked down by hard frost–maybe I should say a hard freeze. Of course, we have been having exceptionally cold frosts exceptionally late in the season. Almost all the lilacs and even some of the peonies had their buds ruined by cold this year, and that doesn’t usually happen.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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