The change of seasons is always a time for transition. The weather changes (some years more slowly than others), work shifts from the gardens to indoor tasks, and I must adjust to 'empty greenhouse syndrome.' After months of seeding, planting, watering and maintaining plants, I'm down to just a few flats of culinary herbs that we sell for winter windowsill gardening and topiaries. Instead of spending hours on plant maintenance daily, I'm down to a couple hours a week. In another couple months, I'll start seeding for spring and the crop will slowly rebuild.
It's also a good time to remind yourself that your houseplants and any tender perennials you winter over inside are moving from active growth into a more dormant period. So cut back on watering and fertilizing. Few plants need much fertilizer in the winter months. If you do, use a half strength dose.
Topiaries are one of those things that seem to have universal appeal. Grownups and kids alike are fascinated by miniature trees and plants shaped into a different form. It must be the combination of a familiar plant grown in an unusual way. I always tell people the main requirement for growing topiaries is patience. It takes time for them to size up. After they are formed, occasional trimming is the only necessity.
The fall/holiday newsletter will be coming out in a week or so. We do offer email newsletters, in addition to paper copies. If you would prefer your newsletter by email, let us know your name, mailing address and email address and we'll make the switch.
Toad Sr. has returned to his winter residence in the back corner of the greenhouse. He hasn't burrowed into the dirt yet to hibernate, but he seems quite comfortable lazing in his spot. I'm interested in seeing how many of the smaller toads we had this year find their way into the greenhouse for the winter.