It is easier to weed grass out of daylilies when the daylilies have gone dormant and the grass has not.
I normally don’t weed my beds in November, because it is too chilly, wet, windy, and perhaps snowy. However, we have been enjoying a string of unseasonably warm days and I was able to take advantage of it today. Weeding grass out of daylily foliage is usually pretty tricky, because the leaves are so similar. But my daylilies have gone dormant, while the various weedy grasses will continue to grow until the ground freezes solid. If we get a good blanket of snow before that happens, those grasses may grow slowly all winter long. So it’s nice to get the upper hand for once. For a little while.
My favorite purply-plum hellebore
has sprouts! This hellebore looks gorgeous when backlit
. I can hardly wait to see if these seedlings bloom in the same deep hue.
I started out this mild day trying to be pragmatic. I had it in my head I should drain and store the garden hose, haul all the empty pots and window boxes down to the basement, and (sniff!) take down the hammock for the winter. But it all sounded so boring. Somehow I got my hands in the dirt, and I was a goner. What had I been thinking? I can do all that boring stuff when it’s chilly, wet, windy, and perhaps snowy. (Well, actually, the hammock should come down when it’s dry.) But the opportunity to pull some weeds in mild weather and moist soil, weeds that would be left to spring in a normal year, well, such an opportunity should not be missed. Especially since I find weeding so much more satisfying than draining hoses. (It is fascinating how far grass runners can travel in friable soil.)
I got the original hellebore from Seneca Hill Perennials. Owner Ellen Hornig has stopped offering hellebores in a big way, though she is sure to have something you’ve never grown–or even seen–before. According to her website, she will be accepting orders for spring after November 30. Gardeners, start your engines!
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.
in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013