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The Death Blow

November 7th, 2009

It seems like we go along unfazed by the cold until one morning we wake up to a blanket of crisp white. Yesterday morning was that morning.
The grass is completely white and crispy with frost and the fallen leaves are perfectly outlined, enhancing their beauty.
There were even frozen jeweled raindrops on some of the tree branches from the freezing rain we had the night before and the frost even covered the wood of the raised beds.
It’s fascinating how frost works, highlighting the tips of all of the leaves, outlining them in sparkling crystals.
With the frost comes a new season in the garden. I can now begin cleaning out the remnants of summer and start putting the garden to bed. I’m always reluctant to admit that winter is near until I witness the death blow that comes inevitable by surprise some morning.
The garden is now a mere shell of what it was at the height of summer. I can now admit that the glory is over and retreat to the warmth of the house to plan next summer’s gardens being thankful that I have photos of what I accomplished this summer.

This is the prodding I need, what gets you motivated to close out the gardening season?

10 Comments to “The Death Blow”
  1. uberVU - social comments on November 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by gardeningguru: The Death Blow

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  2. Daphne on November 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Some years I clean out the garden because I can’t stand the dying plants anymore. This year was like that. I took plants out as they faded, so the garden always looked nice, if sparse. Some years I’m a pitiful gardener and it is spring planting time that makes me get moving.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..The First Freeze =-.

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  3. Diane@Peaceful Acres on November 7, 2009 at 10:21 am

    That’s a hard one. Motivation is usually lacking at this time of the year. I have to kick myself into gear. BUT I did get my leaves and my neighbors leaves gathered with the help of John Deere. I was motivated to do it because I dumped it all where I’d like to expand my garden next spring! Now for some layers of manure and straw….hoping for a fertile garden bed. Seeing your comparison pictures really give us something to hope for during the dark days of winter!
    .-= Diane@Peaceful Acres´s last blog ..Does Your Food Have A Face? =-.

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  4. KitsapFG on November 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I am kind of ruthless and tend to take plants out when they are done for the season – either because they no longer producing, bolting to seed, or killed by frosts or other hazards. Things don’t get to languish in the vegetable beds for very long because I either want something else growing and producing to go in there – or I want to start the amendment/replenishment process of compost and/or green manure crops.

    Whenever I see pictures of hard frosts and freezes on leaves, it reminds me of that scene in Fantasia where the Fairies touch the leaves and adorn them with crystals. I think it was to the tune of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies?

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  5. ruralrose on November 7, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    It was brilliant to show the contrast pictures of summer to late fall. Living in Canada, putting up all the vegetables eaten through the winter, I never seem to have that moment to put the garden to bed.for the winter I am sure it happens, between the canning and the dishes and sowing seed for next spring. recognizable the instant it is too late. Perhaps I am a lazy gardener fooling myself into thinking a dead garden can be beautiful, but I leave the skeletons on all my plants to stand in the snow in ode to the plants which produced the food which now sustains my family. It also is a good marker in spring for where plants are, also the dead plant material makes the perfect fertilizer for the plant that produced it. The other benefit is being able to watch the little birds frolic in the stems taking so much delight in finding seeds to eat when everywhere is covered with now. Thanks for the post and the chance in share my ideas, peace for all

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    • Susy on November 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm

      I know what you mean. I often leaves perennials and any seed bearing plants for the birds and in case there are insects wintering over.

      I also like the structure that the browned plants add to the garden.

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  6. MAYBELLINE on November 7, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    There is no end here in Bakersfield, California. Enjoy the rest you and your garden deserve.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..What a Great Dog. =-.

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  7. Helen at Toronto Gardens on November 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Fall is usually the busiest season in my non-gardening life. So it’s good that I’m a bit of a slattern when it comes to garden tidying. Like you, I also welcome wildlife coming to eat the spoils.

    We haven’t had such a photogenic frost up here in Toronto yet, perhaps due to the warming lake effect.

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  8. Pampered Mom on November 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    We’ve done a fair amount of cleaning up the gardens, especially after the early-ish hard frosts we’ve had. I think cleaning up the garden is probably one of my least favorite tasks so while there are a number of things I *should* do I still haven’t.

    I’ve left some things in the past rather than get them all nicely cleaned up and I suspect I’ll do the same this year. The only positive thing being that they add a bit of texture to the yard during the winter…and it’s all a bit easier to clean up come Spring when you’re excited about the growing season to come.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..A Different Perspective =-.

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  9. the inadvertent farmer on November 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    What lovely photos…although they made me shiver!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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