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"Nothing To Do"

© Eddie Rhoades

At the December meeting of the Cobb Master Gardeners it was mentioned by someone, I won't say who, that January could be considered a non-gardening month. I suppose there could be a small element of truth in that statement as the pace definitely does slow down. With a mug of hot coffee in hand I walk about the garden and observe that, quite naturally, the vegetables and flowers are all gone along with most of the leaves. Bulbs should have already been planted, likewise pansies. There really is less to do at this time of the year and that alone is a blessing. That doesnąt mean there is nothing at all to do. If it were summer we might well be complaining about the heat, the drought and the mosquitoes. But this time of year mosquitoes are not a problem, we are blessed with natural air conditioning, not much watering is required because plants (and people) are not stressed by heat and drought. With conditions like this, now is the perfect time for certain projects.

I am, or should be, digging post holes on 8 foot centers so I can erect a wooden privacy fence. Intermittently I will be doing a little pruning as I see the need for it. I have a screech owl box that needs installing plus I need to continue adding to a stone wall and rock border project started earlier. All this physical exercise is good for your body. It builds strength and endurance and helps you sleep better. Just be careful not to overdo it. I know I certainly wonąt be overdoing it because at my age 'afternoon delight' means taking a nap.

Later in the day I plan to look out each window of the house to assess the garden view and decide what needs to be done. I will do the reverse by walking out to the street and critiquing the view from that angle.

Garden guru, Walter Reeves, once gave some of the best gardening advice I have ever heard when he said 'neatness counts'. Structures, walls and walks define the garden, art and ornaments enhance it and plants decorate it but in order to look good it must be neat and clean. It will be more impressive if it is uncluttered. With all that in mind I just hope I can get most of it done before February, the next non-gardening month.


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