Gardening in November 2005
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Wow, wasn't Octobers weather great? Yeah right maybe if you're a duck… Unlike last October, this year was wet and downright chilly. Even my fish had umbrellas, well sort of — they were hiding up underneath the lily pads on the really rainy days, and with our runoff system from the garden centre's store roof funnelling into the pond, alot of days they were actually bucking into quite a current.
By the way if you are still feeding your fish, it should be very infrequently and very minimal amounts if at all, this will help to keep the pond clearer, at a certain temperature fish stop digesting their food even if they eat it, and it would just go to waste and foul the pond.
By now, hopefully 90% of the garden should be cleaned up, with only a few leaves left on the trees to be raked, and maybe the odd tulip or daffodil bulb patch to be planted, although I don't think I would wait too much longer to plant bulbs at this point, they need to get a good root system started before the winter rains, and yes it can and does get worse. Planting up bulbs in pots for the front door can also still be done, and instead of a bare pot on the stoop all winter I stick in cedar branches, alder twigs and salal, for the holiday season, and refresh them as needed, then when the bulbs come up, the frame work is set for a support for those tall bulbs that have a tendency in our winds to either snap off or droop.
Our giant steriodial rhubarb, (commonly referred to by the tourists) Gunnera Manicata, should all be cut down and have the leaves turned over on them to protect them from any damaging frosts that may occur, and remember to also cut off the flower, you know that funny looking thing that looks like a giant bottle brush. All the perennials that you were wanting to divide should have been done by now, and roses should have been cut back.
With all the rain that we've been having check your planters in the garden to make sure they are not holding water, and are free draining, many a rosemary and lavender were lost last year because of plugged drain holes in pots.
If you want to have colour indoors for christmas, potting up an amaryllis should be done soon.
And for a Christmas tree, why not have a live one, that can be planted out in the garden, after all the merry hohoing is done. We will have a stock of live trees as well as cultivated trees for christmas this year, supplies will be limited though, so let me know if you are interested. Well I must go and rescue my fish from the rising tides, hey maybe I should teach them to surf.
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino