Fall on a zipline toward winter

Gardening through this fall has been like being stuck at the top of a zip line. I just couldn't get that thing, whatever it is called, engaged on the zip line, ready to go.

The temperatures were too warm, the sky was too blue, the leaves were still green.  So many excuses to put off fall clean up.

Then suddenly, that thing, whatever it is called, got engaged on the zip line and away I went, heading straight toward winter.

Now the temperatures are too cold, the sky is too gray, and the leaves are still falling. So many excuses not to get on with fall clean up.

I have no idea how to engage the brake on this thing on this imaginary zip line that I'm hanging on to for dear life, with fall and pretty leaves at the top and a big pile of wintry snow at the bottom.

I got a sudden jolt, though, on this zip line that is taking me from fall into winter when I saw the first blooms on a Christmas rose, Helleborus niger.

Is it any coincidence that my discovery of these Christmas rose blooms came on the same day I noticed a local restaurant had already plastered Christmas clingy things to their windows?  And yet their Halloween pumpkins were sitting on a counter still waiting to be stowed away for the year.

Just like my garden, where a pumpkin and all the containers full of now frost-blackened plants are still on the front porch waiting for me to put them away before winter.

If this wintry weather continues, I'll have to switch from "putting them away before winter" to "putting them away before I bring out any Christmas decorations."  I don't have any control over the weather, but at least I have control over the Christmas decorations.

Except for the Christmas rose. I apparently have no control over it.

Merry Happy Fall Christmas Thanksgiving.  I'm free falling now on this zip line of fall garden clean up,  hoping there is still time for a soft landing before winter.


  1. My first Christmas rose bloomed October 13th.

  2. I noticed that my Hellebores were putting up new green leaves. Seeing your blooms, I will keep a closer eye on mine.
    Have a wonderful week-end!

  3. Ha! That happens to me most every year - I put things off then realize that nice temps are coming to an end and it's a rushed panic to get everything done. I just about made it this year except for one task which also happens to be my least favourite - cleaning up all the seeding equipment/trays/cell packs. Now I'm waiting for next week when we will get a few days where it's actually above freezing :)

  4. Colder temperatures really snuck up on us this year, and the hellebores have been showing blooms since the end of October. Mother Nature...slow it down!!!

  5. We got our first frost, our first freeze, and our first snow all within a two day period. Brrrr. No way am I going out now to look at my Christmas rose.

  6. Unfortunately, I did not bring any Hellabores to my new home. I will have to get some to plant in the spring!

  7. No hellebores blooming here. Mine bloom much later. The leaves are finally coming down though. Just in time for cold weather. Bah humbug.

  8. I left for a nine day visit to two sets of grands in Houston (where the temps were in the mis to upper 80's everyday). When we left there hadn't been a killing frost. I got back to temps in the 20's and dead plants everywhere. Managed some clean-up the day after we returned, but then the snow and real cold decended. Hoping for at least one decent day to finish the absolutely necessary stuff.

  9. Love the way your mind works. Great analogy.

  10. I love your analogy, Carol! That's exactly how I feel. I managed to plant all my bulbs by the end of October and then planned to do some garden clean-up. But suddenly winter has arrived, and I just want to stay inside. Looks like I might have twice as much to do next spring:)


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