I spent a couple of hours earlier today cutting back more perennials. I had a moment where I thought, "How many times have I cut back these peonies? " We've been at the house for nineteen years and the peonies were already here (many of them, I've divided and added as well) so I guess I've bent over those plants and cut them back nineteen times. It's such a ritual, cleaning up the flower beds. Sometimes I get it all done, sometimes I don't. I've only been out for two sessions so far this Fall, but today's weather makes me think this might be one of the years I don't get it all done.
I don't know about you, but I am shamefully bad at taking care of my gardening tools. Really, very bad in that I put shovels away with soil on them (sometimes they stay stuck in the ground in the vegetable garden!), I don't oil or sharpen things, I try to pry enormous rocks up using shovels that are too small and have snapped a couple of handles, I bend the tips of trowels, and I regularly blow the thumbs out of gardening gloves if they aren't leather. As I was cutting various plants back I was complaining in my head of how terrible my pruners were (I have two on the go and alternate between the one that I have to push open with my finger, or the one that is ridiculously dull) and when husband came out of the house saying he had to go into town, I asked him to check for a set of pruners that looked GOOD, regardless of cost. He came home with these. I don't know how much they were.
I had filled and dumped about six wheel barrow loads and my lower back was screaming at me, so I had come in to take a break and get a bite to eat. I was then all excited about going out to test drive the new model when I looked out the window.
Can you tell what I'm seeing? Yes, snow. No, it's not a blizzard, but I decided that sitting on the couch under a blanket and writing a post was a better choice.
We've already had snow, significant snow, this past week. It stayed for a day or so and required scraping and winter coats and the scrambling of making appointments to get snow tires put on rims and seeing when local garages could fit you in...
It feels early to me. I know we've had Hallowe'ens where it snowed but we've certainly had many more Hallowe'ens where there was no snow at all, the leaves were still swirling around, and it was even "mild" in an end of October sense. Sigh. I wonder what it is like to live in a climate that doesn't experience this same first wave of bracing oneself for the months to come. The nice thing is that the first snowfalls are still the ultimate excitement for young children as they stamp out little paths with their boots and try to make some sort of snowman regardless of whether it is packing snow or not. Maybe I need to build more snowmen.