Halloween in my garden is a dichotomy. On the one hand, I’m cleaning up the dying reminders of summer’s luxuriant growth. On the other, I’m transplanting strawberry runners and planning for spring.
Today’s yard project, accomplished through a persistent foggy rain, is planting bulbs. Every year I peruse the catalogs that hit the mailbox from spring to fall, wide eyed in anticipation of more lilies for cutting, extending flower color into autumn, and trying something exotic. When the order is placed, seldom do I consider the fact that when it arrives the UPS lady will have to wrap the box in a garbage bag to save it from a soaking. Nor do I remember what I thought during the previous year’s planting, my garden gloves heavy with wet mud: “500 narcissi? What was I thinking?”
When I flip through the catalogs, my recent memory is of a glorious fair weather show. Every bulb retailer seems to have a photogenic child holding a bouquet of blooms with the sun catching their hair–not a rain drenched waif weighed down by a dirt clogged auger. It seems gardeners more than any other group understand the concept of delayed gratification.
That’s what gardening comes down to around All Hallows Eve—braving the wet and cold because the tasks that are accomplished now set the stage for a rich and rewarding spring.
© Colleen Miko, 2011